Since Anderson my training volumes have scaled way back and I have found speed. That was a very good thing because in order to have success at Rev3 Florida…I was going to need a lot of it.
The days leading into the race were 25+ mph winds out of the Northwest stirring up waves that were 10+ ft tall with rip currents. The day before the race, I decided to head out and see if the water was as bad as it looked. It took me over 30 minutes to swim the 1K around the pier at Venice beach. I would swim and swim and swim and the rip current would be pushing me back or pulling me down shore…If they were going to allow the professionals to swim, it was going to be epic.
Race morning swim cancelled and 1.54 miles of running added. I was frustrated not because I have been swimming all that well, but because by cancelling the swim and adding more running it brings athletes into the race that would not have been had there been a swim…especially a rough water swim. Racing is racing, I refocused inside and replanned my race. I went back to the car, thankful that I drove the 20+ hours down, because I packed a 2nd set of race flats.
Let’s DU it -
I broke out my old race flats for the first run and found Eric Limkemann before the start. I know that he usually uses a GPS and that we have similar run form. We knew if we spiked our heart rate that we would never get going on the bike, so we decided that 5:20 sounded like a good pace. It was only going to be 8.5 minutes until you were biking and how much time could you lose in a 3.5 hour race? How about 46 seconds and I ran sub 5:10 pace.
As I approached my bike in T1 Joe Umphenour was grabbing his bike which was right next to mine as I was about to get to mine. I yelled “Joe,” to get his attention so he didn’t spin around and take us both out. I got to thank him for pausing for that 1/2 a second. I mounted the bike 27th in a field of 29 pros…but with my legs well intact.
I jumped on the bike and set sail with a monster tail wind. The packs were already detonating in the tail wind. Instead of a peloton of 25 guys, it was 2 here 5 there. All I know was by mile 10 that Orbea was in 3rd only 20 seconds down to Jesse (Thomas) and right on Collins, mile 20 and 30 it was Jesse hounding me and nobody else in sight. I kept my legs red lined, I knew the only way to get a top 5 in this field is to inflict maximal pain on the bike and a great way of doing that is going through the first 30 miles in 58:30…30.8mph.
Head wind time, 26 miles of torture. By mile 45 Jesse had disappeared from the picture and I was watching that clock tick, my quads and calfs were cramping, my back was screaming, my mind was driving a sub-two hour bike split and there was no stopping it. I dismounted and as I split my watch in T2 it said 2:00:04…I laughed as I ran out of T2 trying to figure out when I started the split, to miss by 4 seconds would be rather disappointing…but I would learn after the race that my official bike split was 1:59:56…How about those apples!
I ran the first mile pushing through some very heavy brick legs. I pushed hard to the first turnaround at mile 4, I wanted to convince as many people as possible that they were out of the hunt. It was shortly after that turnaround that I realized that I was going to have to push hard for a long long time. Somehow I was about 2 minutes up on Jesse who appeared to be struggling, 4 on Collins, and 6 back to the hounds including Zymstev, VanOrt, Collington, Cunningham, need I go on. I pushed and pushed hard as I pounded Gu’s trying to keep life in my legs.
I was pushing a pace that I was not sure I could maintain, walking was creeping into the picture as I continued to keep the hammer down. Jesse was coming and coming fast but so was that finish line. At mile 11.5, Jesse made contact and through a surge on me. I kept pressing, but he quickly gapped out to 15 seconds by mile 12.0. Then he started to cramp and I nailed him back to 5 seconds by 12.5 miles. He gathered his legs and was gone as my wheels fell off.
After 5 minutes I was able to collect a few thoughts and do a post race interview. My mind and body shelled from the flat fast hammer fest. I raced my heart out and as much as I hate losing I love giving it my all.
Check out the entire Pro race re-cap here-
Now it is time to recover and I know you all can’t wait to see what I will do next!!!
Edit. We (Rev3) would like to add to this post. Andrew’s next adventure happened to be IM Florida less than one week later. Not only did Andrew win, he also set the record for the fastest IM bike split EVER! Congrats Andrew!
To follow Andrew in his day to day interactions, visit: http://astarykowicz.blogspot.com/