Sunday, May 20, 2012

Drunk Kurt Reporting... Alive!

For those of you who don't know, I rarely ever drink.  So no, I'm not drunk.  What I am is extremely dehydrated from today's Rev3 Preview ride and my friends like to call that person "Drunk Kurt."  So here I am!

Today was the Rev3 Quassy Course Preview Day.

I woke up today at 5:50am, got my stuff together, ate a good sized breakfast knowing I wouldn't eat again 'till mid-afternoon, and drove to Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT.  The directions told me it should take 37 minutes.  I gave myself an hour just in case.  It only took 20.  Better early than late, I guess.

The whole day was rather loosely coordinated, but on Rev's behalf, what they could coordinate they did well.  The rest was bound to get chaotic.  We all milled around the parking lot until 8:15am.  They took us down to the beach to show us the swim start and exit.  It was pretty simple.  "This is the way you're going to go, these are the buoy colors, and you exit over there - got it?"  One surprising thing i that the water temp has gone from 63 one week ago to 67 today; might be in 70s by race day. Then we grabbed our bikes, chose a riding group based on pace and headed out.

I planned on probably a 16 mph pace - nothing pushed but not mind-numbingly slow.  I went with the 16-17 mph group and for the first 10 miles or so we stuck together.  After that, a group went off the front and I wanted to test myself on some of the hills, so I bridged the gap and stretched my legs so-to-say.  At mile 24, we started the 7 mile climb and that was when this new group broke apart.  Personally, I can't hold back on a hill.  I don't care about where I am in the group, but it will kill my knees to slow my cadence too much, so I had to go on ahead.  Once I hit the top, I was with a group of 3 for a mile and then we hit a downhill and for whatever reason, I went off the lead easily.  I was feeling great!  I had dropped a ton of people at the toughest section of hills and didn't feel a burn in my legs at all - talk about psyched. 

Up ahead of me was a single rider, so I thought I'd just slowly catch up to him/her.  I did, and then we hit another long hill.  Well, again, for my knees sake, I got up and rode on ahead.  Ahead of him was another rider.  Awesome!  I didn't know the course, so at least I could leap frog from rider to rider to stay on course.  I caught up to this woman and quickly realized she was NOT with our group - mountain bike and no helmet.  Oh-well.  I rode on ahead.  When I looked back there was no one.  I stopped at the top of the next hill and as that same lady passed me again she said "If you're with that big group, they all turned at the bottom of that last hill."  Oh-Great!

My over-zealous body had taken me off course!

I U-turned and got back on course.  At this point I had given up trying to push the pace at all.  I slowed down and hoped that some of the people I had previous passed would catch up so I didn't get lost again.  After 3 miles or so one did and I stuck with him.  We hit an out-and-back - which I hated - but I figure this is going to be my late stage nutrition section. 

Now, for this entire ride, you had to carry whatever you needed with you; there was no aid support.  That meant I had one water bottle (aero), one double concentrated Gatorade Endurance bottle, and I ate one of three GUs.

P.S.  Mint Chocolate is a melted Peppermint Patty.  
I will have a few on hand for the race in two weeks!

With what turned out to be 4 miles left, we had a series of S-turns and I was desperately hoping that around the next turn would be the park.  As we went around the third turn I even mentally shouted "Where the F&#* is this park?!"  At that point, I knew.  I was extremely dehydrated.  It's either loopy don't-make-sense thoughts or getting angry easily that clues me in.  Can you blame me though?  At that point I had gone over 50 miles at 18mph in 80+ degree sun with only two bottles.  You can blame me for not slowing down though.  Go ahead!

The only remaining big uphill was within the last couple miles.  It was a two-mile long hill.  The even better part was that we got back to Transition and realized we missed a turn and weren't supposed to take that hill.  At least that's a bonus for race day.  Righr?

I put my bike back in the car, switched to my running shoes, and headed out.  I wanted to run 4-5 miles around a smaller loop of the run course, but given that it was 80+ out and I was dehydrated, I didn't want to push it.  I just went down to the first turn and came back; supposed to be 1.62 miles each way so 3.24 out-and-back.  Made it about 6:50 pace down (it's downhill going there), and then struggled up the hills coming back.  I promised myself if I ran straight without walking I'd stop and get a pizza on the way home.  I made it back in a straight 7:40 pace. 

My pizza is currently cooling off on the counter!  =D

Overall, I'm very happy I did the preview.  There are a couple downhills that have quick turns I'm glad I'm now aware of, I'm completely ready to tackle the 7 mile climb without reserving too much, and I have a good idea of where/when I'd like to focus on getting in nutrition.  The course rolls 90% of the time; 10% at most might be flat with the rest being either up at 8mph or down at upwards of 50 mph. 


THANK YOU Rev3, Eric the Race Director who led my group (until we broke off), Target Training for coordinating the preview, Muscle Milk for providing post-ride protein shakes, and all the traffic and residents in the Middlebury, CT area for putting up with us. 


1.  Have you ever done a race that has a preview day?
I'm sure Rev3 does them for their other races, but do any other companies?

2.  Do you study, ride, check out the course of your race before race day or do you just wing it?
I like to check out the course when possible, but even today I skipped checking the run course.  I'm more comfortable winging the run than the bike.  

Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 


Scott Cannon said...

I think a preview day is great. I'm not familar with any sponsor that does that.

I've done three triathlons so far and for two of them I previewed the ride but not the run (just like you). The third tri was too far out of town for me to preview it.

Great blog, Kurt. Thanks.

Jamie said...

Glad you had fun at the preview day. See ya this weekend!