At the end of the day I feel pretty lucky to look back on some of the cool things I get to do on a pretty regular basis. As I reflect back on the REV3 Knoxville race, this was an event that falls into the “cool category”.
The cool factor for this Triathlon actually starts with my journey to the race! See, a friend of The Boss is a pilot, and a really cool guy to boot. Not only is he a pilot, but a big fan/supporter of The Boss and I and all of our racing endeavors! So for this particular race, the airline tickets were getting pretty outrageous and Tennessee airports (serving JetBlue and Southwest) still didn’t put us within distance of the race. For any readers unfamiliar with Triathlon and Cycling, the fees for travel with a bike can range from $100-$180 one way! Now causing airfare+ bike ticket+baggage to be pretty unaffordable for a race that cost anywhere from $80-$250 (or $500 for Full Ironman) to register for. So I think now you may know where I’m going with this….
Yup! We hitched a ride on a very own plane escort to Knoxville! Knoxville conveniently has a private airport about 3 miles from the start line! Once we are all aboard it’s time to take flight! And then since I was secluded in the back… I figured once the plane took off, it would be a fine time for a NAP!
We all agreed that it was super slick that we could actually fit both of our bikes, transition bags, helmets, wetsuits, and all of the other junk we have to take to the races in the plane! … however we also agreed that this would not have been possible if I actually rode a bike that was bigger than a 48 frame! The Boss calls it the “Doll Bike”, or more recently he has referred to it as the “Circus Bike”… I think he’s just mad because although my bike might look like a little circus toy…he actually lives with Real Live Clown Feet! hahaha
Moving on! I woke up to some pretty terrifying turbulence, but then I saw an incredible view! Pretty soon after that we had landed and we were in full race mode!
I’ll skip ahead to race morning! This is were the nerves start to settle for me. I get to my bike rack, lay out all of my stuff, and start to focus! I love the transition area... I lay everything out just the way I want it for the most efficient transitions I can throw down!
I'll go ahead and insert here a great tip that my Coach taught me. "Put your socks on and then roll them back half way before leaving them in your bike shoes". That way they are ready to roll come transition chaos!
Once I was set and ready to roll, The Boss and I actually had 20 minutes to burn before walking down to the the swim start. So, what better fun than to go check out the Pro’s transition set up! Those guys and gals are something else!
If you ever want to learn more about efficient transition set ups, flying mounts, and absolute speed through out this portion of the race I HIGHLY recommend finding the opportunity to get to a pro race and see them in action! WILD is all that I can say! WILD!
So, after a few long minutes of staring and awing at the Pro’s and their “stealth” like presence that surrounds them, it was time for me to head down to the swim! Her e I stood and waited. And Waited. Did I mention waiting? Yeah, there were close to 35 minutes of waves to go off ahead of me! The Boss was actually out of the water and on his bike before I even cannon balled off of the dock and into the river! And for some sick reason, the race director thought that putting the 25-29 year old females in the same race as the CLYDESDALES was an excellent distribution of categories!! Great, I can’t wait to get mauled buy the bear size men (who are traditionally pretty strong swimmers- ahem, they do have a little extra flotation!) before I even make it to the first swim buoy. I’m not going to lie, I had myself pretty worked up about the sound of the air horn, and the mass of men who were going to thrash me in the water!
Then it was off to the bike course! I thought that this was a really great course, lots of rollers, twists and turns; a very technical course. I will say though, that there were some moments on the bike that I had to hold onto the aero bars as tight as I could and just hope there wasn’t going to be a car coming from around the corner! There were some really tight turns while descending at a very fast pace… knowing that the loop was closed would have made the race much more satisfying!
Before I knew if I was off and running! Unfortunately I have been disappointed by my run results during my past two races. I keep getting really sick on the run. I should be posting paces that are close to 6:30-6:40, and instead I’ve been averaging 7:24 and 7:04min/mile. Both unacceptable in my mind, but both affected by the one part of our body that we don’t really train… our stomachs. I get a crazy stitch in my stomach.. that’s right in my stomach, not my abdomen or side…right in my stomach. This stitch keeps leaving me hunched at a 90 degrees in the middle of the road. Errrr to go from a 6:28 to a 7:48 with only 2 miles to go really hurts my feelings. Especially when I see the results later and am made painfully aware that I was less than 10 seconds from 4th and under 50 seconds from a spot on the podium with 3rd place.
But you know that’s that, and next time I either have to push through the pain or just not look at the results! haha You can’t sit in front of the results screen and penny-pinch seconds of your race, it’ll drive you nuts! Overall I am really pleased with my race, and I learn a whole lot from each race that I enter.
Anyways, when the race was over I was really lucky to bump into these cool cats! What an honor! Do you know who these guys are? If not it’s time to do your homework! Then on the opposite end of the spectrum I also bumped smack into…
Anyways, until next time. Ride safe and bake often!