Monday, June 4, 2012

Boo! My first DNF :( Rev3 Quassy Olympic Race Report

Saturday was NOT my day. Boo! I had my first ever DNF (Did Not Finish) at the Rev3 Quassy Olympic.

No worries! I am physically (and mostly mentally) fine. Just had some bike mechanical issues (two flat tires) that stopped me short of finishing the bike course.

Otherwise! I was having the race of my life!!! Guess I had owed some Karma points to the Triathlon Gods. Are we even now?

The race itself:
Rev3 puts on a great show. It felt like doing any other triathlon. I really wasn't doing it for the "Rev3 experience" but more for the race date, location, and distance (in that order) synced well with my season's schedule. But! There is one thing I wish Ironman did do, and that is the tri tats. SO. FREAKING.BAD.ASS!

can you see my (now 12 month old) arm tan line?
Unfortunately the weather forecasted for rain. No big deal, I have done it before, actually in the SAME EXACT conditions at Mooseman 70.3 in 2010. I prefer weather this cold (just not as rainy) because you can't overheat, and you can just race.

The Swim: 24:58
Exactly a week prior I did that 2 mile OWS race and came out with a TERRIBLE time. This time? I went fast! My coach the day before said, "Jon, go out hard the first 200 yards and find some feet!"

I could sense the frustration in his voice over my swim form this season. Trust me, I have been as equally as frustrated!

So for the swim itself, I lined myself right up to the front and expected to take a beating. That never happened, but (without knowing this) actually was one of the fast people in my wave! I came out of the water in my age group of 68 people in 10th place!!!

I swam over half the wave in front of me. Never done that before and my swim form just felt "ON!"

I think my previous swim PR for this distance is a 26:20 or something. So already I was 1:22 up on my PR!


T1: 1:58
I realized I had a good swim when I got to my bike and the ENTIRE rack was still filled with bikes. Oh yeah! This just kept feeding the fire!

Wet suit came off easier than it has ever came off. Thank you Tri Slide!!! What did I ever do without you?

Look how close I was to bike out & in!

The Bike: Blah....
Got out on the bike and immediately started passing people, and there were few people out on the course since I was in the 2nd wave and just had the swim of my life! I was smooth, cranking up hills and just dropping people like crazy! I still didn't know my swim time so I figured there weren't too many people in my age group ahead of me so I just plugged on. But I was clearly one of the stronger riders out there. NOBODY was passing me!!!

And then it happened.....

The rear of my bike started bouncing. NOOOO!!!! This ALWAYS means a going flat rear tire. Bummer...

So I stopped and confirmed that it was indeed going flat. Hit stop on my bike computer and said to myself:

"No big deal. So placing is out of the question. This race is just a speed workout and you can fix the flat and continue on at race pace, and use your unofficial time as validation for your fitness."

So I attempted to fix the flat. I quickly found a tiny tiny metal shard in the tire that punctured the tube and attempted to remove it. But it wouldn't come out! How can I thing so small be so hard to remove? I tried for 20 mins. Yes! 20 mins to remove this itty bitty shard! It wouldn't come out!

I saw the race marshalls pass by, flagged them down, asked them if they had any tweezers and in the process lost the location of the metal shard. They couldn't help me, and I doubt they had tweezers anyways, but when I got back to finding the shard, I couldn't find it! I found it SO easily the first time, but now I couldn't find it.

So I figured it must have fallen out (big mistake!), put in a new tube, and continued on.

And I started passing people again. I was now in the thick of the masses of the race so I was passing hordes of people like crazy!

Continued to ride on, even through needle piercing rain on bare skin, until mile 22.7 when I hit a bump and my rear tire went instantly flat, on a slight downhill on wet roads. Scary! I hate the sound and crunching vibrations of riding on rim, so I brought the bike to a stop QUICKLY!

My day was done....I had already used up my only spare tube and I started walking it back to transition, which was 3 miles away. Since it was 60 degrees and pouring, and I was already chilled and soaked, and I was barely wearing any clothing, I started to get cold. I flagged down a nice couple in their SUV with their infant children and they gave me a lift back to transition. John and Joanna: If you are reading this. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!! You saved me from hypothermia that day! John told me his dad was a triathlete years ago and was also picked up from a bike mechanical by some nice strangers, so he said he was just paying it forward. Thanks again!!!

Walked into transition with my frame in one hand, two wheels in the other (had to take the bike apart to fit into the car) and was getting all kinds of support. "Way to finish!!!" Sorry folks, I was done!

They took my chip, the really really nice bike mechanic in transition grabbed my bike for me and started giving me a tune up! Sweet! He found the shard, removed it, replaced the tube, adjusted the derailleur, and I gave him a nice tip. Thanks as well! He explained to me that without tweezers, there was no way that shard was coming out. It was in there just right. So I basically was racing the last half of the course on borrowed time. It was inevitable that another flat would occur.

Post Race:
You can't win them all. Turns out I beat the top 3 in my AG out of the water and wasn't passed by anyone by almost halfway through the bike, so who knows how my overall race would have turned out, but I could tell it would have been a magical time. I felt so strong! I would say that is where most of the disappointment lies: Missing out on a perfect day rather than not finishing.

This race was the 2nd lowest on my priorities of the season, but I still got in a PR swim and 22.7 mile speedy bike ride on a hilly course! This race was going to be my entire weekend, so after telling my coach of the DNF he quickly added on a 90 min run and a 4 hour bike ride to round out the weekend. I'll take it! I am 3 weeks out from Mont Tremblant 70.3 I will take the extra volume!

But do you think that this race is going to keep me down? HELL NO!!! So....

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post which outlines "The Plan" going forward. Its gonna be good!!!


  1. Oh no! Sorry to hear about the flats, that's no fun. But you have a great attitude about it - congrats on a super fast swim and a strong bike ride! Great to see you out there cheering yesterday, that was the lift I needed as the race was starting to wear on me by mile 9 of the run!

  2. Ugh... sh*t happens and it sucks, but you have the right attitude. So glad that you weren't hurt in the process and that you are able to move forward. Get this stuff out of your system now so you have no mechanical in either of the MT races.

    Glad to hear that you liked REV3 so much! :)

  3. Last year I broke a spoke on my rear wheel about 5m into the half aqua bike. I limped it in 50 miles or so to finish but then my time was AFU.

    And people wonder why I think that area is "stoopid"

    Great job on the swim! Quassy has the best tasting lake water for a swim :)

  4. Bummer. Sounds eerily similar to my race last year, including hopping in a random SUV for a ride back to transition :)

  5. What a bummer but great job on getting it in the swim - and awesome way to look ahead.

  6. So sorry to hear about the rotten luck, but glad you were able to snag a ride back. I'm sure walking in bike shoes was no fun regardless of carrying a bike and being cold. Yay on the PR swim and the feeling strong. I'm sure it will come together at the next race for sure.

  7. That really sucks. At least the tech guy confirmed that you did all you could have done (I mean, does anybody carry tweezers with them on their bike? Um, no)

  8. Sorry about the DNF but you are certainly handling it the right way. You were very strong before the mishap. You'll be back!

  9. so sorry to hear about your bike issues. but great job on the swim!

  10. That sucks about the flats! Man, you were killing it out there before it all went to the crapper. But, there was nothing you could do about it. Maybe you'll have to put this race on the calendar for next year just to get revenge! I'm glad you found some nice people to get you back to transition. It sounds like although this was a DNF, you're in pretty great shape! IMMT is a comin'!

  11. Great attitude Jon, stuff like this happens and all you can do is roll with the punches.

    One heck of a swim too!

    I would not now how to react in cold and rainy conditions. It was over 100* on my ride yesterday - I almost melted!

  12. Great swim! I had 5 flats on my first HIM, so I feel your pain on the flats! Your attitude was alot better than mine! Can;t wait to hear about "THE PLAN!"

  13. On the positive side the derailleur didn't break again. How is that little piece of equipment treating you by the way? Have you replaced it or did the adjustment from the bike tech take care of it?

    Don't want derailleur issues at HIMMT or IMMT.

    Great swim though and I know you will build on that.

  14. I think you were actually pretty nervous about your T2 and potentially being slower than mine and you actually planted the metal shard in your tire so that you had an out. I am on to you ... Seriously, after you post a 7:00+ T2 time, no one remembers it or EVER bring it up... so it's not that big of a deal, you didn't have to sabotage yourself like this!!!

  15. Bummer on how it all went down - sounds like you were really killing it out there, with a likely huge PR to happen. Just got to roll with the punches it sounds like. Your experience is somewhat why I prefer running to biking, because a mechanical problem can wipe out what would have been a stellar performance during a race. But I guess that doesn't happen that often.

    Totally unrelated, but my car wouldn't start today, so I needed a new battery. So I had my own mechanical problem! lol

  16. Ugh, sorry to hear about all the bike issues. But congrats on the speedy swim!

  17. Bummer on the DNF. Been there too. Totally stinks. But kudos on the super fast swim!! It's now redemption tri time. Find one and kick it's butt!

  18. The DNF sucks, but AWESOME swim!

    What is with you and Beth breaking your bikes??? Maybe you are riding them to much?

    Did you find the metal shard once you got home?

  19. Yikes! So glad that couple picked you up and got you to transition. I'm also glad you can walk away from this experience with your head held high and not beating yourself up over it. 70.3 doesn't know how hungry you are going to be come race day after this!

  20. nice swim! and not DNF this was a MI - mechanical issue. DNF connotation you couldnt or didnt finish a race b/c you had to pull out physically or due to injury etc. M.I
    good attitude

  21. well at least you didn't go down to stomach troubles or an injury. still a bummer though. how nice of the couple to trust you being near their babies! i mean, you're pretty sketch... ;)

  22. Bummer! That is my biggest fear and it has to happen eventually. You'll crush the next one.

  23. Congrats on the swim

    As for the bike, it happens, to no fault of yours (besides riding with just one tube)


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