Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rewind: REV3 Knoxville pt. 2


hands down one of my favorite venues! I can't wait to do it again next year!! However, there was one glitch: timing. It got worked out for most people, but not for me :( I was NOT wearing a watch/ heart rate monitor/ bike computer so I really have NO idea how I did, only how I felt. So times are JUST ESTIMATES:

Morning and Breakfast: Well this was easy- hotel waffle with banana and coffee! I also took a bottle of EFS to sip on until race time! It was also MOTHER'S first thing we did was send a message to the important ladies in our lives!

Swim: 40:00 ?

Wave start, great temp (high 60s/low 70's?), wore wetsuit. Swam felt fine, nothing unusual about it! It was a swim similar to Louisville's where we swam against a current for a little bit then turned around and sailed back!

T1: 3:00?

I felt slow in transition, took my time, nothing new :) But CHECK OUT the sweet racks! I took my name tag home :)

Bike: 3:18?

Plan was to take it eassy -so I rode strong, but didn't "hammer". Felt GREAT! I remember the temperature was a little cool - great if you were working hard, a little cold if you weren't. The course was just beautiful, and pretty challenging - lot of hills (short/long/windy/steep/take your pick) and some fun downhills. I didn't have a chance to drive the course, so Andrew Starykowicz told me that most turns weren't as scary as they looked - he didn't plan on using brakes at all on the course except for maybe 2 turns. Definitely true - scaredy-cat me of COURSE I used my brakes, i jut didn't death-grip them :) Especially if you are pretty confident with bike-handling skills it's a really fun course!

Nutrition: My plan was to finish 1 bottle of EFS per hour (taking in some water between each sip) and take a big swig from my Liquid Shot each hour as well - this worked great - energy stayed high, no sloshly tummy!

I felt really good, passing lots of people, then coming down a big hill at the turnaround I hit a bridge seam and BAAAAAM....BAM BAM BAM BAM (sound of my rear wheel)... I pulled over, took me a minute but I found the problem - the part of the rim on my wheel that hit the seam was actually BENT out and hitting my brake! There was no way to fix that (without a hammer?) so I asked a policeman to tell tech support to look for me...I loosened the brake so it wouldn't hit the bent rim and kept riding...

it still wasn't enough...bam bam bam...luckily this section of the course was flat so I didn't really need that break. However, I was getting had been maybe 15-20 minutes and no tech support - then they came!! I was SO HAPPY to find out they actually had an extra 650c wheel in the truck, so after a few minutes talking to me and seeing what happened they swapped it. Oops - the cassette on their wheel was a 10-speed, my bike is a 9-speed. So then they swapped the cassette (took a few minutes...). I grabbed an extra tube from them (my race wheels were tubulars so I didn't have anything to fix a flat if that should occur on my "new" wheels), ran through the gears and I was off.

400m later...BAM BAM BAAAM...I though WTF?? I pulled over, back wheel looked fine...but my FRONT wheel was messed up and I didn't even notice before! Not only was the rim bent, but the carbon was cracked too. DAMNIT. The tech van was still around, so I flagged them down, and by some stroke of luck the REV3 tech support had ONE MORE 650c wheel for me!!! THANK YOU!! I've never DNF'ed, and this race wasn't the one I am going to start with! :)

After that I was happy to be back on the course again. I think I could have been one of the last 10 people on the bike course at that point. Then I definitely rode hard the last 20 miles home and loved every minute of it! Beautiful, fun, challenging course!

***p.s. my front wheel is pretty much shot due to carbon crack-age :( But my friend Chris Sweet fixed the rim on my back wheel like new!! THANKS!!

T2: 3:00?
I saw Dan (he did the Olympic and was already finished) and I could imagine he was a little worried since I'm usually pretty strong on the bike. However, he immediately noticed, "New wheels?" I quickly told him what happened and I was off. I also saw Heather and Andy Sweet! It was great seeing the happy couple coming up from Chatta-vegas (I love when Heather says that) to spectate! Check out their new coaching business - Gaia Fitness !

Run: 2:00

Nutrition: I carried a hand-bottle of EFS- I know that stuff works for me in training so I used it in the race too. I took a big sip between aid stations (every 1/2 mile), right before aid stations, then I also had water at each aid station. When I ran out of it, I filled it with water. I carried a Liquid Shot Flask in my back pocket, so I took a small sip from that every 4 miles, a few extra times the second half since I ran out of EFS in my bottle. This plan worked great for me!

I was mostly worried about this part- not too confident with my run endurance. Of course I felt big and sluggish the first few miles, but then we turned onto this beautiful trail, and then I fell in love with the run course too! Hills here and there, but it was so pretty! I felt consistent with my pace and effort the whole time, and I'm pretty sure I negative-splitted the run and ran much faster the 2nd half. I was hurting the last 2 miles though. So funny- When the run winded around transition Dan jogged maybe a 1/4 mile with me to see how I was doing and told me I only had like another 1/4 to go so I should GO!! So I picked it up...but instead of turning to the finish like the Oly did, we had to run up this ENORMOUS hill, back down, THEN finish. DAMNIT!! lol!!!

Finish: 6:01

Either way I'm fine with it, wasn't trying or expecting to PR or anything on race day, just wanted a good solid workout! The race was really well organized- volunteers and policemen everywhere!

I loved the course, the swag, the organization...definitely will do it again!! :)

Major event on the ride home... visiting the ORIGINAL KFC!

sporting the sweet finisher shirt and visor swag from REV3...

Dan was REALLY excited to try the new double-down...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

REWIND: REV3 Knoxville in May 9th. Oops! I wrote the following entry a loong time ago ...and never published it because I was too lazy to add pictures. Will be catching up the next few days, but certainly not with this much detail!

What at AWESOME race! I can't stop telling everyone about the great venue, the beautiful/challenging course, and how awesome the race was run!! Here's the intro!


Dan and I had an easy drive down to Knoxville. We got there just in time to get me to my TRAKKERS team dinner at Calhoun's - it was so much fun to catch up old and new teammates! I was impressed by all the RIBS little Sonja could stomach, and it was awesome to have some of the Trakkers elite athletes stop by- Michael Lovato, Amanda Lovato, and Richie Shermingham!

After that, it was such a nice night out, Dan and I wanted to get out and check out the Market Square... we found a bar that Dan could watch the Hawks game, and I could kick back with a pretty drink - a cool cucumber lime martini!


Trakkers Team Photo Shoot (thanks to Sonja's dad, Eric Willis!) bright and early! Saucony gear is sweet!

After a team run, I had a chance to check out the race expo and work the Trakkers booth - first class! The weather was beautiful and the venue was great! Walking distance from major hotels. Big jumping playland for the kids...while the adults get all kinds of free goodies from the race sponsors! Lots of lucky participants received FREE sample tubs of First Endurance and waterbottles that we were handing out at the Trakkers booth!

GU was also giving away samples of all flavors of their gels and chomps. Cowbells were at a booth, and free ART (Active-release technique) treatments as well! There were also cool events on-site, including the Pro panel and Q&A with The Biggest Loser's Tara Costa.

We also had a chance to check out the water, since they had open-swim for several hours. I was worried, since I'm a baby when it comes to water temp. but with a wetsuit, 68-69 degrees felt great! I was also really excited to finally test my SBR Sports Tri-Slide - amazing! I haven't worn my wetsuit since Ironman Canada, but it was a breeze to put it on and remove it. The aerosol made application easy, and it stayed nice and slippery for easy wetsuit removal! waaaay better that vegetable oil haha!

I also had a chance to meet Team Trakker's nemesis; Terrier Tri! Their mascot Buck is NOT as sweet as he looks :)

Dinner was once again at the Market Square - Pro triathlete Andrew Starykowicz and amazing AG'er from B-town Emily Shoopman were our roomies for the weekend, so the 4 of us were searched for food...and ended up at Soccer... a Mexican fast-food restaurant haha! Taco salads and fajitas all around :) Perfect pre-race food? ;P

Andrew was also nice enough to fix my bartape and swap out my cassette - THANKS!!

Going into the race, my plan was to have a great "workout" - training hasn't been consistent or strategic this year due to all the exciting stuff going on, so I just wanted to go out there and a have a great day. Swim = steady. Bike = EASY girl... Run= not too confident with my endurance, given my pace/effort on my last couple training runs, so it was going to be important to take it easy on the bike/run!