As I entered the heart of my Tri season, I was thrilled to making the trek up to Portland, OR to race in Rev3’s new Half Rev race! This was my first Rev3 race and also my first opportunity to meet some of my Team Trakkers peeps!
This inaugural Rev3 race was originally planned to take part in downtown Portland, but due to permit issues had to be moved at the last minute. The new venue was at Blue Lake Park just 20min outside Portland near the airport. This move also meant that the bike and run would be relatively flat. I welcomed the change and was hoping to go after my 5:22 Half/70.3 PR set at last yrs Vineman 70.3! So far this year I’ve raced at Oceanside 70.3 and Hawaii 70.3. In both races I had good swim and bikes only to let the race fade away on the run. After strategizing with coach Jeff, we attacked my run and brick training after Hawaii. Part of that process was to run a local 10k race leaving nothing out there. I loved it finishing in 44:18 averaging 7:05 pace. This was a huge confidence builder for me and I was excited to really “race” up there in Portland.
This race block that I kicked off with this Rev3 has me racing three times in 4wks. Coach is never a fan of my race choices when they’re this close. Regardless, I had Rev3 Portland this past weekend, Vineman 70.3 coming up this Sunday followed by one weekend off before Vineman Full Dist Aquabike!
Living in the Bay Area made the trip easy with a quick 90min southwest flight. I flew in Friday afternoon and met up with teammates Anthony and Alex for a quick dinner. My back had been sore the last few days leading up to the weekend. I was on vacation last week and being slumped over on the beach watching my girlies for days wasn’t the best taper plan! On Saturday at the expo, I was able to stretch out those muscles with a great massage. It was there at the expo that I met up with fellow teammates Kristin and Joshua. They joined me and Anthony for a nice 40min spin to open up the legs on the course. Even though the course was relatively flat, we definitely saw that we were going to have some side/headwinds coming at us all day from the Columbia river alongside the road. The rest of the day was great in meeting Charlie & Carole from Rev3 and some other great team trakker pro & ag peeps. I also had the opportunity to hang at the RecoveryPump tent and chat with Doug. They have a great product and I will be banking on helping me recover for this upcoming weekend! Lastly, I checked in my bike after a quick tune up and headed back to get some rest.
Another thing I wanted to mention was a small change in how I hydrated for race week. After reading Macca’s new book, I felt I needed to do more than just drink lots of water the week of a race. So I started drinking Zico’s flavored coconut water. I never liked the taste of plain coconut water, so I was excited to try the flavored ones. I personally like the pinapple and pomberry options. It worked really well for me and it’s worth a try the week of your next race!
Race morning came quickly and they were talking about low-mid 80’s and partly sunny for most of the day! My biggest mistake of the weekend was leaving my swimskin in my hotel room. I drove out Blue Lake to set up my transition and was fired up to race! I hydrated race morning with my typical bottle of First Endurance EFS Orange. I really liked Rev3’s swim wave setup that had the pro’s going out 30 min before us age groupers and only having three waves for us. All AG ladies went off 30min after the pro’s and then my under 40 mens group went off 5min later. Lastly, 5min behind us was the last group of men 40 and up. It was cool seeing the pro’s exit the water, although many seemed surprised by their seemingly slow times. Given that, I was a little skeptical about a swim pr for me.
As mentioned earlier, the water was a balmy 72’, so wetsuits weren’t allowed for the pros. Unlike most people, I feel I can be just as fast without the extra buoyancy of a full wetsuit. That is why I was annoyed that I left my TYR Torque swimskin back at the hotel. Regardless, I had my TYR Cat 5 Hurricane suit and was ready to fly. It was great to hang out with my Team Trakker peeps before the swim start. Who knew that myself and Trakkers peeps Anthony and Ryan would all have swim times within seconds of each other! I’m always surprised at how buoyant my TYR wetsuit is. As I jumped in I literally felt like I was floating to the top. No other wetsuit has even come close to that benefit for me. And we were off racing for that first buoy and left hand turn. This start reminded me a lot of a Wildflower start that is always chaos. I found myself in the unfamiliar position of being in the middle of the pack at the turn. I have a tendency to aim for the edges, but the buoy came up too quickly. That meant the washing machine and I was beaten up by the masses! I changed tack and hammered away out of the madness and stayed to the left. It was there that I found free water and just found my groove. Just after the far corner left turn I looked at my watch and saw 16:30ish. I was excited to see that time, but I also know the pro’s had been seemingly slow. I found my grove and kicked it up a notch and felt fast. I was generating a ton of heat in the warm water especially in my legs, but wasn’t overheating. As I approached the swim exit the one and only yellow cap(men 40 and up) passed me. I tried to hang to no avail, but he helped me up my pace those last few yards. I finished in 32:27! This was a new swim PR by exactly 2min(Oceanside 70.3 2011) and I was psyched! That also placed me 11th in my division and 48th overall out of about 500 racers.
T1 was interesting, as we had a 0.4 mile run in there. I chose to strip off my wetsuit and put on my socks & Avia Avi-Stoltz there at the swim finish and off I went. Once at my bike I ran into some difficulty with my helmet of all things?! It was too tight and I needed to adjust before heading out for a long bike. It must have dropped is all I could guess. That slowed my t1 down finishing in 6:31. I looked at the top ag’ers in my division and they averaged 5:20 for their t1.
Off I was on my Kestrel 4000 rocking my ISM saddle and pimped out wheelatgs. It was a two lap course alongside the river and out to the airport and back. I was surprised that my legs didn’t have that much pop and/or power out there to start. I figured I may have kicked to much on the swim, so I just upped my cadence and hoped my legs would come around. I also cranked up my fuel intake by drinking two bottles of First Endurance EFS Orange that first hour. The course was flat but not exactly “fast” as everyone hoped. That was due to the ever present cross and headwinds from the Columbia River and the rough roads out near the airport. Flat doesn’t mean easy! I found myself avg 20.65 for most of the race and never seemed to get my legs back. I also finished two Berry Liquidshots on the bike to make sure I was taking in enough cals on the bike and that worked very well. I was also noticing that I couldn’t get my HR above 155 and I usually try to ride above 160 in races. Regardless, I was on pace for a PR on the bike and conserving energy for my run! I finished in 2:42:46 avg’ing 20.64 mph for a new bike PR by 5min(Vineman 70.3 2010)! I had dropped a bunch of places, but this was my race and PR I was chasing and not them. I finished the bike 21st in my division and 93rd overall.
I had a quick transition in 1:32 and I was off on my run. I felt GREAT on the run and just started clicking off 7:30-8min/mi miles. About 2mi into the run I heard my name being shouted and as I turned Trakkers Carole jumped outta nowhere to slap me on the butt! Gotta love Team Trakkers camaraderie!
Back on the run, I was cruising along surprisingly nicely hitting the 10mi marker with an avg pace of 7:25/mi…Really? Me? Who am I? I carried two First Endurance Berry Liquidshots and they are magic for me, especially those first 10mi. For those first ten miles I stuck to my proven plan on liquidshots and water only. The goal was to pick up the pace, but in the back of my head I knew a had a huge PR in the bag as long as I didn’t blow it. I eased up a bit mainly to walk through the water stops for my late stage coke’s and to cool my head down with my HR avg 180ish. That dropped my pace those last three miles, but I still ended up finishing in 1:45:41 for an avg of 08:04 min/mi!!! That crushed my run pr by a huge margin.
Swim Totals: 32:27.1 1.20 mi 01:41 min/hm 48th Overall(OA) & 11th in Divison(Div)
Bike Totals: 2:42:46 56.00 mi 20.64 mph avg 93rd OA & 21st Div
Run Totals: 1:45:41 13.10 mi 08:04 min/mi 84th OA & 17th Div
Total Time 5:08:56**New PR 84th OA & 17th Div
Words cannot describe how excited I am to have dropped my PR by over 13min. It was also great to do it at a REV3 race, as they are co-sponsors of my Trakkers/REV3 team. I cannot say enough about the team support out there on the course. It was a great adventure I will not soon forget!!!
Huge thanks need to go out to my sponsors: Trakkers/Rev3 for putting on such a great race, Kestrel for my perfect speed rocket, Avia for my fast Avi-Stoltz racers, TYR for my fast Hurricane wetsuit, First Endurance for my spot on nutrition, Tri-swim and lastly Recovery Pump for helping me recover!
Lastly, I was able to meet up with teammates Anthony and Ryan with there wives for dinner after the race. Anthony slayed the course to finish 3rd in our division for a new PR and Ryan had a great day as well, even though he just raced IM CdA two weeks ago!
Now it’s time to recover and prepare for Vineman 70.3 next week. I will be chained to my RecoveryPump all week and excited to see if I can pull off a strong double! I love the Vineman bike course with its rolling hills and it’s time to let her rip!
Here’s a great race recap form REV3:
Until next weekend – Michael