It has been over a week since the race and was debating if I really wanted to write this “race” report. However, I think it will be good to put it down in writing so I know next year when I am there again what to do or as a motivational report.
The short version of this is I crashed on the bike and couldn’t run nor even walk and the race ended too early for me.
The long version:
I was in no way in shape or ready to give it my 100% for this race. The month of Ramadan ended in mid August and I had only 3-weeks to get me back in shape. However, I did plan for the month off and I was in best shape before then so I used that month as a break from training, recover, and be ready to go back at it to prep me for Ironman Cozumel.
I wanted to use Rev3 Half as a tune up race and measure my fitness. I logged over 14 hours/week training the past three weeks and didn’t really taper for this except cutting my workout short on Friday and long swim on Saturday with some sprints at the end and a short easy run with some strides at the end.
My bike usually fit in the trunk of my car and I feel a lot more comfortable putting my bike there. However, I was taking the kids with me to the athlete check in and had no choice but to use the roof rack. I was thinking of putting the bike inside the car and the kids on the roof rack instead but wasn’t sure if that would fly. I am sure the kids would’ve had a blast though!
Arrived at Cedar Point and picked up my race number and all the goodies and checked in my bike and headed back home to get some rest and have dinner. For what ever reason, I always feel like I am coming down with something the day before a race and just feel run down. I really feel like I need to incorporate a lot more sleep few days before a race.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to attend the “mandatory” age group athlete meeting. Been to too many races so how important that can be, right? Rev3 decided to change some plans and keep the transition area open on race day until 7:30am and that was announced during that meeting that I decided not to attend. They had 6:30am in the athlete guide, that is a full hour of sleep that I lost.
I got up around 3:30 am, thinking transition will close at 6:30am that would give me enough time to shower, eat and make the 1-hour drive to Cedar Point. I didn’t want to be rushed in transition and wanted to give myself 45-min there. Not really sure I need that much time but for whatever reason time seems to fly when I am there.
Made some changes to my race morning breakfast and this time I decided to only eat a sesame bagel with almond butter and honey, a banana, and 1 piece of Giraffe Banana Coconut. I made coffee and decided to drink it on my way to Cedar Point.
Made a final check before leaving the house and got in my car and started the drive. Right before getting onto the Ohio Turnpike, I realized I left one important thing in the house. That was my coffee. Now I had to make a decision to either turn back or just keep driving. I decided to keep going and hopefully I will find coffee on the way.
Starbucks doesn’t open until 6am so that wasn’t an option unfortunately. They really need to get with the program and realize on Sundays triathletes are up at some crazy hours in the morning and they need their coffee. The only thing I found open was McDonald. Haven’t been there for ages. I drove through the drive through and ordered their premium coffee. For some reason, the woman at the cashier gave me the coffee and closed the window right away without taking money. I tried to wave and get her attention but she didn’t even look back so I kept on driving.
Arrived at Cedar Point and transition area was fairly empty. Only the Full Rev athletes were there. Not until 45min the half rev athlete started showing up.
Got my area all setup and headed to the beach. Got my wetsuit on and about 15 min from my wave start about 8:25am, I took 1x Clif Espresso shot and went for a quick warm up swim. The lake looked calm and perfect.
I was feeling good and just ready to get going with the race.
The Swim: (35:10)
The swim was a beach start and the water was knee deep for about 300-400 yards. Lined myself at the start of the line as I usually like to do and went off. Few dolphin dives and started swimming. I wanted to keep my pace comfortable and try to draft off someone. Since I had no idea who is around me, for whatever reason I just have a hard time trusting the person in front of me and sometime drafting seems to slow me down since I have to look for their feet and sight to make sure they are going straight. However, after few hundred yards, I realized the person was actually sighting well so I stayed with him. After the first turn, all of the sudden, I got one of these spring like sneeze attacks that I usually get. I did take my Nasonex the night before and also took Zyrtec. However, something in the lake triggered my sneeze. I didn’t want to slow down or stop so I was taking one breath and sneezing in the water, take another breath, and sneez. That lasted for few hundreds yards and then it stopped. This never happened to me. I usually don’t sneeze until I am out of the water but never ever while swimming.
Made the last turn and was happy to get out of the water. My swim was a LOT slower than I wanted to but I was kind of expecting a slow swim. I wasn’t feeling good about my swim the last few weeks and haven’t been in the pool much. However, apparently many athletes also complained about slow swims and possibly the swim was a little long.
Nothing special there, ran out of the water to my bike and was out of T1.
I was happy to get on the bike, first half iron distance with my new power meter and was eager to see how the ride will go. I was targeting 210-220 watts. The first section of the bike was to get out of Cedar Point on Cedar Point drive. That was a tight one lane road and open to traffic and bumpy. Kept my head down and kept pedaling. I didn’t want to drink or eat until I get into a comfortable pace and lower my HR. I got stuck behind a car that was going very slow and was trying to be careful passing another athlete. So to keep moving I decided to pass the car on the left and the other athlete. That was probably not the safest thing to do but the other option was to stay behind the car and go at a much slower speed than I wanted to. Not sure if it is legal either. Didn’t see anything about pacing cars in the athelte guide. The pass was completed successfully in less than 15 seconds 🙂 and kept on peddling until we made the turn on Rt 2. That road was busy with cars and fast moving cars. There was a bike lane but again when you are faced with the decision to pass other athletes it gets a little uncomfortable with cars going 50+ mph right by you. That was for couple of miles until we got out of harm way into the country roads. I got into my pace now and started sipping water every 10-minutes and EFS shots every 20-min. Kept that going throughout the ride targeting about 300 calories per hour.The bike route is basically a 56 miles loop, the full Rev will do most of it twice.
Passed a lot of the full Rev athletes until we got to one section where we got separated from the full Rev athletes. It got very lonely there and I just kept watching my watts and trying not to push too hard to set myself up for a good run.
At every aid station, I throw away my water bottle and grabbed another one. Kept that going whether my water bottle was empty or not and was working well for me.
There was an aid station about every 10 miles. As I got close to the last aid station around mile 47, I got rid of my old water bottle, pointed to one of the volunteers and said “water.. water”. The volunteer got the water ready for me to grab and he started running to hand me the bottle which was unusual but thought it was nice and made it easier to grab the water from him. I grab it, said “Thank you” and was ready to put it in my aero bottle cage, at that point and suddenly I hit a pot hole. With one hand holding the bottle and the other hand on the handle bar, I lost control of the bike and I was down and down hard. My right hip took most of the impact. I was probably down on the ground on my back for few seconds when I decided to get off and walk to the side to avoid other cyclist from hitting me and cause a bigger crash. One volunteer grabbed my bike and as I got off the ground I realized I can barely walk. Sat on the side of the road and another helpful volunteer came over and started putting some ointment on my road rash. Couple of minutes later, I got up and checked the bike, made sure it was working ok and got back on it and continued my ride.
I was feeling the burns in my hip and arm but never for once thought I am not going to be able to run. I tried to calm myself down but I just didn’t feel comfortable with all the traffic and bumpy roads as I was getting closer to the park to get back in my aero position. Finally got into T2 and decided to play it safe and not try to jump off the bike, so I came to a complete stop and got off. At that moment, I realized something was just wrong with my hip, tried to run through transition but was barely able to walk. Got into my area in T2, and still put on my running shoes and decided to try and run and maybe the pain will go away. However, my right leg just refused to bend and I was trying to run on one leg. I stopped and tried to stretch but the pain was very obvious and din’t want to go away. My friend Bryan who was volunteering at the race stopped by and told me to stop and head to the medical tent and call it a day. Not for once I thought I wasn’t going to finish. However he kept reminding me it is not worth it and there is nothing for me to prove by finishing. My big race is coming up in November and there is no reason to aggravate the injury more just to finish.
I decided to listen to him and head to the medical tent. The volunteers there were amazing. They checked me in and dressed up my road rash and my day ended there. I handed out my timing ship and decided to watch the race instead.
In all honestly, I was very angry and frustrated that I didn’t get a chance to execute the race as I had planned. But also I realized this is the nature of our sport and there is no body to blame but myself. You have one good day and one bad day and you just have to get up and keep on moving. I am still not 100% and haven’t been able to run since the crash. My swim also has been impacted with the pain in my shoulder but that seem to be getting a lot better and hoping to resume my swim training this week.