It’s obscenely early as I sit and wait for my plane home Tulsa, so I figured I’d be productive and knock out my race report. This weekend I had the opportunity to race another Rev 3 event, this time in The Dells, Wisconsin. Without boring you with logistical nuancies of the race, let’s just say that after my Quassy fiasco I was unusually anal about my travel arrangements. I arrived to the hotel around 8pm on Thursday after encountering only a few hick-ups.  I built my bike while I waited for my food to be delivered and tuned into some Olympics. Overall it was fairly uneventful, which is just great in my book!  The following morning I linked up with the Rev3 crew as I really wanted to meet everyone behind the scene. I have to tell you that it was quite humbling. I feel like that saying, “they work so hard” is an understatement. By the time their boots hit the ground, it’s non stop to put on not just a race, but a weekend of events for athletes and family to enjoy. And what impressed the most is the interaction within the staff; they seem more like family. I can’t say enough to sing their praise. If you haven’t done a Rev3 race, you are missing out plain and simple! I linked up with The Mary Miller to check out the bike course. How many blondes does it take to read a map?? Ironically we both pride ourselves on being good at directions. Turns out two blondes don’t make a right. Unless that’s a right turn when you should be turning left! Once we figured out the course, I was pleased that this was going to be a hard, fair course.  There were two substancial climbs, with the rest being undulating hills. Also, the wind was going to pick up as the day went out, which was another element to factor in. The run course was also quite hilly, overall the course was deceptively difficult.  Afterwards I had a quick pre-race interview which got me thinking even more about my race strategy. When asked about predictions, I stated that it would be foolish of me to make any. The truth is we all train hard and you just don’t know what each person is coming into the race with. Some might be in a build for an iron distance, others tapered and ready to go. Some might be recovering from injury…the point is you never know, so never count anyone out because anything can happen, especially on a course like this! Once I got back I chilled back in the room with my trusty Recovery Boots until dinner. I got to catch up with my teammate Richie and his wife Melissa. I’ve said it before and the same applies to Richie–it’s great to see nice people do well. He didn’t get to this point overnight and he is a great example of years of hard work paying off! Saturday morning I met up with my other teammate Malika for my usual swim/bike/run. I had a little bike drama with my wheel rubbing, which I was stressing about. However, I looked over at Malika who calmly told me she broke her seat clamp, and would have to borrow a bike to race on Sunday. Suddenly my bike drama didn’t seem so dramatic! After the pro meeting it was back to chilling, a little dinner, then an early night to get ready for an early morning. Race morning finally arrived. The hotel was walking distance to transition, so I took my time to head over there. The weather was quite cool  and once I got my bike set up and warm up complete, I headed down to the swim start.  I got a little worried because I felt a little too calm. So times those nerves are good to get you going yet I seemed to have none! Once the race started I immediately felt strong and was in a good draft. However, they distinctly told us to keep the buoys on our left and this draft was heading down the center of the swim course. I sited a gal to my right who was keeping the buoys on the correct line, I jumped behind her but the realized the other gals were aiming towards the very last turn around buoy, and we were on a longer course. Turns out later I was following Malika, as we were both confused at the other line. I tried to hop back with the pack but now I was gapped. Doh!!! Dumb dumb!! I stayed strong and a couple times thought I could catch back up. No bueno! I felt great and strong and kicked myself for my tactical error, but focused on minimizing the gap I created. Once out I heard 1:52 down on the leader  wasn’t too bad. Once I got to the bikes I focused on staying patient, trusting my training, and be confident that the girls would come back to me. I’ll admit, a few times I started to worry.  But finally at mild 40 I saw a speck ahead, then another at 47, then finally Malika in the final few miles. Wow, I guess it worked because a few times I worried I was out of it and now I was headed into T2 in 2nd. I ran out with Malika and got an update that Nicole was 3 min up the road. What an outstanding ride she had! My run legs felt strong, not necessarily “fast”, but good enough to hold on to 2nd. Overall I was pleased with my effort. This year I’ve walked away from each race with one (or two) discipline that was absolutely off. I felt strong the entire day and proved myself that the work eventually pays off. Once again I have to thank my incredible sponsors and supporters! Rev3, Recovery Pump, Powerbar, Pearl Izumi, John R. Jones, PC, Kestrel, Challenge Tires, Rudy Project, Blue Seventy, and to Team Red White and Blue! Coach Kevin for his always level head and encouragement. And to my family and friends for your constant love, help, and sometimes a swift kick to my arse!!

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