In relative terms, “last place” can mean a lot of things. I should know, I’ve been last out of the water at all but one pro race I’ve done over the past 3 years. The good thing is, there is a huge difference between last by 6 or 8 minutes and last by a minute.

I was 13th (and last) out of the water at Rev3 Portland yesterday. Predictable and familiar, but what the split doesn’t tell you is I actually swam with two other athletes for half the swim. Then I was like “jeez this is going on forever” and I ran into a rope and then their feet and arms were gone and gone. Gone by a minute by the time I hit the swim exit. But for that glorious first 1k or so you could almost say I was in a “pack”! It was awesome!

Then I biked hard. I’d even say I biked well. Finally! I was motivated by the fact that my swim at least put me in striking distance. On top of that, I am learning to combine trainingfuel,recoveryequipment (and equipment), and fit** effectively. My head and legs stayed in the game, and I came off the bike in 10th.

Then I ran hard. I don’t run with a GPS or heart rate in races, just mile markers and my watch and girls I need to chase. Two of them I caught, one of them I couldn’t quite, and I finished a solid 8th. My splits seemed to flag a bit from miles 7 through 11, trading in my nice high 6:20s for low 6:50s, but I still eeked out an average pace of 6:34 – the course was rumored to be about 0.1 mile short, but with a T1 run of 0.4 miles, I think it more than evened out in the end!

My splits, and everyone else’s, are here. The run and the finish time are both PR’s for me. I’m feeling happy and validated.

I’ve sung Rev3’s praises on this blog before, and after this weekend I’m compelled to do it again. What a great race experience! They treat everyone, pros and amateurs and spectators alike, incredibly well – food, ambiance, quality schwag, a safe course, and more. The course and venue had to deal with some eleventh-hour stumbling blocks but you wouldn’t know it given how smoothly everything went on race day.

So. I wasn’t planning on racing Rev3 Anderson in October due to school, but after this weekend, I’m determined to make the trip to South Carolina. I make the choice to race Rev3 in part because they are one of my team sponsors, but the more important factor for me is the overall race experience, a calculation based on opportunity cost of what else I could be racing that might be more fun (haven’t found a viable candidate yet), as well as pure monetary cost of travel and resources.

So, thanks everyone, and I’ll see you soon!

**Fit was the biggest change since my last race, I had a fit appointment at Retul with Mat Steinmetz the week following an uninspiring ride at Rev3 Quassy.

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