Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rev3 Half Rev Race Report - Pre-race and swim

This race report should be about the Rev3 Revolution which consisted of a sprint tri on Saturday and the HalfRev on Sunday.  But due to circumstances beyond anyone's possible control the sprint race was cancelled.

Aimee and I got up at our "normal" 4:45AM time Saturday morning and headed to Cedar Point for the 7AM start time.  There were only five of us registered for the Revolution and then all the other sprint racers including two SBR teammates, Martha and Beth.

The rain was coming down in buckets but I readied myself for a cold wet race none the less.  Driving on Cedar Point Road, part of the course, the water was almost covering the road at points.  Some sections only had 2 feet of pavement showing.

In the parking lot people were saying that the race was cancelled.  A 5k run would take place instead.  I walked to the expo while Aimee waited in the car.  I found Martha and Beth in the registration tent and managed to get a team picture.

I checked in the club tent area and dismantled my tent and the CTC tent before the expected winds ripped them to shreds.  Aimee and I drove back home and we climbed back into bed until 9:30AM.

We met out friends later on Saturday to pick up the race packets and check the bikes into transition.  Aimee was the swimmer for her HalfRev relay team, 1 Puma, 2 Cougars, with our friends Mandie and Jane.  We didn't spend too much time at Cedar Point and wanted to get home.  I think we were both feeling a little off because of already being at the park earlier that day.  We tried to get to bed as early as possible.

Cougar 1 (Aimee - swim), Cougar 2 (Jane - bike), Puma (Mandie - run)

We woke up on Sunday morning at 4:45AM...again....and made our way to Cedar Point.  The transition area would be open for us until 7:30 but I wanted to get there before the FullRev started.  Adam O'Meara was racing and I wanted to wish him good luck.  Adam had been our homestay in 2010 when he raced the Full.

We got there with plenty of time to see Adam, set up my transition area, pump up bike tires (mine, Jane's and Laura's), get the team tent put together, and mingle with friends and competitors. 

Aimee and I were in the same start wave going off at 8:45.  The FullRev started at 7AM but they wanted the full racers to at least complete their first lap before we entered the water.

During the time before the start I was able to talk and share some moments with everyone.  I was also able to get into the water and loosen up the arms.  All of this keeps the atmosphere loose until we enter the swim corral.

When our swim wave was announced I gave Aimee and quick kiss and made my way into the water.  We stood about thigh deep in the water as we waited to be sent off.  I lined up front row middle since my swim had been pretty solid all summer.

With 5 seconds to go I started my watch and got ready to start swimming.  I immediately started swimming since it was deep enough.  With each breath I could see the people walking around me but I felt it was easier to swim than walk through the water.  We were all going the same speed whether walking or swimming.

Eventually everyone was swimming and we set our sights on the course markers.  My left goggle was getting some water in it so I stopped for a moment to take care of it.  The water still wasn't too deep and I was able to stand with no problems while I took care of my goggles.

Back in action I pushed forward through the water.  About half way to the first turn buoy the chop became a little more noticeable.  My sighting seemed to be paying off as I felt I was swimming fairly straight.

Rounding the first turn buoy the chop started coming at us from the left side.  I caught a couple of waves during my breathing but you can't let something like that affect your swimming.  I just exhaled as much water as possible and went for another breath.

On this second section I felt my sighting was not as good.  I'm not sure if I was trying to counter the wave action too much but I always felt like I was drifting left.  I had to keep adjusting right so I wasn't too far away from the buoys.

I began passing some people from the previous waves but also noticed a yellow swim cap from my start wave.  We were swimming the same pace I always had sight of my swim "partner".  Maybe I should have drafted off that person but I'm not very good at it.  So I just kept chugging along. 

About half way through the swim I was able to settle into breathing every third stroke.  I kept myself long and made the most of my catch and pull.  I felt fast and powerful which is a great mental boost.

Rounding the final turn buoy we began heading toward the beach.  The wind was coming from the west, the direction we were headed, and the chop was the worst here.  It was still manageable, but it was also noticeable when trying to sight the buoys. 

My yellow capped swim mate and I were continuing to pass people.  I tried swimming as far as possible, but when I started digging into the sand I was still a ways from the beach.  There is a lot of shallow water leading up the beach so I walked with those around me until I could get my feet above the water line and run.

I spotted my friend Laura ahead of me who was doing the Aquabike.  I ran by her, patted her on the butt and said, "let's get going girl."

I glanced at my watch when I hit the beach and it said 32 minutes.  My chip time was 32:18 and I was 3rd of 59 in the age group.  So I was happy with my swim.  I felt it was solid and put me in good position for the rest of the day.

As I ran up the beach I could hear some people cheering for me on both sides.  I could see the group from Spin/Second Sole Multisport off to the left and pointed at them in recognition.  I charged up the beach through the sand to the parking lot.

As I rounded the corner and headed towards the transition area I saw CTC super cheerleader Krystal bouncing up and down cheering for me.  It put a smile on my face and I hope she saw it.

I ran towards my bike getting my wetsuit down as far as I could.  I was finding the shortest route possible to my bike.  Below are the bike racks Rev3 uses.  I jumped over an empty transition rack to get to my bike.  It was just quicker that way.

I immediately put my sunglasses and helmet on before taking my wetsuit off the rest of the way.  Mandie, the Puma runner of Aimee's relay team ran over to cheer me on but I was very focused on getting onto the bike I didn't say anything to her.  I heard her screaming at me but my concentration once inside transition is so intense I shut things out. 

Having a friend right there at my transition spot gave me some extra energy to move even faster out of transition.  So my socks and shoes were next and I grabbed my bike from the rack.

I ran towards the bike exit and saw that it was jammed with people getting on their bikes.  Just hanging out and the mount line taking their time straddling their bikes.  I found an opening in the crowd and ran through the hole running right past my friend Mark.  I ran about 5 more yards and finally mounted my bike on the fly.

Time for a 56 mile ride.


Heather said...

Damn, Eric. Wanna teach me how to swim that fast????!

Marie said...

So you smiled for Krystal after the swim, and I got nothing after the bike, man, I talk about no showings of love!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

On the second portion, I noticed I ended up way left as well, thought my siting was off, maybe the bouys were crooked too. I was kinda shocked how shallow the water was, I swam till I start digging my hand into the bottom, I popped up and still had 50 yards to the shore. One of my best swims in a race ever