Last weekend the Rev3 team put on another awesome event in Conneticut….the Quassy half ironman.
The few days before the race were spent exploring the super scenic and extremely hilly course, a couple of lake swims and lunching at the Panera breadhouse. The day before the half was the olympic distance event of which the athletes were greeted with bucketloads of rain! My homestay Amy braved the freezing conditions, so we rugged up and headed down to the finish line to watch her come in! It was great to see so many people out there with smiles on their faces despite being drenched and covered in mud!
Thankfully the next day I was greeted with a perfectly calm day, chilly but sunny! I was feeling excited to race, as it was a super tough course with the hilly ride followed by a hilly run, and against the most competitive field I have ever raced. Many world class athletes were toeing the line including Mirinda, Angela Naeth, Heather Jackson, Kelly Williamson and several others at the top of the game.
The lake was flat like a big swimming pool and just warm enough to be a non wetsuit swim, so I got to try out my new Blue Seventy swimskin, which I loved! The air temp was pretty cold, and with it being a beach start I opted to skip my normal swim warmup, as I was shivering and freezing enough standing on the start line dry let alone wet! The gun went and off we raced……well for a whole 20 metres or so! I found myself in the midst of a panic attack/hyperventilating about 5 strokes into the swim, unable to breathe! I tried to continue swimming for a few more strokes but it wasn’t a happening thing, it felt like my breathing tube had been twisted into a massive knot and any air that was passing through my mouth was going nowhere near my lungs. So next step was to try a bit of backstroke which was no help. So I stopped and just sat there, watching everyone swim away from me. I looked back at the beach and couldn’t believe here I was in a race I was so geared up for, lying in the water just off the beach as the race went on beyond me. As a kayak proceeded towards me I tried to take a few more strokes to get back into the game but same thing again. So back to the floating and waiting for it to pass game! A thought crossed my mind that my day over, which was quickly erased by “like hell it is, I haven’t flown across the whole of America and lined up against the worlds best to swim a mere 20m!” Anyway, I dont know how long I floated for, it seemed like an infinity, but what was probably a minute or so later I managed to get my breathing under control and get my game underway! I ended up feeling really good in the water and got myself to around mid-ish field, but swum the course solo, which is normal for me, but this race I had a goal of which I was so focussed on…..sticking on the feet, and I had “the feet” marked from the start! Next time! So, I dont know why that happened, it hasn’t happened before, it wasn’t nerves as there were none, perhaps going from being shivering to diving into the cool water set off a reaction? All I can hope is that it doesn’t happen again!!
Into T1…..My trusty steed was awaiting me in my transition spot, rearing to go! After a few quick words of dissapointment and frustration to Clay, the swim was behind me and forgotten…..now onto the bike! Yay!
The bike was super fun and super tough, with relentless climbs. I rode parts of the course in the days leading up to the race, but just at an easy pace, so I had an idea of what to expect. Not having raced the course before, I often found myself overgearing on a lot of the climbs and in turn doing a lot of standing climbing, of which I could feel the calfs were being overworked, and of course was going to kill my running legs! But I was having fun out there and riding alongside Angela Naeth and Rinny for a lot of the course, so I wasn’t paying as much attention to my gearing as I should’ve which was a bit of a tactical error!
I entered T2 in 5th position, with the 3rd fastest bike split! Onto the run, sure enough I could feel the calfs were going to struggle! The run course is really beautiful, it goes on the road around the lake in which we swim, with an extra loop at the end. There are tonnes of trees, so it’s pretty shaded which meant it didn’t get too hot out there. My main battle was……all of the hills to come and my quickly fatiguing calfs! I did what I could, but knew there were some super fast runners closing in from behind!
I crossed the line in 8th position, happy with my total result, made up of……..a frustrating swim start, followed by a reasonable swim, an awesome and fun bike, and a run that was slower than it should’ve been, but got me to the end!
Thanks so much to our amazing homestay family…..you guys were the best!!! Thanks to my husband/main sponsor Clay who was able to accompany me on the trip! And of course my wonderful coach Siri for your fabulous mentoring over the last few months! Thanks to the Rev3 team to putting on another great event! Be sure to check out http://vimeo.com/43370544 for a post race recap.
I had a lot of new gear for this race………thanks to the support of these great companies…….SOAS Clothing for my awesome new race kits! Asics for my much loved DS Racing shoes! Blue Seventy for my swimskin, which felt amazing to swim in! Shimano for my race wheels! Kask helmets for my super comfy custom helmet! Ryders Australia for my sunnies! Cobb Saddles for the best saddle ever! Hammer Australia for my nutrition!
Now back to LA for a few days of recouperation (including playing at Universal Studios! yay!), before the final hard yards leading into Challenge Roth. 🙂