I must start by saying I did not plan on reporting about Raleigh this weekend. It feels strange not to be up at Rev3 Quassy where I had planned on another shot at that monster course! With the pro races cut from Rev3, I had to go to plan B and drive a few hours south to Raleigh for my first IM branded race in quite some time. With the race being so close, I (we) decided that I could stay home and help with Sidney all the way to Saturday afternoon and make it a quick trip. After a quick wake up swim and last minute diaper change I loaded up the new Subaru, put the bike on the AWESOME new 1UP bike rack and hit the road.
|Best Bike Rack Ever|
My plan was to arrive right before the 3pm pro meeting, but en route I double checked the time and saw it was a 1pm meeting that I would never make! I try to be professional and follow the 'mandatory' part of the pre-race meeting, so I panicked for a bit as I drove a bit too fast to try to make it... Until I realized that the 1pm meeting was for Eagleman next weekend! Too many last minute changes in my life apparently. I arrived early and relaxed and took some time to stretch out before the meeting.
I met up with a few fellow Pelsuo Open Water Coaches at Mellow Mushroom for a bit of pre-race pizza before heading to bed at the glorious 8:00 hour! I knew I'd need the sleep if I was going to pull off any sort of result.
Race morning came early with a 3:30 wake up and 4:30 shuttle ride to transition. Everything was very well run and I made quick work of bike set up. I took some time to go through some running drills and make sure that the body was relatively problem free. It was slow going, but by the end of warm up I felt surprisingly good. Mentally, my mindset was boosted by some of the most welcome news of the morning... After visiting my privileged port-a-potty, I got my mind ready to race.
The race started with an in-water start and wetsuit swim. Even though the water temp was 75, the WTC Pro rules allow a wetsuit up to 76 instead of the USAT rule of 68, so this was a big difference for me. Luckily, I'm in the best suit out there with the BlueSeventy Helix and I made quick work of the swim. I came out with Matt Chrabot in tow and a decent gap to the main competitors in the field. I hit the bike and knew it was time to turn the screws.
|First Out of the Water|
On the bike, my legs felt strong as I opened up a gap on everyone except Matt, who was riding well enough to keep me in sight for the whole ride. By the 1/2 way point, I knew I'd be following the lead car the entire ride and kept the pressure on knowing the runners were out there somewhere. I focused on staying on top of my nutrition and am happy to report that the new First Endurance EFS HP prototype is incredible (NOT just a sponsored athlete saying so either). I was able to stay hydrated and fueled without any signs of GI issues heading into the run. My 2:12 split was good enough to put me into a position to podium so I hit the run optimistic yet unsure of how my body would hold up for the 13.1 mile run.
|Do I look crooked to you?|
I was happy with my effort and pleased with the result knowing that in all honesty I'm racing at probably 80-85% of my capacity. It's encouraging to know that I can perform at this level while dealing with such a compromised recovery/sleep situation. Almost as if to remind me of my state, I came home to check my phone after the race and this was the notification that was waiting!
After the race, I connected with a few of the many RVA athletes and found a great burger place called Chuck's in Downtown Raleigh before heading to awards. Sadly, only 2 of the top 5 men decided that the awards ceremony was important, so the men's professional field appeared anything but in the eyes of the spectators. No wonder Rev3 has decided that we as a group aren't adding value to their races!