Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rev3Tri Quassy Race Report: The Numbers Don't Tell the Story

What a weekend! As I write this I am giving myself a much needed quad massage with my Compex (one of the many benefits to being on Team Rev3!) My body is totally wrecked from the Rev3Tri Quassy HalfRev on Sunday, but my heart is full and my mind is proud of my race performance. We had a wonderful family weekend in Quassy. Kel raced the OlympicRev on Saturday, I raced the Half on Sunday and the boys got to play in the park three days in a row! What a pleasure it is to go to a race weekend that has something for everyone!

Kel coming in for a high five from me after his swim!
This was my first Rev3 race that I did not qualify for the Athena division (good and bad!), so I knew going in that I would not be competing for any podium spots. My goal for this race was simple: go hard and take risks. I have long felt that I am very good at being safe and finishing, but I didn't want to just finish this race. I wanted to push my limits and see what I was capable of.

My sister, the boys, and me!

Well, I definitely pushed my limits. In my heart I know that my performance for this race was awesome, but the numbers on the results page definitely do not reflect that. It was just a crazy day. The weather was beautifully brutal - not a cloud in the sky, hardly a breeze and almost 90 degrees. Going in I knew this was going to be a challenge, so I was mentally prepared to suffer and to make sure I was hydrating well. I also knew from experience that this course is hard. Quassy is NO JOKE! Most of the races I do have a tendency to be on the harder side because of location, but there is NOTHING around Syracuse that even comes close to the level of difficulty Quassy serves up.

Pre-race smiles!
The swim was awesome. I got to hang out with my friend and teammate Jen until the start, which was awesome. I forgot to start my watch and decided to just go with it. I did get a kick in the goggle when I was trying to draft off someone's feet - totally my fault and I just stopped really quickly to get the water out of my goggle so I wouldn't lose a contact. I felt super strong on the swim and accomplished my goal of not settling into my typical all-day pace. Once I looked back at the splits, I was a little disappointed to see my usual half swim time of 36 minutes and change, but the swim is unpredictable, so I'm holding onto the fact that I felt strong, and I swam straight and smooth the entire time.

Once onto the bike, I diligently started fueling and hydrating. The hills on this course are absolutly relentless. Before you are all the way down one, there is another looming up ahead. I felt strong for the first half despite a moment when I thought I might actually have to get off my bike and walk up a particularly steep hill, and then around mile 28 or so my stomach started to feel like there was a heavy rock in it. Looking back, I think I actually over-hydrated around 90 minutes or so and my stomach just shut down a bit until it could process everything. That took about 20 miles in which the best I could do was just ride up and down the hills like I was out for a Sunday joy ride. I was unable to get my intensity up where I wanted it, so I just did the best I could. With about 8 miles left in the ride, my stomach started to come around and I pushed into transition (up more hills!). I ended up with my slowest bike split ever, but still had my head in the game and was ready to run.

Onto the run, my stomach issues totally disappeared and I felt strong...really strong.  I totally nailed my run plan which is something I am very proud of. The day was hot and I could literally feel my skin burning despite 3 coats of sunscreen including one in T2. Even though I felt strong, the pace was still slow which was probably just the result of the heat. I was putting ice in my bra and down my shorts at every aid station! I made some friends on the course, which is always a treat, but had miles 10-12 all to myself where I was really able to push and dig deep and learn to love to suffer just a bit more than I have in the past - goal accomplished! I finished the last mile with my new pal, Grant, who had played a little leap frog with me the whole race. He finished just ahead of me and waited with his wife to give me a hug! This is one of the top reasons I love this sport. Where else would I get a hug from a sweaty, near-stranger and have it be the highlight of my day?

The boys ran me into the finish line and I headed right over to the ice baths and had a nice cold coke, which I had been thinking of at every single aid station but had only gotten one sip during the race. It was glorious!

A couple of things stuck out to me about this race. As a mid-packer age-grouper my goal is often more about competing with myself than it is about competing with others. I think this is very typical, so when the numbers just don't add up to what you expect that can be a very hard thing. HOWEVER, what I realized about this race is that the numbers don't always tell the whole story. They don't show how hard I worked, they don't show how hot it was, they don't show how positive I stayed. It is so important to have goals that extend beyond numbers because on a day like Sunday I hit all of my goals even if I didn't see the numbers. That is a great race!

The other thing that stuck out was that each of us has the ability to create a race experience not only for ourselves but for the people we are on the course with. We can choose to be encouraging and positive or to be rude and negative. It is up to each of us to pay tribute to each other while we are out there! I was so blessed to have shouts and smiles and high fives and good jobs and sometimes just a nod spoke a thousand words of empathy and understanding. There were also a few times when I came across racers who maybe didn't do the best job at that for whatever reason. I would really encourage all of you to think about the kind of race experience you want and then to try to give that to others as well.

This was a special race for me because my sister and my men were all with me! A big thanks to Emmy and Kel who wrangled the boys for my (extra) long race, which is not easy. As we left the park I saw many a spectating spouse with kids who were on the verge of melt-downs. I thank all of you for your amazing support! It is not an easy job, but it really means so much!

Also thank you to all my sponsors, Rev3Tri, PowerBar, Compex, Normatec, Pearl Izumi, Blue Seventy, Biotta Juices, and SBRSports and to my coach, Kim! I could not do this without you! And lastly, thank you to all of you! All of your texts and tweets and facebook messages really do mean a lot to me! I feel you out there with me, pulling me into the finish.

Onward to the next race!!


  1. How special that they were all with you!! Great race!! Congrats!! :)
    You can link up your race report on Race Recap Roundup #linup and join the party! :) (http://zanetaruns.blogspot.com/2013/04/race-recap-roundup-linkup.html)

  2. Great job. Great report. Had been anxiously waiting to read this for days!! Thought about you often and I am glad to hear you had a fabulous weekend.

  3. Great work girl! Very proud of you xxoo Glad I got to chill with you prerace

  4. Oh man your face at the end was bright red! The same type of thing happened here at portland last year...on the monday before the race it was 55 and raining, day of 90 and sunny.

    Way to power through despite conditions. Leaving it all out on the course is something you should be proud of no matter what the numbers may say.

  5. Thanks to all of you! My reply button isn't working for some reason, but I so appreciate your encouragement! Zaneta, heading over to your site now to post! :) Jen, I'm so glad we had each other out there!

  6. You are an inspiration to all of your athletes! I hope I can stay as positive in my first half. Support makes all the difference!

  7. Kelly - My name is Kenrick Smith. I am a fellow triathlete (you can find me at www.k17sport.com) and I wanted to reach out to you and invite you to become a contributor on a new website I am starting-The Bruised Banana. I checked out your blog and wanted to congratulate you on your Quassy Half race. I also raced in the Quassy Half - what a fun race! I enjoyed your race report. Our website www.thebruisedbanana.com was started so that all of us as triathletes would have a central hub to share our websites, blogs, race reports so that we could support each other and learn from one another. I've always enjoyed reading others race reports and wanted to centralize them so that if someone wanted to look up a certain race they were planning on doing they could look and see what others had to say and what their experience was. I also thought it would be wonderful to have a platform for triathletes to share their blogs, sponsors, etc. If you would be interested in contributing that would be great! Most of my contributors just give us permission to utilize their race reports directly from their blogs. For my own and for our current contributors, I just copy and paste the content and then post it on the bruised banana and then I put a link to your blog so that our readers can check out further reports of yours and what your blog/website offers (you can also email the race reports in a Microsoft Word document). It's really low-maintenance for the contributors, you can just email us when you have a new race report that you would like uploaded to the site and we handle the rest. I noticed you have past race reports on there and if there's any or all that you would be willing to have highlighted on our site we'd love to do that as well. Please let me know if you have any questions and best of luck on the rest of your season. You can email me at info@thebruisedbanana.com with any questions!
    Kenrick Smith


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