On race morning Adam and I were up at 4:45 for a quick breakfast. We headed to the race at 5:15 and of course I happened to get pulled over not knowing what the highway speed limit was. Thankfully the officer let me off with a warning knowing we were racing...I think he felt sorry for the pain we were about to face. We got our transition area set up and went out for a short 10 minute warm up jog before heading to the swim start. There were 25 guys racing in the pro field competing for their share of a $50,000 prize purse that paid 10 deep.
RUN: In my 2nd transition I took my time. I was hurting getting off the bike and was not very confident with how the run would go considering how tired I was and my lack of run training over the past 8 weeks. I put on my Live Uncommon race jersey and grabbed my GPS watch and switched socks since mine were soaked from going to the bathroom 3 times on the bike. I headed out for the run at what felt like a terribly slow pace but when my GPS located satellites it said I was running 6:40's. I was pretty surprised by that because it felt easy. I don't race with heart rate but I knew my heart rate was down so that was good. My back felt good which I think was due to the massage I got from Mike Eskridge before I left on Thursday. Mike worked on my back a lot because I had back problems at Steelhead. I wanted to make sure I didn't get going too fast too soon like I did in Arizona last year. I made sure to remind myself to be patient but the miles kept feeling easy in the 6:30-6:40 range. A few miles into the race I started asking spectators for a Bears/Colts score update. No one was helping me out with this but a lot of the people on the side of the road said they would get me the update when I ran by them later. I got to see Adam at around mile 7 and he looked great. I was still feeling great and was taking my GU's until I ran out of them. At the aid stations I was taking water and coke. At mile 10 I started thinking I might be able to break 9 hours even with the terribly slow swim. I knew it would take a huge effort and I had no room to bonk on the run. I had to run a 2 hr. 55 minute marathon which is right about what I was on pace for. I started getting excited when people on the road gave me Bears updates and when I heard they were up 24-10 I ran a 6:00 mile which I would pay dearly for later. Just before the 1/2 marathon point the run started to get hard. It went from effortless to lots of effort in a hurry. At the 1/2 way point I took my special needs bag and drank part of a Red Bull which didn't make my tummy feel too great. I also too more GU's out on course with me since the run course served PowerBar gels and those are so runny my stomach wasn't liking them. In the 2nd half of the run I had to start digging really deep. My pace was slowing quickly and I knew it was going to be a sufferfest to the finish line which an Ironman should be. I kept telling myself to put one foot in front of the other. My pace went to about 8:00/miles by mile 15 but then at mile 17 I began to feel better for about 5 miles. My pace came back down to 7:15 and I passed a couple of the guys who had earlier passed me. I saw some of the guys in the pro race were starting to drop out and knew I was in around 15th place. One guy passed me with 2 miles left afte we had exchanged places 3 or 4 times on the run. I couldn't go with him as I was totally running on empty and just wanted to get to the finish line. I crossed the line with a 3 hr. 12 minute marathon after going through the 1/2 way point in 1 hr. 26 minutes. I really need to put in some serious run training before Arizona and I know I can run under 3 hrs. if I don't go out too hard. My total finish time was 9 hrs. 17 minutes for 15th place of the 25 guys that started the pro race. I was really proud of the effort. I went from not even being sure I wanted to race without a wetsuit and then gave up about 15 minutes to the main field to battle back and finish respectively. It was definitely my best pro race without a wetsuit in the 3 I've done. I also went into this race not feeling like I was very fit. I have averaged about 30 miles running a week over the past 8 weeks. Before Arizona last year I averaged 60 miles/week for 6 weeks. I plan to take this week off to get recovered and then will have 9 weeks left until Arizona. I'll put in some big training and also get leaner for this one. I weighed about 164 lbs. for this race in Cedar Point which is a lot for me. I'll be around 150 for Arizona but I need to make sure I get there without sacrificing the power I've gained on the bike. I have plenty of bad weight on my stomach to get rid of.
Adam finished 11th in his pro debut with a time of 9 hrs. 1 minute. We will both be going to Arizona to break 9 hrs. It was an awesome trip that I would not have made if Adam wasn't racing in Cedar Point. This race definitely has me remotivated for my last race of the year. It made me realize I can go under 9 hrs. I realize I was 17 minutes off but I'll get almost 10 of that in the swim as Arizona is a guaranteed wetsuit swim. After the race we went to dinner with about half of the pro field and ironically one of the guys there asked me what number I was and when I told him 42 he said they gave him my special needs bag. He tried my drink but said it was disgusting and tossed my bag back to them. Unfortunately they didn't get it back in the right spot for me and I never got it. He was number 22 and when he rode through special needs they yelled out 42 instead of 22.
My overall experience with Rev3 was a great one. They definitely have athletes in mind when they put the race together. They do a lot of things to make the race a great experience for all involved. Although Rev3 is a new series and they have some organizational things that will get worked out like the special needs station they work extremely hard to put on a quality event for those who race there. I'm glad to see this series grow and hopefully break up the Ironman monopoly on long distance racing. Rev3 had free post race compression boots that served as a nice massage as well as free ART. At my last Ironman 70.3 in Steelhead they were charging athletes for post race massage. Rev 3 also had a very entertaining "worst wetsuit" competition on Saturday where they had people bring their worst wetsuits and they gave away 2 free new wetsuits to those who had the worst ones. They also photograph every participant and put their picture on a huge video board when they finish. The interviewed the overall amateur winners as the finish line which Ironman never does. The post race meal was better than I've had at Ironman events. The photo below is from Adam on the bike course. We didn't have anyone to take pictures but the Rev3 crew got a few images of us. Be sure to read Adam's report at www.strivingadam.com I'll be doing more Rev3 races in future years. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!