Tuesday, June 17, 2014

2014 Rev3 Williamsburg 70.3 Race Report - Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

My first triathlon of the 2014 season is officially in the books and it was a success despite some challenges. I was pumped to make my first tri of the season a destination race in beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia with my awesome Rev3 Triathlon Team! Last year Steve and I had done the inaugural olympic distance race and both enjoyed it so we were both looking forward to racing the half distance this time around.


setting up my bike for her maiden voyage!
Last year we had combined our race with a family vacation and the kids loved it so much so we decided to bring them again. We arrived in Williamsburg and checked into our condo on Thursday evening. Friday we spent the day with the family in Virginia Beach. Saturday we did the Rev3 practice swim at Jamestown Beach Park while the kids hung out and then went to the expo to pick up our packets and goodies with the kids. It was nice to see some of the teammates at the practice swim and expo. After packet pick up we dropped the kids off at the condo and headed out to check our bikes in at T1 and then headed out for a prerace beer at the Dog Street Pub. Later that evening we made a big pasta dinner and enjoyed another beer...along with a lot of water. We turned in around 9:30 to get a good night's sleep before the race.

Race Morning:

Prerace with Steve...all smiles!
With the two transititon setup, we knew we had to arrive at T2 (where the finish was) at the Warhill Sports Complex between 5:45-6am. We set the alarm for 4:45 and were dressed, ate breakfast and out the door by 5:30. We arrived at T2 around 5:45 to setup our running stuff. We ran into some of my teammates and got to sit by each other on the shuttle bus to the swim start and T1 located at Jamestown Beach Park. The shuttle ride took about 15-20 minutes so we arrived around 6:30 to set up our T1 area and get the bike all ready with drinks and fuel, helmet, shoes, etc and then hit the restroom before walking down to the swim start, which was about 1/4 mile walk. Steve's wave was first starting at 7:05 so I gave him a kiss and wished him goodluck and then hung out with my teammates Meghan and Laura until our wave (women under 40) started about 20 minutes later.

The Swim (1.2 Miles):

Race officials had already announced the day before that with the water temperature being 80 degrees wetsuits were not legal. Rev3 still allowed a final wave of those athletes wishing to use their wetsuits but I opted not to use mine as if would make me ineligible for any awards. I had practiced the day before without it and knew I would be okay swimming with the current so I just lined up in my tri kit with my cap and googles and my trusty noseplugs.

The start was very relaxed as the water was shallow for a while - maybe as much as 400 meters was shallow enough to run so many of us did just that and saved the arms. I dophin dived a couple times just to get used to the water but this relaxed approach really helped keep my heart rate down and when I did start to freestyle I felt relaxed and ready. I freestyled the majority of the swim and felt great and I did use my breaststroke at times to sight around buoys or just to give my arms a break. I was able to stay calm and even somewhat on course despite the counter clockwise swim. The swim seemed to go faster than usual and I actually enjoyed the experience more than most of my prior races. My time of 40:51 was actually pretty good for me in the open water so I was happy with this leg of the race and was at 8/14 in my division after this leg.


My T1 was long for a few reasons: first we all had to run the 1/4 mile back to T1. Second, I stopped to use the restroom and then third I struggled to get my transition bag into the swim to bike dry bags that were provided to get our T1 stuff back to the finish. In hindsight I should have just put my # on the transition bag as well as the plastic bag provided. I took in a Powerbar energy blend just before the bike and was off through the trails leading out of the park to the road. My T1 time was 6+ minutes versus the 3-4 minutes most people had so I definitely could have shaved off a couple minutes from my time here.

The Bike (56 Miles):

First race with the new QR was a success!
This was my first race on the new Quintana Roo tri bike so I was even more excited than usual to race this leg, which is often my favorite part of the race. There's nothing like flying on your bike to make you feel alive! The bike course started out flat and fast for the first 20 miles or so. I felt great and made sure to hydrate as it was already getting warm. I did my first fuel around an hour, which was one of the new Powerbar chocolate wafers. I just love those! I hit an aid station and refilled my aero drink as I was out of water.

Right around 20-25 miles it started to get more hilly as we traveled on 60. That stretch of rollers on the highway seemed to go on for miles and miles. Slowly climb and pass people and then hammer the downhills. There was a turn around on the course around mile 40 with some good climbs coming back and there was a bumpy section where my straw for my aero drink went flying. I just left it because we were starting a climb. There was one big hill that I recall but most were just rollers and then things started to flatten back out as we approached the Warhill Sports Complex.

Overall I loved the bike. It was more challenging than I expected from racing the olympic last year but it kept things interesting. My goal was to average 19-20mph and I ended up with a 2:55 or average of 19.2 mph. This moved me up to 6/14 in my division.


T2 was pretty straight forward but slow at 2:56. After changing into running gear and downing a Powerbar energy blend I think I just casually strolled through the transition area to start the run so again this could have been a minute or two faster for sure. Guess I will have to work on this is my shorter races especially where every minute is precious!

The Run (13.1 miles):

The run was definitely challenging but I also loved the course. It was hot and humid and the 4-loop course was about 2.25 miles of wooded trail with some nice hills with a mile of ashphalt paved trail. It was more shaded on the trail but definitely not as fast going as the asphalt part of the trail. This definitely slowed things down on the run for a lot of people. I know for me personally I am usually 30 seconds to a minute slower per mile in trail running than road running. That coupled with the heat and fatigue and my run just not really being there for me left me with a slower than anticipated run time of 2:05 versus my last 70.3 run, which was 1:54. Not happy with the 9:30 pace as it is nowhere near my running ability for a half marathon, which is normally 1:39-1:45 on a decent day.  After the run I finished 3/14 in my division.

The Finish:

Happy to finish 3rd in my AG with some fast ladies!
I was pumped for the last loop of the run - especially that last mile on the asphalt where I knew I was almost there! I felt strong through the finish and the people cheering including Steve pumped me up and I sprinted past a woman in front of me at the finish to grab 3rd in the 35-39 age group. If I didn't I would have been 4th so thank god for my ability to kick at the end. My final time of 5:50:32 was not a huge PR but still a PR by 2 minutes and I was happy to end up on the podium at one of my team races.

Considering my running season has been going so well this year I find it a little disappointing that my run failed me Sunday but I did the best that I could do and at least two of my sports went well!

Post Race:

My sweet dual medal!
Steve had a huge PR of 30 minutes, finishing in 5:07 so I was really excited for him. We hung around with the team and had some food and a couple IPAs and picked up my award. The age group medals clip on to the finisher medals and make one bigger, cooler medal. We headed back to the condo to shower and take the kids out to eat for Father's Day.

Later I went out with the team for another drink to celebrate. It was an absolute blast and I am so glad to be able to race and celebrate with people that are just so easy and fun to be around. I just love them! Kudos to Rev3 for another fabulous event and looking forward to doing my first full with them this year at Cedar Point! Being on the team is awesome and we are so lucky to have great sponsors like Powerbar, Pearl Izumi, Quintana Roo, Blueseventy, etc.
post race drinks with my teammates!

Next up is Champ Racing's Milton Man Olympic Tri in 12 days and I'm excited to see how hard I can push the intensity there given it's a shorter distance!

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