Rev 3 Triathlon Quassy Race Report

I’m going to start off by saying I haven’t been on a team since college when I was on, you guessed it (or maybe you didn’t), the varsity Fencing team.

I know. I am allowed to say it is the geekiest sport because I was on the team.

Truth be told, I never thought I would ever be a part of another team after that. I guess I didn’t realize that there were teams out there that you could be on, other than your local soccer club that got together during the week to play.

So being a part of the Rev 3 Triahtlon team was something that I never expected myself to be involved with. Not only that, I never pictured myself being “good enough” to be on a team. Through my limited number of years racing triathlons, I’ve always gawked at those super slim, strong triathletes who had team kits and special aero helmets and bikes, never imagining that I could be on a triathlon team the way they were.

Well, I guess you surprise yourself sometimes.

Being unable to make it to meet my fellow teammates back in January meant Quassy was the first time I would be meeting many of them. Although, through social media, I feel like I’ve known many of them for years. My weekend in Middlebury was not just about racing; it was about spending time with those familiar faces I’ve come to “know,” and it was about volunteering with an organization that gave me the opportunity to partake in triathlons back after times when I didn’t think I’d ever be able to race again.

Rev 3’s Quassy Olympic Aquabike was the first “aquabike” I raced last year after finding out about my running career, after only really taking part in triathlons for two years. It was emotional– not only because I realized I could still do what I love and what has become such a large part of my life, but because I realized I could be just as good as those other slim/strong/ incredible triathletes out there on the course with me.

Returning to do the same race this year was meaningful in the same way. It was even more meaningful being part of a team of triathletes who welcomed strangers with open arms. The team is composed of athletes from all different backgrounds and from all over. I know I’ve mentioned it before, that racing is a whole heck of a lot more fun when you do it with others. And after meeting my teammates, I know it is the truth. From the good luck hugs to the pre-race dinner, I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with these incredible athletes.

Day #1: Olympic Aquabike

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Being the first race of the season, I did not really have many goals for myself in regards to the Olympic distance aquabike. Who am I kidding. I wanted to be on that podium again ­čśŤ I didn’t think it would happen, however, since it was colder than I expected and my goggles broke after two strokes during the warm up. When I realized my goggles broke within two minutes being in the water, I felt my heart drop and thought I was doomed for the swim. But I made do with what I had. A part of me just wanted to stay at the back of my swim wave because I didn’t know what would happen with my goggles. Then, I heard my swim coach from last year, telling me to trust myself and have confidence in my swimming. So after we passed through the starting arch balloon, I made my way towards the front. Yes, the same fears of being swum over, kicked and punched were in my head, but if I could just sprint for the first couple hundred yards to get away from people, then all would be well.

I’m glad to say that no one swam over me, punched me, or kicked me! I didn’t have any swim goals, other than to finish in a shorter amount of time than I completed the swim last summer. Since my semi-fancy watch does not track open water swims, the swim portion of my triathlons is always a bit of a surprise and I never really know how I do.

I think it well, considering I didn’t think I would even be starting it. I didn’t push myself and just got into that rythmic counting that I tend to do during the swim portion of races.

Like most races, I feel my transition time could be cut by practicing how to take my wetsuit off.

As for the bike, the short 26 mile ride is probably my favorite part of the race: with its rolling hills and ability to make you work hard while on the bike. The most memorable part of the bike was passing a teammate dressed as T-Rex encouraging people towards the end of the bike portion. [He also went on to run the half marathon course the next day dressed as this T-Rex].

It was fun entering back into transition, since it was one of the first times I’ve had people who “knew” who I was when racing. With this Aquabike race, my time ended once I entered back into transition. You have the option to jog down the finishers shoot, or simply finish your race in transition. Personally, a large part of the race is going through to the finish, so I took my time to put on my sneakers and take off my bike gear. As I made an effort to jog down towards the finish, I noticed a teammate yelling at me: “Go Molly! Run! Come on! Run!” As I made my way closer I stopped and exclaimed, “But I did the Aquabike; I am finished!!” The moment I said that, he laughed, “I was wondering why you were taking your time in transition! I thought, “What is that girl doing?? Why isn’t she hurrying up?””

Alas, another point of confusion occurred when I made my way down the finishers shoot and saw the “finishers tape” (is that even what it is called? I’ve never had to deal with this before) being held across the finish line. When I saw it, I had a little bit of an internal “freak out” session. As I made my way towards it, I stopped to the announcer and said, “But i am not the first female– I only did the aquabike– I didn’t do the triathlon.”

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Making sure the announcer knew I was just Aquabike

“It’s okay– you are the first female aquabiker, go ahead!”

So, despite my hesitation to go towards a finish with a “finishers tape” (and the fact I had no idea what you do when you cross a finish line and have “tape” front of you— or is it called a banner” I have no idea; I’ve never had this dilemma), I crossed with the realization that I actually was able win the women’s aquabike.

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My goal of beating last years time was met by one minute. (Which is nothing in triathlon time).

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After I finished the race, I met some other racers and volunteered at the packet pick-up. I must admit, it was pretty fun meeting people who were going to be doing the 70.3 race the next day. Only a couple people looked at me like I was crazy with my enthusiasm about the course. (Hah!)

Later in the evening, after indulging in the most delicious brownie I have ever had (hey I raced, I can eat what I want), I was lucky to have the chance to meet up with teammates for dinner and get to know some of them. I was able to have my “pre race meal” consisting of a veggie burger and fries. Other than spending time with my teammates, I will never forget being asked, for the first time as long as I’ve been a vegetarian (which is basically my whole life) how I wanted my veggie burger cooked. I’m pretty sure my mouth just dropped when I was asked that question, and I had no idea how to answer it.

“Umm, how you usually cook them? So they aren’t cold?”

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Seriously. Will never forget that question. From now on, when I order a veggie burger, I am going to specifically ask for it to be prepared in a certain way. I don’t know which way yet, but I am sure when I order, my preference will come to mind.

Day #2: Relay (my job: 56 mile ride)

I woke up bright and early at 3:50 after having an amazing sleep in a fancy hotel room…I cannot forget the drunk person who decided, at some point during the night, that it was appropriate to yell/ sing “Nants ingonyama…..” (There was a female with him, which I am assuming was his embarassed significant other, saying “Shhh! Shhhh!” Like a true idiot boyfriend, he was not listening to her wishes and continued his tribute to the Lion King.

Just listen to the first twelve seconds, and that is what I woke up to.

The second day of my Quassy trip was taking part in a relay with a couple teammates: Brian was swimming, I was cycling, and the runner was Zach. During the swim, I made friends with some other relay cyclists who were friendly enough to lend me some sunscreen. ┬áTruth be told, I was a bit hesitant to do the cycling portion waking up that morning. After doing a race the day before, my legs were tired.There aren’t a whole lot of flat portions on the bike course. But, I was considering this more of a trial run with nutrition more than anything.

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Brian finished the swim in an insanely fast time (26 minutes for a 1.2 mile swim?! That, to me, is flying in the water! Anything faster than 35minutes for that distance is crazy!).

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We exchanged the timing chip and I was off on a beautiful ride through the rolling countryside of Connecticut.

Despite constantly trying to tell my legs to stop hurting, the ride wasn’t as bad as I thought. Riding it on fresh legs would have been nicer, but I had a great day the day before and I was able to get my nutrition down pat for the 56 miles, especially a hilly 56 miles. Like my ride the day before, it wasn’t as fast as I was hoping, but I guess I can’t be too hard since I did race the day before. And, I was 15 min faster than in 2015 when I originally did the race.

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When I got back to transition, I exchanged the chip with our runner, Zach, and mingled around the finish line. Unlike other local Tri’s who only give you a half of a bagel and banana at the end of the race, they actually give you a BBQ (with veggie burgers which are cooked so they are no longer frozen). I tried out Normotecs for the very first time, and let me tell you, if I had a couple $$$ laying around that wasn’t going towards school, I probably would invest in some. Those things feel ahmazing.

Our runner, Zach, came in and finished the hilly half-marathon portion. Seriously, if you want a challenging 70.3 course, this is the race for you!Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 5.40.55 PM.png

Unfortunately, I had to head back home shortly after.

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Relay team in height order

It was such an incredible weekend, and I am thankful for getting the chance to meet so many amazing triathletes.

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Thank you, as always, Revolution 3 Triathlon, for putting on an amazing race weekend. Next time, I want Maisie to cross the finish line with me!*

Thank you to my fellow teammates for the laughs!

And, thank you, Kevin, for supporting me with an activity that I love so much.

*If you have a dog, they let you cross the finish with him/her, and they have little medals for the dogs!!! TOO freaking cute.

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