Sometimes I feel like I make a decision about a race and count down to it for so long that it feels like it is never going to get here. This happened with Rev3 Williamsburg without a doubt. I ended up at the expo on Saturday thinking to myself and saying out loud, “I can’t believe I’m actually here!” But I want to back it up a little bit first.
I was in Atlanta the week prior to the race at a great conference for work. I loved every second of the conference, but as an entire week of intensive can be, I was extremely tired by the end of the day on Thursday. It was hard to fathom at that point doing another day of learning and then a long drive to race a 70.3. Though I had planned for it to be an A race, there were small thoughts of “just have fun” floating in my head. And on top of that, my bike spent the week at a bike shop in Atlanta that had come by recommendation but that I wasn’t as familiar with as the one that I go to in Tampa. All of that together made for an interesting week before an A race.
As I was thinking ahead to a 9.5 hour drive from Atlanta to Williamsburg split up over Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, I started thinking of other options. I talked to Brittany, another Rev3 teammate, to find out her driving situation, and it worked out that we could drive together! I drove the 2.5 hours to her house in Augusta on Friday night, and we left from Augusta on Saturday morning for the 7.5 hours to Williamsburg.
We went straight to the expo when we got to Williamsburg, which I was so excited about. I didn’t get to go to summit, so this was the first time I got to meet some of the other members of the Rev3 Age Group Team! They were all so nice and welcoming, and it eased some of my nerves about meeting new people. I wish I had gotten more pictures with them and at the expo
second half of the bike course was far more hilly than the first half.
It was during this time that I had to really check in with my legs to
see how they were feeling. I was using the multisport function of my
watch for the first time and actually couldn’t figure out how to see my
speed, so I just judged by feel. I took water bottles from three aid
stations and otherwise drank skratch from my downtube bottle.
we were on the long stretch at State Road 693 there were a lot of
rollers with a few more steep hills, but the two biggest hills of the
course came after mile 40. The one out and back stretch had a big
downhill on the way out which then turned into a big uphill on the way
back, and at mile 48 or so there was a huge downhill where we couldn’t
see the bottom because of the curve. As soon as I got to the bottom I
looked ahead and saw a very steep but short hill, so I dropped into the
small ring and pushed. All the people around me were struggling and a
guy ahead of me had unclipped and stepped down. I’m not sure if it was
just such a surprise to me or if it was really that steep, but it was
the hill that I had the most trouble with on the whole course. It took
me a minute at the top to recover and bring my heart rate back down.
there to T2 it was pretty smooth sailing. There were still slight
incline and declines, but I’ve learned that people outside of Florida
wouldn’t call them hills, even though we here in Florida would have.
got to T2 and saw that there were a handful of bikes in the racks
around me, so I knew I wasn’t in the top 3 for my age group. I still
wanted to have a good run and didn’t feel like I had burned my legs out
too badly on the bike. I was tired, but I thought I still had a really
solid run left in me. In my head I had hopes for a sub 2:00 run.
started out on the run and turned onto the trail they had told us about
beforehand. We were told it was hardpacked trail, but in my head I
viewed it as being flat. It was four loops of the same course, so I knew
what I was facing with each twist and turn would come back around three
more times. As I got onto the gravel and dirt and climbed up hills and
twisted and turned onto more hills, I started thinking that this was
going to be harder than I had expected. It was really nice that the
first 1.6 miles of each loops was shaded, but the elevation gain wasn’t
small. When we got out to the pavement there were more slight inclines
and declines. Again, I don’t know if people outside of Florida would
call them hills, but they were hills by my definition.
liked that it was a loop because I knew what I was going to be facing
each time, but by the third and fourth time that I did it I was tired of
it and feared what I knew was coming around each turn. I’d say the pros
and cons balanced themselves out. I definitely wasn’t able to keep the
paces that I had planned, though. I blamed it on the hills and the
trail, but I’m thinking that it was also partly because of my higher
average on the bike. On each loop the first mile would be the slowest,
and then they would descend over the next two miles.
the end I did let myself walk through the aid stations on the fourth
loop. Otherwise I didn’t walk at all, which was a mental victory. I kept
wanting to walk on the uphills when I saw many others doing it. But I
also kept repeating the saying from Beth, Tori, and Steve, “Don’t be the
carnage!” So I just pushed up the hills and kept going, knowing that a
downhill would be coming soon.
far as nutrition was concerned I took a PowerGel starting the third
loop and a PowerGel starting the fourth loop. I also carried a pack of
chews with me from transition and ate those on the first loop. I took
water and/or gatorade from every aid station.
I was coming in to the finish I was running near a Team RWB member who
took a flag from someone cheering for her. He told her she makes a right
turn then runs around a track and we were done, and I almost just
stopped racing. I could not have run around a track. I didn’t see how it
would be possible with the distance we were at, but I hadn’t seen the
finish line before so wasn’t sure if maybe he was right. When I got to
the turn up ahead I saw the finish line just down the chute and was so
so happy! No track to run around!
didn’t get that 5:30 that I was hoping for, but the course was a bit
different than I was expecting. It was still a 14 minute PR from Rev3
Florida, which was a flat course, so I’ll take it as a big win!
hung out with Rev3 teammates for a little bit before hopping right back
into the car for the 7.5 hour ride back to Augusta. I then drove the
last 7.5 hours from Augusta to Tampa on Monday morning. It was a heck of
a weekend following a busy week.
was fantastic, and I think part of the course went with a current,
which gave me a nice time. I’m not sure on that, though, because part of
it would have also been against the current. The bike course was
outstanding. Though hillier than I expected, I liked it a lot. I was
very happy with everything about it, and besides being a good course it
was also good training for Chattanooga. And the run course was fine. It wasn’t my favorite, but the part in the woods kept us shaded, and the hills were an equalizer for sure.
had a wonderful time meeting my Rev3 Teammates, and I’m so glad I did
this race! It was my first out of state triathlon, and it was the
perfect one to start with!