“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”…
That lovely quote from ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ aptly describes my weekend in Knoxville, TN for Rev3 Knoxville. This report will be brief. I tend to talk about the course and surroundings more but it’s taken me too long (like 2 weeks) to put anything down to want to elaborate on something I don’t care to remember.
To sum up my race, this is a list of the things that can go wrong in your race:
- The water temperature is so cold (below 60) that everything is numb and your lungs get so tight you feel sufficated
- The air temperature is hovering around the lower 50s with POURING rain making it so EVERYTHING is numb…and soggy
- Your computer will not be able to get a GPS signal from all the cloud cover
- Your power meter will stop working 5 miles into the bike
- You will launch your only nutrition bottle on the bike around mile 7-9 (no clue when it was)
- It’s so cold your hand lock around the handlebars
- Your hands are so cold you can not get your helmet unbuckled in T2
- You run through ankle deep water a good portion of the run
- You are shaking so hard from the cold it feels like a rib is broken and you double over in pain a few times
Maybe there is more but you get the point. The Rev3 knoxville course is really nice, it really is. I wouldn’t call it fair because it helps the faster swimmer (aided by a current) and the person very comfortable with technical descents. The run course is pretty but very tame. I highly suggest riding the bike course before racing though. It’s no joke for an Olympic.
This race, or really the conditions, got the best of me. I was unable to perform and for a few hours and days afterward I was pretty emotionally crushed I had such a poor showing after all my hard work this winter. BUT, when I’m shaking like I have pneumonia out there I suppose I can’t expect anything past survival. My hat goes off to Cam Dye and the others who were able to overcome the conditions though, a few folks really had it in them that day.
I understand now the race was nothing more than a bad day with bad timing. I felt ready and confident but I didn’t have much to give considering everything. If I learned anything from this race it’s to move the hell on because somedays suck and that’s that. You can’t do anything about it except move on to have a good day.
On the brighter side of things Christa and I met an amazing couple (Andy and Jenny) who were our homestay in Knoxville. Talk about some southern hospitality, these folks were, by far, the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life. I can’t thank them enough for opening their home to us and being so generous. It’s people like Andy and Jenny that make this world a decent place to live. If you two every read this… thank you…. a million times over.
And keeping on the brighter side of things, Knxoville was a very pretty town (minus all the rain the entire weekend!, ha). Lots of trees and pretty houses and friendly people. We really enjoyed our stay and are excited to be back again next year.
I must say thank you to Christa for being there for me, dealing with me, putting up with me, and enjoying my first professional race with me. I can’t do this without you and you are incredible!! I need to thank team USPRO TRI and our manager Ryan Bates. It was great to race my first team race with half our team there. It’s nice to have friends on the course when you’re out of town. I also need to thank Free Speed Sports!! My local guys in Buffalo who are always hooking me up and helping me out. Local support means everything and these guys really believe in me, it’s much appreciated. Finally, friends, family, training peoples, and everyone who sent me a text message before the big day. Your support helped carry me through a difficult day. Thank you mom, Bobby, Ted, Carol, everyone at masters, Buffalo Tri Club folks, Score-This!!!, and everyone else.
Next up is a change from the original schedule: Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. North Carolina here I come!
Today is a good day and my next race will be an even better day.