Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Stranger Things Have Happened: White Mountains Triathlon Race Report

Nobody has ever accused me of being all that smart. I'm walking, talking proof that just because someone has a doctorate degree, it is not a reflection of their total overall intelligence.

To prove this point: so, I had what is known as a vasovagal response at Rev3 Quassy. This is, to put it bluntly, like the CONTROL-ALT-DELETE for your body. Somebody pushed it for five seconds. I shut down. And just like a Windows Vista computer, it took me a while to reboot. And even when I did reboot, it took a while for all the systems to re-stabilize and get to a point where I was actually useful again. (We're a Mac household, in case you can't tell.)

Well, naturally, I had a big old chip on my shoulder coming from it. So I went and raced the local Pirate Tri last weekend. First ever sprint race. Had a blast.

But still, it gnawed at me that I hadn't been able to set out and finish what I started at Quassy. There wasn't anything on the Rev3 schedule that would fit in for me, as I'll be working at Williamsburg and the next race through them that I could have put on the schedule would've been Rev3 Maine. Which is already on the schedule. And I didn't want to sit and wait that long.

There were two events on the local calendar that intrigued me. The first was the New England TriFest in Vermont at the end of the month. The second was the White Mountains Triathlon. Both are first year events, but the timing of White Mountains made more sense for me (as, when I go to Williamsburg, it is unlikely I'll be able to get much done in terms of training.)

The other key component: its near Hannah's family, set at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, NH. Absolutely stunning overall.

On Monday, the decision was made: I was going to White Mountains.

On Tuesday, my throat started to get a little sore. No big deal.

Wednesday: congestion sets in. You must be kidding me.

Thursday: sinus headache galore.

Friday: Go and get myself some Claritin. Feeling a bit better.

Saturday: Claritin continues to help. But now I'm starting to cough.

Saturday night: Feel like ass. I tell Hannah that tomorrow will depend on how I feel in the morning.

Sunday morning: Alarm goes off at 4:00. Wake up and immediately hack out a whole bunch of stuff. But the congestion is pretty much gone. Take some hard, fast breaths to see if it sounds raspy/congested. Nothing. The question I had to ask myself: would I go out and try and train if I felt this way? I answered yes, so I said that we might as well go for it.

Drove to Franconia, had my breakfast in the car, got my gear together, and ready to rock and roll.

Got down to the swim location and OH MY GOD THIS IS THE COLDEST WATER EVER. It *might* have been 60 degrees. Emphasis on the word might. This is probably the only time I ever would have wished for my blueseventy Helix to have had thicker arm panels.

We got down onto the beach for the swim start. One sign of a very unique race location: you could see a black bear climbing up the slopes of one of Cannon's ski trails.

All of a sudden, the countdown was on.

One minute to go.

10 seconds to go.


Swim: 33:34
Out of the gate, we got up and got going. There was a good sized lead group of 4-5 guys. I tried to get on their feet and put on the chase.

All of a sudden I looked up and there was a 50-meter gap between us in the chase pack and the lead group. And not only that, but we were WAY the hell off course. The whole pack had gone to the left. I immediately put in a hard cut right to get back on line for the turn buoy.

This was a two-loop swim. I got out of the water for the first loop in 15:34. Pretty solid start to the day. We ran across the beach, and got back in...

...and I got disoriented really quickly. It's the first time I've ever done a two-loop swim, and it's evident that quickly going from horizontal to upright to horizontal in 20 seconds isn't exactly an ideal way to put some work in.

I got to the halfway point of the second lap and had my first coughing fit of the day. The internal dialogue went something like this:

This sucks.
Shut up.
If it gets much worse, you probably shouldn't keep going.
Yeah, I know. We'll keep an eye on it.
You sure?
No. But well, are we going to quit right now?
Absof***inglutely not.

By the next sight buoy I had perfected the art of blowing my nose and coughing into the water without slowing down at all swimming.

I got to the last sight buoy and decided to put in a push. I knew I needed to keep myself on the gas overall. I got up and saw 32:xx. Knew it was slower than Quassy, but that it wasn't a terrible swim, either.

T1: 5:06.50
Unlike last weekend, this was not a case of me having a picnic lunch.

Instead, this was a run up from the water. Get the wetsuit, goggles, and swim caps off. Stuff them into a transition bag. Put on your old running shoes (in this case, my old Pearl Izumi IsoTransitions). And run the four-tenths of a mile up to transition. Take those shoes off. Put the helmet on. Sunglasses on. Grab your extra flask of nutrition. And roll to the mount line.

Bike: 2:52:49
The bike course immediately started with a 10% grade downhill, screaming towards Franconia. The road conditions were in pretty rough shape, so the race directors had given us instructions to take it easy till we got about two miles into the course.

To put in perspective, I listened, and still was at about 35 MPH+ for the first two miles of the course. Not bad.

Started spinning my legs out and had a very lonely feeling. There wasn't anybody anywhere near me. I had no idea where I stood; I had no idea if I was going the right way. Somebody in a Boston Tri Team kit came up soon, so luckily I knew I was headed the right way. OK, head down, do work, and just keep going till you can't go anymore.

I was testing out a new nutrition plan, and felt pretty darn good. More carbohydrates and more electrolytes per hour. Many thanks to Christine Lynch for putting it together.

I got to the halfway mark of the bike and did a systems check. Still felt good. Didn't feel like I was pushing too hard, watts were below what I wanted to average by a good bit.

I knew the course had a fairly decent amount of climbing. What I didn't realize is that the last 18 miles of the bike course were flat out insane.

I knew it was going to be a long second half of the day when I got to the first climb (King of the Mountains stage) and I had nothing in the tank.

Uh oh.
You didn't overcook it.
Yeah, so why do your legs feel like they're lead?
Couldn't possible be because you're sick?
True. So, what's the plan?
Keep on the throttle with everything you've got it and go till you've got nothing left to give.
Roger that.

Kept on trucking along. I knew I was still in OK shape because, even though the legs felt dead, they never cramped on me. So I wasn't in an overbiked situation; instead, I just had to work with what I had.

At about mile 54, the course headed onto a bike path to get over the Interstate. I couldn't push the pedals over quick enough. Had snot/foam coming out of my nose. Couldn't get above 15 MPH.

So, killer, you going to bag it now?
Can I at least try and run first?
Don't you remem...
SHUT IT. We're running.

Mercifully, we rounded the bend and transition was in sight. Get me off of this thing.

T2: 1:42
I rolled into transition, got my stuff set back where it was supposed to, and got my socks and shoes on. Went to tighten the lace on my right shoe...and the speed lace lock came apart in my hands.

I couldn't help but laugh. I luckily had enough lace left over to be able to tie it. And away we went.

Run: 1:56:12
I tore off down the hill to start my first run loop. This was a modified two-loop run course; you went down, turned around, came just about all the way back. Turn-around and head all the way back out. Then on the loop in, you took a different route around the lake to head to the finish.

I clipped through the first couple of miles. Had to hit the port-o-john, which also gave me the opportunity to blow my nose and finally breathe out of the darn thing for the first time all day. 

Got out and started climbing the first hill of the day...and started coughing. Hard. Stopped me in my tracks.

You must be kidding me. 
It is what it is.
So, what's your plan?
Run as hard to the border of coughing all day as I can. And hope I don't cross it.

Luckily, the remainder of the run to the turnaround felt good. It seemed like, outside of those couple of climbs, it was pretty flat to gently rolling. I made the turnaround...

...and realized that all of that "flat" was actually downhill that I'd now be running.

Epic failure of gradient judgment.

Made it through the first run lap in 51 minutes. Felt strong. Felt like I was on pace to be able to mirror it and have my best run split ever.

And then the coughs came again.

And again.

And again.

I was doubled over, just unleashing every ounce of lung capacity to expel whatever it was in my chest. I was pissed off. I ran pretty pissed off; my pace whenever I wasn't busy hacking away was somewhere between 6:55 and 7:20.

I got to the last mile. I knew I hadn't had my best time on course; far from it. But this was my best effort. I had wrung everything out of myself that I'd had on that day.

No nutrition failure. No mental mistakes. I had done everything I could.

And for that, I felt like I'd won.

I came up the hill to the cross the line and pointed to the sky. This race was right in Hannah's backyard, so naturally I thought of Peter.

And then it was over.

I got over the line and gave Hannah a hug. Saw some friends from Maine and celebrated their days. And made my way over to the results table. Hey, might as well see how I did.

Well I'll be damned.
21st Overall, 4th in M25-29, bumped to 3rd as our AG winner was the Overall Champion.

Podium time!

As always, thanks to all of my family, friends, and sponsors for being along for this journey. Couldn't do it without you.

So what's next? Not sure yet. For now, just going to reflect and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Redemption Song: Tri-Maine Pirate Tri Race Report

So after last weekend's disast-debacle at Rev3 Quassy, I took a look at my schedule and decided that I needed to go racing. My legs felt great (after all, I really only did a swim-bike brick with a 2.5 mile tempo run), I didn't feel tired, so I figured I might as well use some of the fitness I've built this spring.

Tri-Maine is a local event production company that helps put on Rev3 Old Orchard Beach, as well as the store's Endless Summer 5-Miler. I've never had the opportunity to race one of their sole branded events. In fact, the only triathlon race distance I have ever competed in is the halfRev. So it was about time to change that.

Saturday featured an absolute panic moment as I discovered one of the issues from Rev3 Quassy: the adapter on my frame to run the SRM had come loose, leading to a clicking noise while under load and driveline loss. I immediately popped off, got the tools I needed, cleaned everything out, re-greased liberally, and re-applied everything. Tip of the cap to Josh Freeman for the knowledge he's shared over the years which led to me being able to find that problem in short order and fix it immediately.

Packed the bag on up, and got myself to bed at an early hour. An 8:30 race time meant a bit more sleep than normal for one of these things.

Sunday Morning
Woke up at 5:00 to get breakfast going. I wanted to be out the door by 5:45 to make the drive out to Sebago, about 25 miles away. Managed to hit my target time for a change.

Rolled on up and immediately spotted my nemesis, Bob Turner. Bob and I have a long-standing swath of destruction with one another. I blew my race up at Rev3 Maine last year by chasing him on the bike. The Friday Night Fights series has featured round after round of trash talk between one another. It helps push us to reach for new limits. So our friendly rivalry was put to the test.

I also had a couple of other targets to watch for: my good friend Adam, who dragged me out of the road last weekend, as well as Tom Norton. Tom is one fast dude. His brother runs the beer shop that I frequent here in town, and Tom is a hell of an athlete. I knew I had my work cut out for me to have a shot of beating him, but I figured a good swim-bike might give me the cushion I needed.

Laid everything out, got my blueseventy Helix on, and got in for a swim warm-up.

Ice cream headache!

The water might have been 62 degrees. It was COLD. Adam got in to his toes, went "oh no," and immediately started doing some sprints on the beach. With his wetsuit on. Yeah, that cold.

Men under 40 comprised the third wave of the day, after two novice waves and a 7 minute lead time. We loaded into the corral. Adam, Tom, and I all lined up towards the left hand side.

30 seconds.
Good luck today, bud. Let's have some fun.
15 seconds.
Easy, easy. You got this.
5 seconds.
Deep breath. All that master's swimming. Light it up.

Swim: 9:04, 21st OA
We sprinted into the water. Immediately, the top two overall guys (Vinnie Johnson and Kyle Burnell) were GONE. I was on Adam's feet. Tom fell away immediately.

It was pretty crowded out of the gate. I was right on the buoy line, and sighted about every 8th stroke. There was another guy that was right on my right. We were in sync on the stroke front, so we slapped hands for a little bit.

I put in a small surge to get in front of him, because it was getting annoying. The whole pack was still pretty much together...

...and then I was by myself, with the couple of guys in front, and everyone else gone. I sighted again, and I was on course. But everybody else had slowed down. Guess that masters swimming has really paid off!

I put in another surge as soon as I rounded the last turn. We started getting into the back half of the novice waves. I felt bad for them, simply because you have this freight train of athletes coming up from behind that, if not careful, will swim right over the top. For the first time, I managed to avoid swimming over somebody.

I swam till my hands touched the bottom, popped up, and saw that the swim was a bit longer than the advertised 1/3 of a mile. But I was happy with the pacing and the effort.

T1: 1:28.6 (slower than molasses going uphill in January)
Holy Christmas, what a terrible transition!

I got caught behind a couple of people walking the chute into transition. OK, no biggie, make it up as you get out of the wetsuit and onto the bike.

I couldn't get my left ankle out of the suit. I had run out of TriSlide at the race. I'd thought I'd gotten my ankles well...and I was wrong.

Get out of the wetsuit, OK. Then I couldn't get the swim cap off! Comedy of errors. I finally get everything on, make the run, and hop on board the bike. Jeez, you have some work to do...

Bike: 37:50 (5th fastest bike of the day, 5th OA)
Immediately on the bike, and it's time to lay the hammer down. Get the SRM on and away we go.

I am FLYING on this course. Immediately pass a couple of people who swam a bit better than I. Pretty close to redline, but still feeling like I'm in control of the effort overall.

It's a third of the way into the bike and I see the familiar Pearl Izumi kit of Adam. Holy crap, I just rode that 45 seconds out of him that quickly? Good Lord! We're moving!

There's a third athlete in our age group who keeps playing leap-frog with us. So we all follow the rules: if we get passed, back for 15 seconds, drop out of the zone, re-enter, pass again. And just keep making huge efforts.

I averaged 285 watts on the ride. Could've gone a bit deeper, especially towards the end of the ride, but wanted to salvage something resembling running legs.

Flying dismount, and here we go.

T2: 0:44.4
Alright, now we're talking. Still slow...but better than before.

Run: 20:56 (Final Placement: 10th OA).
I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was nervous as hell getting onto the run. After all, with what had happened the weekend before, I didn't want it to happen again. So I didn't know what the effort would feel like, or anything.

Also, idiot me screwed with his watch coming out of transition, so I had no idea what the actual timing looked like.

Adam was GONE. He put in a big surge coming out of transition and gapped me by a good 20-30 seconds. I kept trying to find something in the legs...

...and it wouldn't come.

Blew through the first mile. Saw Vinnie and Kyle hustling back towards transition. OK, good for them. Gotta find your legs now, buddy. You still have a chance of getting Tom.

"That swim sucked."

Great. Here's Tom. At mile 1.5. And he's an 18:XX 5K guy. Guess I'll be the one buying beer!

Him blowing my doors off, though, was a good thing, as I could finally dig in and get my run legs going. I wanted to at least keep a couple of these guys in my sights.

Mile 2, got some water in my system, and kept rolling. Adam rounded the corner to head back towards transition. I looked around and realized that I'd pretty much locked in my position for the day. I just wanted to keep a comfortable hard pace going for the rest of the run. Figured I'd finish between 1:09 high and very low 1:10.

Rounded the last corner of the run and saw I had about 15 seconds to get under 1:10. Missed it by two seconds. Darn!

Suffer face. Thumbs up.

Bob came up behind about 90 seconds later. He had an absolutely amazing day, including the fastest I've ever seen him run. To put in perspective: Bob was 6th OA, Tom 7th, Adam 9th, and myself 10th. We all pushed one another to some great heights. The spread between us was 1:44.

Now, you'd think that a top 10 OA finish would lead to a good placement in the age group. I was 5th! There are some very fast folks in M25-29 right now. Well done to everybody.

In all, it was great to push on through. And to give Jesse Thomas a run for the new Hairiest Chest in Triathlon Award.

Now, where's my gold chain?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Deepest Blues are Black: Rev3 Quassy DNF Report.

I'm enjoying my blanket of hatred and self-loathing at the moment. (Many, many thanks to Christine for that gem of a phrase.)

Let's get the quick hits out of the way: I had my first race DNF ever. I wish I could say that it was because I simply wasn't tough enough to gut through the day; I wish I could say that it was an injury that I could point my finger at. Instead, I'm left with a whole lot of questions, and my security blanket of "what the hell is wrong with me?" (Well, more than normal.)

At any rate, here's the long version of the report:

Leading Up: Project All-In.
The goal with this race was to go under five hours. Let there be no mistake here; I was either going under five hours or I was going to fly very close to the sun and my wings would melt off.

Of course, the best laid plans can be derailed, which with my back/piriformis thing that went on, I missed some workouts in the lead up. But I felt like I was still firing on all cylinders when I needed to dig in. I thought that, with some willingness to suffer, we'd still be right on track.

As it was, we figured that off of my training numbers, a solid race breakdown would look like this:

Transitions: 4:00
Total: 4:51:00

This lead to this exchange on Twitter the day before the race:

This Tweet proves a bit humorous in retrospect. Seriously...who says that? (referring to myself).

Of course, as we all know: it proved insanely hot during the weekend of the race. I was working with the Rev3 crew in retail, and we were busy trying to keep people hydrated and make sure to get some electrolytes in, too. I probably overdid it a bit by pulling a couple 12-hour days before the race, but in the back of my head I also knew: I've finished this race before messing up everything, so I'll be fine.

Yep. You can see where this is going.

We put some sweet Reynolds 72 Aeros on the bike, took it out for a test spin where everything felt good. My SRM decided it wasn't going to work. (Editor's Note: As it turns out, the sensor cable was being pinched by the Shiv bladder. Sigh...) Fine, I know what too hard feels like. Did a quick one mile run, and then racked everything up. Went to dinner with the Rev3 Retail crew, and then headed to bed. It's go time.

Race Morning: Relaxation
I woke up on Sunday pretty calm. Finished packing up my bags, headed over to the race site, wrapped up transition pretty easily, and got myself some breakfast. Made fun of Charlie, gave Eric my thanks for the primo spot in transition, and just had some fun.

The thing I noticed the most was how relaxed I felt. There was no pressure. I felt like I had done so much work, now it's time to just show off a little bit. I was so relaxed, in fact, I missed the pro starts. I didn't get down onto the beach until about 30 minutes before my swim wave start.

New this year is a great swim warm-up at the start, which was much appreciated. Put in two simulated starts, just to get the heart rate up for a minute. And got myself ready to go.

Adam joined me at the start line, and soon it was time for Sean English to give the counts:

One minute to go.
30 seconds to go.
10 seconds. Relax. Have fun.
5 seconds. Get ready.

Air horn. Go time.

Swim: 32:09
I had joined a masters swimming program here in Maine, and it has proven incredibly beneficial. I felt very confident in the water, and knew that I could really push the swim if I so chose, but a comfortable pace would give me a 32:00 swim.

The initial rush into the water was pretty controlled. I had lined up to the left of the start, plotting a direct line toward the turn buoy. The swim at Quassy is a triangle. Directly behind the buoy this year was a large pile of rocks, so there was something to pretty easily sight off of.

Adam immediately was gone. I tried to stay with him for the first 200 meters, and then just let him go. I found some feet and tried to stay on them. This proved effective until the second sight buoy, when we started running into the previous swim wave. After flopping around a little bit, I worked my way to the left edge, a route that some of the pro men had taken. I knew this was a little bit longer, but figured I'd be making up the time rather than getting kicked and fighting with people for space.

I had set my Garmin to alarm every five minutes so I knew where I was time-wise. Made it to the first turn buoy just after the watch had alerted for the second time. You make the turn, and you're just staring into the sun. One of the lucky parts of being a later swim wave, though, is that you get to see what direction the masses are heading in, so just follow in.

I sighted about every 8th stroke. This was a good compromise for me between speed and staying on track. I'd already gone far left once, and didn't want to do much more extra swimming than I had to.

I made the second turn buoy just after the Garmin alarmed for the fourth time, so I knew I was right where I wanted to be. I also knew from experience that the sighting buoys for this last stretch pointed you a little more in the direction of the beach where you started, rather than the swim exit itself. That had a different red buoy on it, to make sure people didn't run into the dock that sits there. So I set my sights on that deck and swam right for it.

The watch alarmed again just as I got near the deck, so I knew I was right where I wanted to be. Swam until my hand hit the bottom, started to get up, looked at the watch, and saw 31:55. BOOM. Takes a couple seconds to reach the timing mat, but I knew I was right where I wanted to be.

T1: 2:04
I struggled a second with the right leg of my wetsuit, which cost me a few seconds. It was really crowded at the mount line, so it took a second to find some clear space to get up and get going. And away we went.

Bike: 2:46:07
I got up and got going on the bike. Gave myself a little while to let my stomach settle, and then started sucking down some nutrition. I went with about 600 calories of my drink mix in about 66 oz. of fluid. I also had 400 calories of gels in a nutrition flask, mixed with a little water.

Once again, I was preaching patience to myself. Get down to Thomaston with a full tank of gas, and then get up and get going.

My back started to act up a little bit almost immediately in the ride. I slid a little bit on the saddle, found what felt like a very comfortable position, and got back on the pedals.

I felt like the bike was sluggish. As in, is something rubbing? I can't push any gear! I checked, found the wheels were where they were supposed to be. I didn't find anything that I could away we went again. Guess I'd need to be doing my work on the downhills, etc.

My plan was to snag a bottle of water at every aid station. So I needed to make sure I was getting my nutrition in. I got through the first bottle pretty quickly and was able to grab my bottle at mile 15. Half over the head, half into the tank.

Unfortunately, I gaffed the bottle exchange at mile 30. Went to snag the new bottle, got it, got some over my head and some in the mouth, and simply missed the bottle cage on my bike. It rolled directly into the "last chance to throw trash" I lucked out there. I also knew that the next aid stations was in 12 miles, so I had enough on board to keep working with what I had.

I knew Adam would be ahead of me getting out of the water. I was hoping to catch up with him around the out and back on the bike. At mile 35 I saw the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. kit and Kuota. I yelled up to him. He turned around, and it was on.

We kept legal distance and traded position a fair bit. Still felt like something was rubbing on the bike. I just couldn't push anything out. Alright, go with what you brought to the table...

Hit the last little bit of the bike course, and got ready for transition. Got the last bit of nutrition in that I could, and was ready to go.

T2: 1:14
Got into transition, racked the bike, sat down, threw my shoes on, and got myself ready to head on out. Ran into Eric, got a high five, saw that Adam had beat me out of transition by two seconds. Dammit.

Run: 18:40 (or so my Garmin says).
I ran out of transition, and felt a little crampy in the legs, but otherwise OK. I knew that it was going to take 1:40 to come in right at the five hour mark.

Told Adam when I caught with him that I wanted to puke. This is pretty common when I get to the run. My stomach and I simply aren't friends when it comes to the run for these things. I have to wonder what, nutritionally, might make up for that. I still haven't gotten that right.

Flew through mile 1, as it is screaming downhill. I took ice, water, and cola. Everything I could to cool off, get some calories in, and hopefully settle the stomach a little.

I remember it feeling really, really hot out on the road, but nothing moreso than normal. I was getting ready to find that mental zone of being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Made the right turn to head towards the hills. Still feeling pretty warm, but otherwise OK.

The aid station for mile 2.5 comes at the top of the hill. I remember seeing it from the bottom of the hill, and starting to grind up the hill.

Then I thought, "I don't remember these sunglasses being this dark."
I still feel queasy, but OK. Get something at the aid station.
Almost there.

From what I've been told, this is where I went down. Like someone shot me. Down. Done. Nothing.

The next thing I remember is Adam trying to pull on my arm to get me out of the road.

I couldn't see.

Adam yelled out to the aid station volunteers. Somebody brought over a ton of ice. I started getting it everywhere I could. I didn't know what the hell just happened, but if it was body temperature related I was getting it down right now.

I then asked for the grocery store: cola. Salt. Pretzels. Ice. Water. Everything, please. I felt a little bit better.

Naturally, trying to be a hero, I decided "well shit, I'm going to finish this thing!" I tried to stand up. Everything started spinning again.

Day's over.


I'll take my blanket of hatred and self-loathing now, please.

Got a ride back to transition, where I made the call to get into the ice bath. Even though my core temp reading was overall pretty normal, I figured it'd be worth it regardless.

So, what the hell happened?
Well, it's my thought currently that there were three things wrong: heat, overexertion/system overload (I'm now working on a little bit of a sore throat/cold thing, so I wonder if my system had that in it and was trying to do that while I was asking it to race near redline for five hours...), and nutrition failure.

I simply don't think I've got the nutrition right. When your stomach continually is revolting against you when you get to the run, regardless of racing or training, something can't be right. I haven't found something yet where my stomach is happy, and my body feels right. It's always been a compromise.

On Sunday, I wound up getting in about 230 calories/hour in on the bike. I've raced on more, and I've raced on less...but I don't know if it's the right thing yet. I've experimented a lot, and it looks like its time to experiment more.

Found a couple of things wrong with the bike, which may or may not have had an impact on things. But I also think that, next time, I'll need to be a little smarter with how much I do before a race.

What's Next
Well, overall I feel OK now. It's time to figure out how to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Rev3 Old Orchard Beach is a mere 82 days away; Rev3 Cedar Point, 96 days out. Do I wait that long before going racing again? Not quite sure yet. I want to just go hammer out another race. Perhaps Williamsburg. I'll be consulting with Doug to figure it all out. I was planning on using OOB as my last hard training day for Cedar I want to be trying to hammer out a big sub 5 two weeks before a FullRev? Or do I go out there in a couple of weeks to dial it in? Still need to work it out with Doug.

There's a lot to learn and sift through. And now it's time to make sure those lessons stick.

Many thanks to Rev3, blueseventy, Quintana Roo, Pearl Izumi, Reynolds Cycling, PowerBar, Biotta Naturals, Compex, and NormaTec for the support. Wish I could've given you better, guys.