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Monday, May 14, 2012

Rev3 Knoxville


This past weekend was my first race of the season, Rev3 Knoxville. I was planning on competing in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon earlier in the year, but they were not offering Home stays or airport pick up. So after looking at the costs of flights along with hotel and car rental I realized it would cost be about $1200 to do this race. Since 10th place was only $180 and it was a stacked field, I decided it was not worth it.
               
Leading up to Rev3 Knoxville my training has been up and down. I have changed coaches and I have been doing more volume then I have ever done before, so my body is adjusting to additional load. In addition, stresses from life always come into play. The pool I normally swim at was down for about 3 months, so I had to find another pool to train in. This would not be a big deal if the most convenient pool for me was not 30 min away. In addition my job has been stressful as we were supposed to have a new contract signed 16 months ago, but they continue to extend it. If the contract goes to someone else, there is no telling what could happen with the current staff. We are told there would be no change in staff even if it went to a different company as the Navy would not want that, we would just shift employers, but no one really knows. In addition there have been plenty of rumors swirling around of pay cuts to changes in staff, etc. You try to block it out, but 16 months of this can start to weight on anyone. If you read my blogs last year, you may remember one of my first ones was about this contact and a possible break in work. Yes, this is still going on. I don’t think it matters who you are, if are getting married, thinking about starting a family, etc, this will cause stress on anyone. Needless to say it has been hard at times to focus on my training.

The Sun Sphere from the World's Fair. 
I arrived at in Knoxville on Friday. I choose the race because it was a race I could drive to and I have heard great things about the Rev3 series. My home stay was with Cliff and Jill Helton. They have 3 great kids, Turner, Regan, and Sloan. They were very accommodating and I can’t thank them enough for putting me up for the weekend. After I arrived I did a short spin on the bike just to get the legs going again, then it was relaxing at a dinner party at the father of my homestays house where I meet some triathletes who came up from Atlanta to race and we had food that was prepared by some athletes and friends of athletes that are professional chef’s. So good.  Then it was off to bed.  
                Saturday I woke up and got a quick run in. I almost ended my race before it started as I rounded a corner and slipped on the side of the sidewalk (it rained overnight) and rolled my ankle. Lucky for me my reflexes kicked in and I did not do any damage. After my run I came back and Turner and Regan were watching Old Yeller. Turner had to read the book for school and then watch the movie and write a report on the difference between the two. I sat down and joined them while I ate and got ready to head to the race start. I have to admit, even to this day, I still get misty eyed when he has to shoot Old Yeller. It really is a classic movie.
                After telling the kids I had something in my eye, I packed up my bike and headed to the race course. I drove the bike course and realized this was going to be a tough course. Holy Hills. It was all either up or down. This would be quite the challenge. Then it was a quick bike to loosen up and a quick swim, pro meeting and relaxing the rest of the day until my parents arrived. Then it was off to dinner with them and some other athletes that my coach coaches and off to an early bed.
Getting ready for the race start with Kyle Lee and Kaleb Van Ort. 
Race morning was the usual early morning wake up (4 am) and my normal breakfast. Then, off to the race start where I got my warm up in and in set up in my transition. My transition spot was marked by a 3 foot poster of me racing. This was something new that I have not seen before and I thought was pretty cool. After a quick warm up in the water it was soon time to start. It was an in water start. I looked around to see what top swimmers were near me and I noted Matty Reed was a couple swimmers down to my left. I determined that if I could, I would try to get on his feet as I knew he would be out fast. The gun went off and soon it was all white water and bodies crashing into each other, everyone jocking for position. I have learned from several races not to give up position so I fought for mine. I looked for Reed, but I could not determine where he was, it is hard when everyone is in a wet suit and all you seen is splashing water.


The Swim start. I am about 8th from the bottom. 
I jumped on someone’s feet and swam hard to the first buoy. About 500 meters in it was two quick right turns and off to the swim exit. As we got around the second buoy everyone was still fighting a bit for position, but the chaos had settled down a bit. After a short time after I realized I was in the chase pack and the front pack was too far ahead to catch. Two swimmers were leading the group and I knew I could probably go around them and gain 10 sec before the swim exit, but I knew that the energy cost would not be worth it so I settled in behind them and drafted.
                Out of the water I was in 16th place, but there was a pack of us. Into transition we went. I had trouble getting off my wet suit and lost to much time. But I was soon on the bike and trying to spin out the legs. I rode conservative as I knew the hills would be very challenging. After settling into my pace I started to ride a bit harder, but my lack of experience eon the hills was costing me time, too much time. Climbing I did ok, but I feel as I lost more time descending the hills. Descending at speeds of 45+ mph takes some skill to really take advantage of and I really do not have that experience. Several riders passed me on the bike and I knew I was losing time.
                The bike was over and I may have had one of my slowest bike splits I ever had. It was disappointing, but no time to think about it. I had a better T2 and I was soon off to the run. I saw two runners up ahead and I put in some effort to catch them. I was making time on them, but they were to far ahead and in the last 2 miles they put the time back into me. One runner was trying to make a move behind me, but I was able to pick up the pace a bit at the end and fend him off to avoid a sprint finish as those can hurt more than the race itself.
At the finish of a tough day

 It was not the race I wanted, but it was the first one and it was good to get a race for the season under my belt. I know I have to work on my bike so that is what I will be working on the next couple of weeks. 
No, not hockey pads, but air compression to help recovery post race. 
         

1 comment:

  1. Nick,
    I have never seen those air compression pants before. It is crazy what they come up with for helping recovery. Nice job on the first race of the season. The hills would have beaten me up too....I hope they get that contract signed soon for you. I know how you feel, had to deal with that for 4 years.
    cheers man,
    Jesse

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