REV3 Knoxville Track 3: I’m About to Come Alive

13 05 2010

Life with Kati:

Me:  O-k, plan is to wake up at 6am, and we leave for transition at 6:30.  I really want to leave at 6:20, but I’ll wait for you until 6:30 – then I’m leaving you.

Paul:  My watch is set for 6 am.  Got it.

6:15 – Paul is still in the shower

6:18 – Paul is just getting out of the shower and I am dressed, packed with my transition bag on my back.

6:19 – “Um, honey, it’s almost 6:20, are you going to be ready to go in the next 2 min.?

Paul – “You said 6:30!”

Me – “But I really meant 6:20!”

I am delightful to live with and even more delightful to travel with : )

Pre-race:  We walked down to transition and got everything set up.   (for those racing next year it was about an 8 min. walk down from the Hampton Inn)  I sipped on my bottle of Orange EFS (First Endurance) with one scoop of Pre-race.  It was a chilly morning so I put my XTerra Vendetta wetsuit early to stay warm.  The weather was perfect for the day, cool in the morning making the river feel warm to jump into, sunny and gorgeous around 70 at the finish line.

I was pro-oogling! That is Big Matty Reed - the race winner

The Swim:  34:xx

Photo by Eric Willis

This was an in water start and we got in about 3 min. before our wave started – plenty of time to (pee)  warm up.   The horn sounded and we were off!  I was focusing on lengthening my stroke since I really felt like I was short stroking during the Smith Mountain Lake sprint a few weeks before.  I have really cut back on pool time this year, instead investing that time on the bike.  We swam towards the sun which was rather blinding, so I had to rely on the shoreline to sight for our 1/3 out against the current.  After we rounded the bouy I was able to actually take a look at the swimmers around me and tried to get a draft off a girl that was swimming near me.  That didn’t really take, either I was swimming very inconsistenly or she was, because as soon as I would settle in off her hip she would take off, or slow way down.   All in all it was a very uneventful swim.  At the turn around for the Oly we ran into a wave of yellow caps that were a challenge to swim through, but otherwise it was a pretty clear shot the whole way.   I really enjoy river swims.  I would say of the four choices (river, pool, lake or ocean) for a race I would choose river because I think the sighting is easier with a shoreline.

What limited my ability to do better:  Lack of training.  This was an average swim for me.  Compared to years past my effort level was harder to maintain this pace, but I knew that would be the case coming in.  I would like to put some good time into my swimming over the summer and hope that by Cedar Point this time will be closer to 30:00.

T1:  3:xx

I thought I was a little speedier than this in transition, but we did have to run across the street and my rack was in the far back corner, so not a huge surprise.   I put on socks (I couldn’t find the socks I packed for the race so I had to wear my short compression socks which worked fine but were hard to get on!), grabbed my EFS Liquid Shot flask, my Trakkers device and off I went.  Because it was a half and I didn’t know much about the mount line etc. I opted to put shoes on at my rack and run in them rather than having them attached to my bike.

Photo by Eric Willis

Bike:  3:13:xx

Let me just say that this was one of my favorite bike bike courses ever to ride.  I really like some hills on a ride and this one didn’t disappoint!    I am a fairly conservative rider so the technical parts of the course (there were plenty of those!!) slowed me down a lot, but I really enjoyed them!  The first 15 miles were pretty hilly with some sustained climbs, but after we broke off from the OLY course it was much more rolling.   I found traffic to be very light and very polite and the volunteers wonderful.  At the first aid station I took one bottle of water (I had 2 2 scoop bottles of grape EFS already)

During a half bike I am usually done and ready to get off that (damn)  bike by around mile 30.  I also usually have to stop 2 – 4 times for pee breaks.  This time, neither!  I had a wonderful time on the bike and even passed a few folks!  I took a sip of liquid shot every 20 min and aimed to drink one bottle of my 200 cal. grape EFS every 1.5 hours.  I followed my plan to a T and was rewarded with not so much as a twinge in my stomach and NO (that’s right NONE) potty stops!  I think that has more to do with switching from coffee to pre-race on race morning.  Coffee seems to aggravate my bladder (TMI, I know!) but I really need the caffeine, so pre-race works GREAT for me!!

My effort was moderate to hardish.  I knew I really wanted to have a successful run, so I didn’t hammer the bike.   I also wanted to race this race and didn’t want to finish with any regrets, so I did put some good effort in!

What limited my ability to perform:  Nothing.  I think this was the right bike time for this course on this day for me.   The only thing I would change is to bring my bento box so that I don’t have to slow way down to grab my liquid shot from my back pocket.  Next time I will go harder on the bike and could probably take a good 5 min. off my time, but for this race I needed to pace it just right and that’s what I did!

T2:  2:xx

Back in transition I was happy to see that some of the racks around me were still empty!  Silly because I saw folks behind me on the out and back but it always make you feel better to know you aren’t last!!  I switched to my cool green Saucony Fastwich 4’s and grabbed a new flask of EFS Liquid Shot and I was outta there!

Run: 2:01:xx

This is where it usually falls apart for me.  I literally had never (up to this race) had what I would call a successful half ironman.  AND, my failure has always been on the run.  Again and again in my head at the start of this run I was singing to myself (o-k, sometimes out loud) I’m About to Come Alive. I felt great and just knew this was my race.  I knew by the start of the run that I wouldn’t meet my qualifying time of 5:45, but I was not at all upset.  I felt so good and was running 8:30 – 9:00 m/m’s which is solid for me.  The run course was very pretty and fairly flat until the OLY folks go to turned around and we went on for our extra few miles.  That’s when the hills began!  We were on a greenway winding through parks and by a stream but wow, there were a lot of little bumps to go over.

I sipped on my liquid shot every 2 – 3 miles and walked through a couple of aid stations to grab water.  The weather was beginning to get warmer, but still a pleasant 70 – so heat was not a factor in water consumption.  Around mile 5 I noticed that I was missing my sub 9 min.mile by a few seconds, but I was still running strong and feeling great!  I cheered on every runner that I passed.  A guy that was running for a relay said “Aw man, I just got chicked” when I ran by.  I just said “Yup!” and kept on trucking!

As we passed mile 11 and headed by transition the race directors played a cruel joke on us, we had to keep going up a slow incline, only to turn around and come back.  My pace was definitely slowing at this point but my effort was not so I was happy.  One last steep and mean hill to go up, only to turn around and run back down and I was on my way to the finish line!

What limited my ability to perform:  Nothing.  This was a great run for me!  I finally felt like I won the battle of the run (between me and my legs!).  My nutrition was spot on for the bike and run, which made it a whole lot easier to actually have a good run.  It was such a boost every time I would pass someone and they would say “wow, look at you go!”

Post Race:  After I got my ultra cool finisher shirt (a new favorite) and medal, I met Paul, the kids and my aunt Barbra at the finish line.  My kids race report was:  This was fun!  They went up in the sphere during the am then actually enjoyed the finish line area.  Because E is still in a cast they couldn’t fully appreciate the bouncy’s and water features, but they thought the games and awards ceremony (for the OLY) were great!

Photo by Eric Willis

Photo taken from Janet's blog!!(

Paul finished about 12 min. ahead of me.  He had a great race too!    In the end we both missed our qualifying times, but we were both very happy with our results.  We sat down for a quick minute to sip some water before we had to take off to drop my aunt off at the airport, load everyone up and hit the road!  I will load up more pictures when they come.  Since Paul and I were both racing it was hard to get photos, but my aunt got some great finish line photos that I’ll post as soon as I get them!!

All in all it was a great event!  I know there were some timing glitches and some traffic problems, but I feel confident that by next year REV3 will have it all ready to put on another great race in Knoxville.   I would definitely recommend this race to others.  I have raced several other May half iron races and this one is the one I will choose in the future.




One response

17 05 2011
Heading to the Races: Gluten Free Style « CoachKati's Blog

[…]  REV3 Knoxville.  I did not one but THREE posts about this race last year, you can find them here.  This year I was not racing ( boo), but my husband was and a lot of my fantastic Trakkers/REV3 […]

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