Rev3 OOB Maine was this past weekend and I can say it was a very wonderful experience outside of one item, which I will touch on at the end. Going into this race I felt very strong. I had dialed in my nutrition and hydration and training was going well. The one item that did not happen was a proper taper but that is because the goal race of the second half of the season is Ironman Arizona and not this race. That being said I was feeling good.
I flew into Maine on Thursday evening and was picked up by Jen Small of Miles, Muscles and Mommyhood and her friend Mark. We headed to her parent’s house and got all settled in. The next day we went for a morning swim to get used to the wetsuit, and for me, the water temperatures. I was afraid that I would be freezing and that lent a large hand to some anxiety heading into the race.
Saturday morning we went to a breakfast place and a surprise was given to me. I was able to meet Jen Roe of From Fat To Finish Line. This was a great surprise as I have been reading Jen’s blog for quite some time. After that surprise we headed to the expo to check in all our gear and then take a tour of the bike course. Seeing all the turns and routes was going to be helpful for the race, or so I thought.
When race morning came I was ready to go, but still had some anxiety over the swim. This was my first time swimming in the ocean and so the start plus the ocean gave me some pause. My wave was the first of the day and the horn was going off at an early time of 6:20am. We got to transition and after checking out all my gear, including spinning through the gears on my bike (foreshadowing), we all headed to the swim start. I jumped in the water and swam about 200 meters to get accustomed to the water and wetsuit. All felt good and before I knew it the time to stand in the starter’s chute was there.
Standing in the starter’s chute I felt the butterflies show up. When the horn went off I hit my watch and ran into the ocean with the other M30-34 and M35-39 athletes. I dove under a wave and started swimming. I felt really good right from the get go. I was sighting every 5 strokes and was able to spot the buoys, until the waves came and I splashed down into the ocean. It was an odd feeling to start this way but got very comfortable right away. Before I knew it I found the first buoy and the second buoy, which is the turn buoy and I knew I would be going with the current so I got settled in. As I was going I quickly found one buoy after the other but by the time I hit the 4th buoy to turn I felt like I was swimming forever. After making the turn I found the next buoy and was quickly getting pushed by the current to the right. I swam toward the left as much as possible and felt like I was always getting pushed toward the pier. When I finally hit sand with my arm I stood up and was given the advice to take my wetsuit off in the water. I tried as much as possible and fought with the arms and then the legs were a battle. After a while I finally got it off and started the 1500 foot run to the transition area.
In the transition area I quickly got my bike gear on and headed out to the mount line. The beginning of the bike course is up a hill and this should have been a hint that this course was not flat as I had been told. I was told that there was ONLY 900 foot of climbing on the bike route and so I felt that the race was going to be fast. It was around Mile 5 that I finally felt my legs responding or so I thought. I kept thinking that this was odd that my quads were so sore but thought it was due to swimming in a wetsuit and in the ocean and that they would finally loosen up. At that point my pace picked up and I felt like a strong ride was coming along until it wasn’t. The ride felt slow like molasses and then I had the be-jeezus scared out of me at MattyO passed me yelling. After my HR got back to normal I picked up my pace and felt as if Matt’s screaming was a shot in the legs. Then the failure happened. I stood up at the base of the first big climb as my legs were just not responding and I heard a loud metal ping followed by a few metal pings. I quickly pulled over got off the bike and spun my front tire to no noise. I then started to spin the back tire and that is when I noticed the broken spoke. I tried bending the spoke to wrap it around the other spoke to no avail.
I then picked up the bike over my head and walked up the hill. I needed time to cool off and get my mind straight and walking up the hill I figured would do both. When I got to the top of the hill I started messing with the spoke again. I tried flexing it to get it to snap but it never did. As I was trying to bend the spoke it would slide a bit. I finally slid it to the point that I was able to remove it from the wheel and able to start pedaling again. I immediately heard the noise of an aero tire not having all its spokes. Instead of the sound of a swarm of bees I heard a wind howling through the tire. I was caught off guard and pulled back the reins of the ride until I started getting passed by more and more athletes. I was even passed by a guy on a bike with toe cages and newtons. That’s right this guy did not even have clips and I got pissed at the situation and started riding harder and yelling at myself.
What was I yelling? I was yelling to myself: You are a f’n runner. You will run hard. You will run strong. You will run with anger and pass all the m’fers that just passed you. Just get to the mount line and start the hunt. Before I knew it I was heading down toward the dismount line. I removed my feet from my shoes, dismounted and ran into transition. Being so fired up I ran right past my transition area and had to back track. I put my bike in its spot tossed on my running shoes and visor and took off. I ran with purpose from the beginning.
My pace felt fast and strong and sure enough at Mile 1 the watch beeped and I looked down to see 7:47. My first thought was to pull back, followed by the second and most powerful thought of keep running and if you blow up then you blow up. I kept my plan to grab water at each aid station and take a swig of EFS from my flask every 2 miles. My goal for the race changed to running a 1:48 which would get me to the finish line in 5:40. I started hammering out the miles and fortunately I did not wear my HR monitor so I had no clue what zone I was in and didn’t care. I was running ANGRY.
I was hoping to see Matt further out on the course as I wanted to try to make up as much time on him as I could. I knew he had a huge lead on me and if I could close that gap at all I knew I would have a strong run since Matt is a strong runner. I never looked at my watch unless I heard the mile beep. I calculated in my head that I could not have a mile that was slower than 8:20. As the miles ticked off and the paces showed up I knew I was having a very strong run.
I finally saw Matt around Mile 6 for me and Mile 7 for him. I yelled that if I caught him that he had to become a vegetarian for a month. I wanted to help try and push him but he quickly responded with: You have to eat a bacon cheeseburger if I beat you. Well his words powered me and I started running harder. I finally passed Jen at the 6.5 mile mark and gave her some encouragement and then started the hunt. I was passing people and they were all encouraging me and telling me that I looked strong. At Mile 10 I felt the rub of my pinkie toe against my shoe. I decided to run sans socks and when that rub happened I knew I was facing a huge blister. Ignoring the pain in my quads, Achilles and toes I kept on pushing the pace and turned the corner toward the finish line. Knowing I only had so far to run I pushed even harder and crossed the finish line with a time of 5:36.
All in all I had a great race even with the issues of the rear wheel. After the race as I was walking my bike back to the car I noticed that the back tire was rubbing against the brake pad and I figured that this started from the beginning and caused the issues of my legs feeling so heavy from the outset. I finished the bike in 3:04 and while not too bad it was about 20 minutes slower than my past two 70.3 bike results. This course also had 1500 feet of climbing and not 900 feet like I was led to believe.
The biggest disappointment of this race was the finish. Not the finish line but the after race eats. NOTHING for a vegetarian. There were sandwiches of Ham & Cheese or Turkey & Cheese. Your other choice was a lobster plate that you had previously paid for. Again not for a vegetarian. When I asked for water I was told that it was only at the finish line or I could pay for more. I could pay for more? Really? I just paid $275 or whatever for this and there are no bananas, no oranges, no pretzels and I could PAY for water? Yeah, not so much.
The venue was terrific. The crowd support at the beach was excellent. The bike course was terrific and the run course was phenomenal. This had a lot of positives for an inaugural race and one I would recommend doing if you are looking for a terrific place to race.
In terms of my goals they stacked up pretty well:
Swim Goal: 37:00 – 39:00 Actual: 39:43 (my watch measured 1.4 miles on the swim and I swam on the buoys very closely)
Bike Goal: 2:50-3:00 Actual: 3:04:52 (I think that I lost about 20 minutes with the rear tire issues including the time spent to remove the broken spoke)
Run Goal: 1:50 – 1:53 Actual: 1:45:22 (run Angry my friends, run Angry)
Finish Goal: 5:23 – 5:38. Actual: 5:36:18
Thank you for reading!