For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to travel all the way across the country from sweaty Florida to climb over 3000ft in the Rev3 Portland Half. I do not specialize at the half distance, nor do I have much experience with it. However, I figured it would just be a slower and longer Olympic distance race. Well, I was wrong.
My goal for the swim was to stay behind red and purple caps. Meredith Kessler and Becky Lavelle had different colored caps on because they were two of the main contenders of the race. I knew they were the better swimmers in the field so I followed their bubbles and cruised through the swim. The race was over 4 hours so I decided to hold back in the swim and wait to use that energy climbing the mountain. I also had “Call Me Maybe” stuck in my head during the 1.2 mi swim…it must have been playing before the start. As always I had a quick T1 and was the first out on the bike course.
Honestly, I had no idea of what was going to happen on the bike. I train in Florida…so I do not really get a chance to practice climbing or descending through technical switchbacks. The climbing was actually really fun, and the descents even better. I took a lot of chances and made up time on the down hills. If I crashed, then I crashed. I was not going to ride my brakes the whole time though and get dropped. I trusted in myself and in my QR CD.O1. The last part of the course was miserable. I do not think I did my nutrition exactly how I should have and I had 0 energy for the last 15miles. I stayed focused though and with the encouragement of the AG Olympic distance racers I made it to T2 alive.
I was 1:30 down off the bike to 3rd and 4th place. Like an idiot, I ran my first 2.5 miles way too fast. I think I thought I was doing a 10k…not 13.1 miles. Anyways, I focused on technique and my cadence and trusted that I would catch some people. By mile 6 I was in third place and I maintained to the finish line ignoring the massive cramps in my legs. The aid stations saved me…seriously. Coke is a miracle. Ice in the suit…also a miracle.
It was a good feeling to finish 3rd to Angela and Meredith. I look forward to racing my second half in the Dells. I am training in the Midwest until then to get ready for it. See you then!