I’ve been racing well this year and Rev3 Portland was no exception.  I’m still not racing GREAT, but I am happy to be seeing some solid improvement on a consistent basis.  Being 5 minutes off the win in a 4hr race is still a fair chunk of time, but it’s at least ‘in the race’ which I have never been before this season.

Rev3 puts on some great events, and they pulled this one off very well despite a last minute venue change.  It carried a feeling of a small town, local triathlon.  If you had stumbled upon the race you’d have a hard time believing there was a competitive pro field and sizable prize purse on offer.  I liked it.  Low key, but at the same time…not.

My one and only issue with doing non-WTC events is the USAT wetsuit cut-off of 68 degree water temperature for swims under 3000m.  In my mind that’s freaking ridiculous, I barely survive a swim in that temperature.  WTC’s wetsuit cut-off of 76 degrees is also somewhat ridiculous, but for the opposite reason:

Wetsuits + max effort 1.9km swim + 75.9 F water = serious overheating.
No Wetsuits + 68.0 F water + 1.9km survival swim =  pure suffering

photo by Eric Wynn

I handle overheating a lot better than hypothermia, but I’d rather not have to deal with either when it comes down to it.

On race morning they made the no wetsuit call with a 72.8 F water temperature.  Which is honestly plenty warm enough for even my skinny ass (literarily a skinny ass).  The problem was that some people had assumed the swim was going to be a wetsuit legal swim and therefor didn’t bring their swim skins (If you’re not familiar it’s essentially a swim suit that you’d put over your normal race gear).  Thankfully I had one, I always bring one (after learning my lesson at Rev3 Quassy), sometimes two – one rubberized for USAT and one non rubberized for WTC events.

Beach starts are officially my biggest weakness.  Having done two of them this year, both at Rev3 events and both non-wetsuit swims, I can officially say I suck at beach starts.  Somehow before I even take my first breath I’m shot out the back and flailing in white water trying to avoid getting kicked in the head.  Unlike Quassy however, I did manage to keep myself in touch with the group.  Though boxed in horribly.  I ended up having to wait until we rounded the first turn buoy to get myself out of the mess and start working my way up the field.  I gradually bridged from group to group and with 700m to go I went to the front of what I think was the 3rd group and tried my best to lift the pace a bit.  All said I think I came out of the water inside the top 15.  I swam really well from 300m on, but man did I ever f’ up the first bit.  Time to practice beach starts!

photo by Eric Wynn

I got out on to the bike with Nick Thompson.  Nick can run like a hot-damn (whatever that is).  Just 6 weeks ago he put down a 1:13 to run up to 2nd place at the Boise 70.3.  He is definitely a guy I do not want to be getting off the bike with and staring down 21.1km of running.  In fact I need more like a 2 minute buffer.  Same goes for Jesse Thomas who ran a 1:13 at Wildflower to win it (if you know that course, you know how ridiculous that is) and a 1:11 last Sunday on this very slightly short course.  I’m guessing it was about 1:30 short seeing as my mile 10, 11, and 12 splits were ran at just under 6:00 mile pace while the last 1.1 miles I clocked at 4:50.  Haha, not likely.

photo by Eric Wynn

So yeah, the first hour of the bike I knew I didn’t have the legs to get rid of Nick.  I was really having to keep the pressure on quite hard just to stay in touch, it actually felt like I was still wearing my swim skin around my quads.  Everything felt very tight and constricted.  Finally with about 25km left to ride I started feeling quite good and could see that Chris Bagg was opening up a gap on Nick.  I took that as my sign to get rid of some fast runners!  I took a big swig of Liquid Shot with Pre-Race and let it rip, hoping my legs would hold on to a solid effort.  I quickly got away and started reeling in some guys up the road.  Hopefully I can find a couple pictures of the new Blue Triad SL in action.  Such a sweet ride.0

Photo c/o Eric Wynn

Getting off the bike I didn’t think I could have put much time into Nick or Jesse.  Though, they didn’t show up in transition by the time I had left so i took that as I good sign.  Either way, I was feeling some good run legs so just kept the hammer down and waited for the first U-turn at mile 3 where I could take a back split.  Well, I had a 1:05 minute gap at that point.  10 miles and 1:05 minutes on runners like that is a tough gap to hold.  I did a good job of blocking them out of my mind though, and simply focused on moving forward as best I could.  Having seen Jordan Rapp and Richie Cunningham going the other way I knew I was about 4 minutes back of them.  That is nearly impossible to close unless they had problems.  I wasn’t sure how well the leader, Graham Ogrady, would run so figured he might come back if he faltered.  He didn’t.  At all.  Damion Hill was another guy I figured I could catch, along with Chris Mcdonald.  As it turns out, Chris is running a hell of a lot better than he was in April and really finished strong.  He didn’t come back far enough.  Damion did come back – I heard him puking his guts out as I ran by.  Sorry man, that sucks!  That put me in 5th and I was still hoping Chris, AKA Bigsexy, would lose it in the last few miles.  Come mile 9.5 however, I started going backwards myself.  I was ‘Guttored’ as the Kiwi, Graham, would say.  Both Jesse and Nick came by.

Jesse in his race glasses. Graham the winner. Moi on the right.

Jesse wearing his eye concealing aviator sunglasses.  He looks like he’s out for a Sunday stroll with those glasses.  It’s got to be a scare tactic.  His new nickname should be Mavrick.  Or Goose.  Iceman perhaps.  I didn’t let Nick get too far away, but Jesse  pretty much disappeared.  I swear as he ran by he said “You’re vector zero-nine-zero for bogey.  That’s a negative Ghost rider, the pattern is full.”

Meh.  Into the line for 7th.  I really don’t like going backwards on the run, even if it was to two of the best runners there.  I ran pretty well though with a 1:15 clocking.  I’d say it was actually a 1:16:3o or so on a complete 21.1km course.  That’s my slowest of the year outside of the back-to-back race i did at Boise, but still within a minute of my fastest this year.  All good.

Nutrition report:

Morning Breakfast: Toast with PB and J.  Coffee.  Ensure meal replacement.
Sipped on Ultragen (200 calories) for the couple hours before the start.

45min before race start:
A large 150 calorie swig of liquid shot followed by some water

On the bike:
2 x 200 calories of EFS Drink – drank it all (24oz bottle and a 20oz bottle)
1 x 4o0 calories of EFS liquid shot watered down in a 20oz bottle  – drank about 3/4 of it
I had 1 scoop of Pre race in each bottle – Vavvom

On the run:
Carried a liquid shot flask with a diluted 200 calories.  Sipped this at every aid station followed by a gulp of water. By mile 10 I was finished with it so carried on with coke at the aid stations.

This is the same thing I’ve been doing for 2 years now.  I may have changed it very slightly and I don’t always use Pre Race.  If it was hot I’d take in some more water.  But really, this is so simple and easy to implement. I’ve never bonked or had gastric issues with this set up.  Knock on wood!!