Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The "Off" Season- Part 1

In case you are now concerned that the quotation marks mean I'm not really taking an off season (a valid concern), let me reassure you: I am!  So far it has been an "off" season in several senses of the word, and that's why the quotes are there.

As I started writing this post and thinking about what I've been up to lately and why, I realized I had far too much to say to make this a single post (at least, if there was any chance of anyone making it through to the end).  So I'm splitting it in two: part 1 (below) will contain some off-season advice for the other competitive athletes in the crowd, along with a general update about what's been up in my tri-life.  Part 2 will follow later and be more specific about the activities I'm incorporating into off-season training and why, as well as provide some ideas for others.
 First of all, what is an off-season, and why take one?  There are many good articles out there about this, so I won't be exhaustive here.  In a nutshell, it is a mental and physical break from the training and racing demands of the rest of the year.  What this means specifically for each athlete can vary widely, and should vary according to each athlete's personality, background, previous season, upcoming season, and life outside of the sport.  For some triathletes, it may include a short (or not) period of no athletic activity; a period with no swimming, biking or running, but other sports; a period of unstructured swimming, biking, and running, with other activities mixed in; a combination of these; or something else entirely.  LET YOURSELF GET A BIT OUT OF SPORT-SPECIFIC SHAPE (probably more like "less in shape") for a short time before beginning to lay the foundation for the next year. By the time next August rolls around, your body will thank you!

kayaking is a lovely off-season activity!

Ten suggestions for a happy and healthy off-season:

1.  Spend extra time with your friends and family.  Make sure they know how important they are to you, and how much you appreciate their support (and patience!) throughout the year.  Indulge in some of the social activities you might skip while in serious training mode.  Let loose with an occasional late night with good company.  Make an effort to meet new people, too.

2.  Remind yourself why you love the sport.  Ditch your power meter and heart rate monitor and take some time to just enjoy being outside, and being active!  Grab a friend or two and ride to a coffee shop for treats.  Volunteer at a race, without racing: it's so rewarding to share in the joys and accomplishments of others, whether they're out there to finish, to PR, or to win.

the view from the other side of the results printer, at the Madison Marathon
3.  Learn a new skill.  This is a great time of year to learn a different stroke in the pool, learn how to cross country ski, etc.  So much of training can become routine at times- this is a chance to put your mental energy somewhere new, and improve your body awareness.  It takes concentration and practice to move your body in a way it's not used to and start developing the neural circuits to efficiently perform the task.  Aside from the reward of simply learning something new, there is a chance that the new skill may also transfer into improvement in elements of your primary sports. 

4.  Work on your core strength.  One of the great things about core work (as opposed to lifting, for example) is that it is something that is safe to do every day, and you will improve by consistently spending time on it.  Core strength affects power transfer in all 3 sports, and  helps prevent injury by allowing the body to move efficiently and maintain good form under fatigue.  It's definitely worth taking the time to develop!

even more fun in a group!
5.  Catch up on all of the things you tend to get "too busy" for during the year.  Clean the garage.  Go to the dentist.  Cross those things you keep procrastinating about off your to-do lists while you can: you'll probably feel a great sense of accomplishment once you're done!

6.  Take care of any nagging problem areas in your body.  Many of us end the season close to developing overuse injuries as the result of tight muscles and repeated stresses.  This is a great time to let your body rest and heal itself, and for you to help it to move better.  Depending on what specific issues you might have, it could be a good time for physical therapy, massage, active release, and other myofascial work.  You can get a good start on injury prevention on your own with your favorite torture instrument: a foam roller, marathon stick, Trigger Point kit, tennis ball, etc.  Ask a coach, PT, masseuse, or experienced athlete if you're not sure how to use these.

tools of the trade
7.  Do something out of the ordinary.  Take a road trip, hit up a museum, go to a concert.  Read a book.  Try a new restaurant.  Switch up your routine, in whichever way is fun for you.

Matt and Kim at Madison FreakFest
8.  Take an honest look at your past season. What did you do well,  in terms of training, recovery, and race execution?  What things can you improve upon?  This process is most useful when started on your own, then continued with your coach.  It's a good idea to have an objective eye weigh in- sometimes our feelings and emotions can cloud our perceptions.  You're probably doing better than you think you are!  The next two items on the list are also most effective with a coach's feedback:

9.  Identify your limiters and the steps you can take to improve them.  This is the perfect time of year for a muscle balance assessment, one-on-one technique work with a knowledgeable coach, etc.  It will be easiest to improve in the areas you are currently weakest, so the most "bang" for your time and effort is to specifically address those weaknesses.  Pick a few things to focus on, and make a plan.

10.  Plan your goals for the coming year.  These may include race and training goals, but also general life goals.  How do you want to be better in the next year?  Who says resolutions have to wait until January?  If you decide you'd like to improve yourself, what's the point in waiting?  Get a head start now and start moving down that path!

Picking your 2014 races? I have a suggestion!  Share it with friends (or keep them all for yourself!) 
I personally enjoy the "unstructured" approach to the first part of my off season, before starting to build in all of the things that will help me in the coming year.  This year, for some reason, my body has been responding kind of strangely to being out-of-season.  I've been feeling, well... "off."  My workout performances have been sub-par (even for off-season) pretty much across the board.  I've had some symptoms very similar to overtraining, even with a training load below what I have easily been able to handle in the past.  I did have a very long season this year compared to past years, so maybe I need additional rest: my coach and I are trying to build that in right now and hoping it will help.  Luckily, this is not the time of year that I need to be in peak shape, nor would it be good to be.  So I'm doing my best to be patient and enjoy the variety in my schedule without stressing out about workout numbers.  Upon hearing experiences from other athletes, I'll also be popping in to a doctor to get my iron and other levels checked, just to make sure that nothing else is going on.

In other news, I am happy to be returning to Team Rev3 next year.  Since it is an Age Group (amateur) team, I have committed to racing at least most of the 2014 season as an age-grouper.  When I last checked in on this blog, my training capabilities for the winter and my future past May were looking uncertain, and this is still the case, so I'm very comfortable with my decision to postpone upgrading to Elite for now.  If I'm positively killing it late next year, I can always re-evaluate.  Besides, one year has not been enough with this crew!  My teammates continue to inspire me and make me laugh every day, and I'm looking forward to sticking around to meet the newbies.  The 2014 team announcements are now being rolled out on the  Team Rev3 Facebook page, so tune in there to follow along!

Team Rev3 has been participating in a Secret Santa exchange this year, and no surprise, my teammates are doing a lot of fun and creative things.  The big reveal is on December 15- I can't wait- I'm super excited about the gift I bought!  Whose name do I hold?  Here's a hai-"klue":

 A twelve-month past, now:
 nerves, anticipation, then...
 note from Momma Bear.

Follow the final days of the Secret Santa madness if you need a little bit of entertainment:
on Twitter:  @SummersSanta   @PamsSecretSanta   @NotahoSanta   @AnnesShhSanta  @DixiesRev3SS
on Facebook:   Rons Revthree SecretSanta     Feed Speed     ItsaVeryZody Secret Santa

I feel like this sums up Team Rev3 Secret Santa pretty well.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Aquabike Nationals-- Rev3 South Carolina

Balloons Over Anderson, pic by Rev3 teammate Jen
1800+ miles.  30+ hours of driving within an 80 hour period.  Worth it?  Oh yes. 

Though I signed up for this race last year after I found out it was USAT Aquabike Nationals, travel plans were slow to come together.  Throughout the year I leaned on a few Wisconsin triathletes to come race with me, but for various reasons things fell through with each.  Within a couple of weeks of the race it became clear that it was going to be a solo mission, and I was left to decide the best way to get there.  Fly?  Rental car?  Yes, I have 3 bikes and no car... I know.  Cue luck/ serendipity/ good friends.  Ben was on his way to Hawaii for the week and graciously lent me his "blue toaster" to use while he was gone.

I'm certainly a gal who enjoys a road trip, and I've driven several impressive/borderline stupid trips before, including: 1.) 10 hours straight to Kansas for a sprint tri, but at least I had one other along to chat with, and  2) 12 hours straight, solo, during the night, to Rapid City for work.  I mapped out a route, but the more I thought about it, the dumber it sounded to drive 14 hours straight by myself so soon before a big race.  I have family in Ohio, and it would only be an extra half hour out of the way to stop there.  Perfect.  I was able to get a few hours of sleep, but had to be up early to finish the drive and get into Anderson by midday.  I finished the trip without any major problems, but was still a bit zombielike by the time I rolled into the Anderson Civic Center, the site of the race expo.

Here you go, Ben.  I couldn't figure out how to get any hot air balloons in the frame, though.

The afternoon was frenzied as I tried to condense all of my normal race prep activities.  I was tired and kind of out of it mentally.  I did make it just in time for the first athlete meeting though (whew!), checked in, and said hi to a few teammates.  Anderson is a two transition race, so the swim and T1 were at a separate location about 3 miles away.  I headed over there hoping to have time for a quick shake-out ride and splash around before checking my bike in and heading to the Rev3 team/staff dinner at 6.  Ahh, the best laid plans.  I managed to flat the latex tube inside my rear tire half an hour into the ride, and ended up on the side of the road unable to get my valve extender to work with the spare tube I had on me.  A Good Samaritan fellow racer named Morgan spotted me and stopped to help, and ended up giving me a ride back to transition.  Morgan, if by some chance you come across this blog- thank you, thank you, again.  The triathlon community is full of wonderful people.  I drove back to the expo to buy a new tube, then back to T1, and by that time only had time to check-in my bike if I was going to make it to dinner on time.  So much for swimming or driving the bike course.  Attempt 1 to wheel it in- forgot its number sticker.  D'oh.  Trotted it over to transition again, said goodbye to my little buddy, and I was off.

At Rev3 South Carolina both the Glow Run and the Rev3 staff/ Team Rev3 dinner were on Saturday night instead of Friday, so at last I was able to do both!  There was a pretty good showing of team members at this race, and it was great to catch up.  Kristin and I had fun chatting during the glow "run" (jog, since I was racing the next day... and we'd both just eaten Mexican food...).  The run course wrapped around the Balloons Over Anderson festival, a pretty cool weekend-long hot air balloon and carnival event.

Team Rev3 members post-dinner!

With a race the next morning, we couldn't stick around the post run festivities (fireworks, movie, popcorn) for long.  I was staying the night with Rev3 teammates Chloe, Kristin, and Heidi.  The four of us got all of our things together for the next day while following the Kona pro race and our friends with the online coverage.  I think I amused my roommates with my routine- emptying everything out of all of my bags and re-packing them to make sure everything would be where I needed it- but it's just one of those things that makes me feel more at ease before a race.  Triathlon has so much more gear involved than other sports, and I didn't want to take the chance of misplacing anything I needed.  I wouldn't be running, but I still had shoes to drop off at T2 so I could cross the finish line when I was done, I had certain things I wanted at the car after the race, and I obviously had swim and bike gear to bring with me to T1, as well as a few things to use before the race (an extra water bottle and PowerGel, sunscreen, etc.).  The race was going to be around 3 hours long...

Race Day

For an aquabike race like this (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike) I ideally would have wanted to get a solid warm up on the bike, then a good swim.  With all bikes being checked in the day before the race, it wasn't possible to take the bike back out on the road in the morning.  My second choice would have been to bring a trainer into transition and ride inside there- I've seen a few pros do this at other Rev3 races.  But with two transitions, that wasn't an option either: I would have had to bring the trainer on the athlete bus with me in addition to my other bags, plus the race wouldn't be able to transport it back to the finish area for me.  So instead I got to T2 in the morning and started with a run warm up sequence and  squats to get my leg muscles firing, then dropped off my shoes and visor at my transition spot and boarded one of the athlete buses to T1 with my swim and bike gear.  As I set up my spot, I noticed that my front water bottle was leaking from the bottom.  I didn't have a way to fix it or bring another bottle with me, so I would have to make do with one good water bottle on my bike frame and just drink quickly from the front bottle each time I filled it on the course.  Once I was finally satisfied that everything was set up on my bike the way I wanted it, I found some teammates and hung out for a while to try to calm my nerves.  Then it was time to drop off my dry clothes bag and go remind myself how to swim!

I was starting in wave 3 of the day at 8 a.m., ten minutes behind wave 1.  Wave 1 contained the Half Rev men under age 40, wave 2 was men 40-55, and my wave was a mix of men 55+, all relays, and all of the Half Aquabike participants.  The swim course was fun: we started on one side of a peninsula and did a big loop around it to finish on the other side.  I figured the start might be aggressive, so I started in the second line of athletes instead of the front.  My start was clean and I found someone to follow for the first few hundred meters.  After the second turn we started catching the orange caps of the  second wave, and I navigated my own way through the chaos.  I felt strong and in control. Eventually I started catching some green caps of wave 1 swimmers as well, but I tried to focus on keeping my stroke smooth and my effort high.  I tend to perform well in open water compared to swimmers of the same level in the pool, and I think that's mainly due to being able to maintain concentration in the second half of the swim leg.  I was hoping for a sub 29 minute split here, and was a little bit off of that.  The swim is always the hardest split to compare race to race.  Times seemed a little slow across the board here, and weaving through athletes probably slowed me down a bit, but I'm happy with how I felt in the swim regardless of the time itself.
Split: 30:29

One thing I definitely did not do well was put my wetsuit into the transition bag quickly.  This is not something I've practiced since it is only done at races with two transitions, but it might be worth taking the time to figure out the best way to do it since I had trouble!  As I ran out barefoot with my bike I heard someone say "First female," but I was skeptical...
Split: 1:11
transition 1
This bike course was "lollipop" design, with one giant loop, a short jaunt on the same roads around T1, and then a few more roads continuing past there to T2 (my finish).  With 3 speed bumps along the road out of the park, it wasn't possible to build much speed right away.  I hit the button to start my bike computer after the second bump, but as I exited the park and looked down, I saw that the computer was off.  I hit it again and saw a flash of numbers, then nothing.  Confused, I did it a third time and caught the empty battery icon out of the corner of my eye.  No.  I remembered looking at its cord the night before and figuring it didn't need charging, but I didn't verify.  I'd had plans for what power I wanted to put out on different parts of the course, but now I'd be doing it entirely on feel.  My pacing plan, since I didn't have to run, had been to do the first half at the effort I usually bike at in Olympic distance races, then try to bring it up in the second half and make sure I was completely exhausted by the time I got to the dismount line.  For the Aquabike our finish times were taken at the entrance to transition 2, so I would need to get off my bike and run about 4 steps at the end.  Trying to sprint into the dismount area would be dangerous, so I didn't want to have anything extra left.
With the way the starting waves were structured, I found myself around a lot of riders of similar ability level right away, and it was interesting.  Since I didn't have power numbers to rein me in on the first part of the course, I revised my plan to try to bring up the effort a little bit every 10 miles, and take it easy on the climbs in the first half of the race.  I was surrounded by men and it was hard not to absorb their pacing, but I figured based on what I'd seen at other long races that a lot of them were probably climbing too hard.  I ended up around a bunch of guys that were hard to shake: they'd fly by me up the hills, and I'd gradually pull them back on the flatter sections and descents.  I was careful to follow the non-drafting rules, though it was frustrating to have to sit up and slow down a few times for people.  I'm used to being on my own most of the time at races when the women start together- the women's amateur field isn't usually deep enough to get bunched up.  My sympathies to those of you who deal with this all the time!

Ten miles in, I passed a girl in Dynamo kit.  That's the team female pro Haley Chura swims with, so I wasn't too surprised that this great swimmer was apparently on the team too.  I didn't know if there were any other women still up the road (after all, that spectator had apparently missed this one), so I kept riding like I was chasing someone.  Throughout the middle of the ride, I was... I was chasing everyone.  The field spread out, so I was on my own much more, but I tried to keep slowly picking off the people in front of me while sticking to my pacing strategy.  At 30 miles I got a special "hey, I'm over halfway" kind of excitement and picked it up considerably for the next 10 miles... maybe a little bit too much. 

There were 3 aid stations on the bike course, at 15, 30, and 45 miles.  I got water at each and poured it in the front bottle, but the leaking was noticeable.  I drank as much as I comfortably could after each aid station before the water ran out, but I wasn't getting quite as much as I wanted overall.  I also realized that my normal bike food for a half distance race (PowerBar Gel Blasts) was too solid for my more aggressive aquabike pacing... should've stuck exclusively to gels.  Lesson learned.  By the time I got to mile 45 my legs hurt pretty badly, and my stomach felt like it was holding a lot of fuel that wasn't being absorbed. I told myself that there was only half an hour to go, and kept using the people in front as motivation.  This is what you wanted to happen.  The last half hour of a half distance race is always painful, but it was novel to experience that on the bike instead of the run.  I caught teammate Josh around mile 50 and gave him a cheer, hoping he remembered that I had nothing to hold back for at that point (he was doing the entire half, not the aquabike).  During the last few miles it felt like my legs were shredding apart, and I pushed harder, just wanting it to be over faster.  Finally I heard the noise of the expo and made the turn into the Civic Center grounds, got off the bike and shuffled my way the last few steps into transition.  DONE.

Split: 2:40:18, Total: 3:11:58

what a beautiful, beautiful sign
It was strange to slowly hobble my way through transition with my bike while people were running by.  I got to my spot and tried to stand there and take off my cycling shoes.  My legs wobbled and I had to brace myself on the bike to stop myself from falling over.  Interesting.  Finally I got both running shoes on, put on my visor as I walked the rest of the way through transition, and jubilantly jogged the opposite way most people were going- right around the corner to the finish chute to get my t-shirt and finisher medal! 

Post Race

One of the best things about traveling by myself was the freedom to make my own schedule.  I was in no hurry to get back on the road after the long trip down, so I enjoyed a few hours at the race cheering people in, attending the awards ceremony (found out I won the Aquabike!), and running around chatting with friends.  After a quick break to take a shower and sit in Ryan's NormaTec boots, I met up with other Team Rev3 members and Rev3 staff to cheer in the final finisher of the day- a Rev3 tradition! After grabbing some dinner with Ryan and Anthony it was time to hit the road again.  Another great weekend with the Rev3 family-- can't wait until next year!

I split up the drive on the way home too, and decided to sleep in, see Ohio in the daylight, and spend more than a couple of minutes with my aunt!  If you find ever find yourself in Oxford and need a place to stay, check out Presidio Pines--  then you can see these guys too:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Out with a Bang: Rev3 Branson

I came into this season in an interesting place.  For the first time in years, I didn't have a big "A race" in mind. I wanted to perform well at the Olympic and Half distances and had quite a few "process" goals for the year, but that was it.  I'm a big believer in keeping things flexible and doing what motivates you, and there was no single event that I wanted to qualify for, etc.  I kind of had in mind from the beginning that it would be a building year.  Some of this was probably the need for a mental break after my borderline-obsession with Ironman Wisconsin last year (which went very well and turned into one of those sobs-of-joy-at-the finish-line type races, despite the fact that I didn't end up with a Kona spot.  I was not a blogger yet, but my coach wrote a good recap of my race on his blog here).  Anyway, our plan this year had an early season peak and an extended peak for my end-of-season tris: Iowa's Best Dam Triathlon (MWCTC  Championships) and the Half Rev at Rev3 Branson.

I enjoyed rocking the Team Rev3 tats with the UW kit for IBDT!  Justin Torner Photography got some cool shots.

At this point, some of you might notice that I never published a race report for IBDT.  And I don't plan to.  My approach to blogging is a lot like racing: I do it when I feel inspired to, when I feel passionate about it.  I need an angle, some broader perspective than just a play-by-play race recap.  As with any Badger road trip it was a really fun weekend, but the race itself was unremarkable for me. So-so non-wetsuit swim, pretty fast bike with a few stupid mistakes, and a run that started off well but faded to the point that it ended up only 30 seconds faster than in the previous year's race (which was 1 week post ironman).  The brightest spots were that I nailed the mount and dismount I had been practicing all week (woot!). I came away with the collegiate female win, which was my primary point in making the trip, but I left with a fire in my belly for Branson.

With Branson, a number of factors collided that made me strangely (for me) at ease in the the lead-up to the race.  I mentioned the fact that I wasn't really viewing it as an A race.  One of my goals at the beginning of the season was to break 5 hours in a half this year.  I have been close now many times-- Door County 2010: 5:01:49, Racine 2011- 5:01:49 (NOT A TYPO, I went the same time down to the second!), High Cliff 2012- 5:00:12, Oceanside 2013- 5:01:43.  However, I knew going in that Branson would not be the course to do that on, unless I turned into Wonder Woman overnight (the winning female pro in 2012 went 4:57), so I didn't feel any pressure about that. I'd also already hit a long-shot goal for the year by pro qualifying at Rev3 Dells, so that wasn't an issue either.  I was just excited to race, and that pretty much blocked out everything else.

home away from home for the weekend

I made the trip down to Missouri with Badger teammate Simon, who was racing the Olympic Rev in the collegiate division, and Milwaukee-area tri friend Pete, who was also racing the Half Rev.  The drive went quickly, and our hotel was pretty entertaining and Branson-esque.  Saturday was a busy day with the official practice swim, packet-pick-up at T2, easy ride and bike drop off at T1, and a quick drive of the bike course.  As usual I was dealing with a few minor crises (this time, some foot pain that kept me out of running the second half of the week, and a painful insect sting on our shake-out bike ride) but I tried to focus on managing the things I could control and hoped for the best in the morning!

green screen fun at the race expo!
5 a.m. rolled around quickly, and it was chilly (mid-40s) but we were pretty well prepared.  All of the week's little niggles melted away.  We parked at T2 and dropped off our run gear, then were able to board one of the Branson Ducks right away (no line!) to shuttle us to the swim start.  It was pretty much as stress-free as a two transition race can be.  There was space to warm up in the water while the earlier waves went off, which was great since the 76* water felt much nicer than the air did, and my sleeveless blueseventy wetsuit was perfect.  The air-water temperatures and humidity were working together to create a fog layer right at water level, though, and even during my warm up I could tell that it was going to make things interesting...

^ hey look, I'm running
Our wave start was a beach start, and I was able to line up just where I liked- on the front and to the inside- in hopes of avoiding the fray.  I found myself following some fast feet for the first 400m or so.  Quickly I noticed that I could see the candy-corn-like orange and yellow Olympic turn buoys just fine (great), but not the red buoys that signaled the Half Rev turns. My stroke felt good, and it seemed like the people in front were veering off course (at least, if the red buoy was where it seemed like it should be) so I left the person in front of me in hopes of swimming a straighter line.  But after a little while I realized I was lost in the fog: I had passed the Olympic turn buoy, but I couldn't see the Half one yet.  After failing to sight it a few times in a row, I did a few breaststroke strokes to take a better look around.  Nope.  My only choice was to keep following the path of the swimmers I was catching from earlier waves until I saw the buoy myself.  This  continued throughout the swim, and I completely lost momentum.  It was hard to trust the people in front of me, and I know I was swimming much too tentatively.  This is definitely something I need to work on. Slowing down wasn't helping- I needed to trust that I was going the right way, and periodically check for appearing buoys.  I might try out a different colored goggle tint in the future as well.  Finally I hit sand and started running, and heard RD Eric yell that my speedy Rev3 teammate Maggie was up just ahead.  I charged up the steep path as quickly as I could manage, did a solid bike mount (yay!) and set off in pursuit.  Split: 30:57


The first two miles were very decidedly uphill, and my legs felt good but I tried not to get too excited.  The next ones were more gradual, and I slowly reined Maggie in and gave her a cheer as I passed.  It was fun to glance around and remember running the same road a couple of years ago. At about 6 miles we popped out onto our playground for the day, the Ozark Mountain High Road.  The Half Rev athletes had about two and a half laps on there before turning off towards Branson Landing.  The entire multi-lane High Road was completely closed to traffic for us, so crowding was never an issue, and there were 5 opportunities to get fluids at aid stations on course, which was great.  This whole middle section of the bike course was filled with long slow climbs followed by open sweeping downhills.  Normally I'm not a big fan of hills, but the fun of carrying high speeds through the descents just about made up for all of the climbing.  My ride data shows that I went over 40 mph 16 times during the Branson bike.  Crazy!  The climbs weren't too steep, so you could get into a rhythm and grind them out.   

great bike course photo by

I tried to stay as steady as possible on the climbs, and use them as chances to eat, drink, and move around.  Coach Bill and I had discussed power goals for the flats (ha!) and power ceilings for the climbs in the week before the race, but I ended up climbing a little bit above what we had discussed.  It allowed me to ride at a more comfortable cadence, and since my legs felt strong it seemed like the smartest thing to do.  I was getting plenty of rest of the downhills, and I knew from hilly rides earlier in the summer that I could climb hard repeatedly without destroying my legs.  I feel like I'm getting better at identifying different types of pain and what they mean for me.  My legs hurt for most of the bike ride, but I still had plenty of power, and that was the important part.  This is the kind of situation when I appreciated having power data as an independent measure of how hard I was working.  Without it, I probably would have backed off to make sure I wasn't  killing myself before a half marathon. Still, I was a little nervous turning off the High Road that I'd done too much. With 9 miles to go, I looked down and realized that on most other half courses I'd be getting off the bike around then.  From my scouring of previous years' results, 3:00 seemed like a competitive amateur bike split, and would be in the mix with the back half of the female pros.  So that was a smaller goal for the race, and I knew I could get close if I stayed focused.

in the zone on the High Road

The final miles down to Branson Landing were really fun and mostly downhill.  There was a screaming fast descent at mile 53 on James Epps Rd.--  I was grateful that the RD intelligently routed us up around the corner and through a wide turnaround to run out some speed instead of having us making a tight left into the park right at the bottom of the hill.  The path through the park was narrow and twisty, and I was all alone so I was momentarily concerned that I missed a turn.  Soon enough, though, I found myself at the exit and ready for the last hill- a sharp little kick that was actually the steepest section on the course (ouch!).  I was really glad I knew it was coming, because I probably would've dropped my chain otherwise.  My wind-chilled feet made for a less than graceful flying dismount, but oh well.  Split: 3:01:48 (gah!)


The Branson run course is 3 laps (more like 2.9 laps) and pretty much as flat as I could hope for.  It's lovely.  From T2 we ran right through the middle of the Branson Landing shopping center, along the river to a big loop turnaround in Sunset Park, then all the way past transition along the water to a quick out and back in North Beach Park.  Like the bike course, the run was incredibly well-supported, with 14 aid stations in 13 miles.  And I appreciated every single one of them.

In my pre-race meeting with Bill we'd decided I should go out at about 7:30 pace if I felt good, or about 8s if I was having trouble getting my legs to come around.  Well, as I headed out of transition my legs felt GREAT-- like all the bike did was warm them up for the run.  What?!  My excitement combined with the rush of heading through the crowds at the shopping center caused me to take it out hot.  I came through 1 mile and hit my watch: 7:01, crap.  I tried to convince myself to simmer down.  Mile 2: 7:06. Double crap. Even if I was having an awesome day, that was probably not going to be sustainable.  Attempt #2 to back off: 7:22.  Ok.  I tried to hold it there.

The day had slowly been warming up and the sun was shining brightly.  I had taken a few salt tablets on the bike, and packed some for the run even though they would be on course.  I tried to stay on top of cooling myself and fueling: at each aid station I dumped water on myself and grabbed a drink, and  make sure I was taking in calories and salt regularly. Around mile 6 I started getting toasty, and running wasn't as easy.  I focused on my cadence and kept an eye on my splits.  It was great to see Sharpie and my Rev3 teammates and other friends around the course: every time I ran into one of them it was a pick-me-up.  The third quarter of the run is always so mental.  I grabbed cola, which is always a nice treat in races.  I chased people.  I'd been keeping tabs on where Maggie was, and I could see that she was slowing pulling time back.  She is a solid runner who's had a few fantastic races this year, so I couldn't afford to ease up at all.  Since we were now mixed in with Olympic racers and doing multiple laps, I couldn't tell where anyone else was.  I made an effort to pick things up at the start of the third lap, but it cost me.  My lower body was tightening up. At mile 10 I found myself above 8:00/mi pace for the first time in the race.  Nooo.  At that point I realized the aid stations had ice, and shoved a bunch down my top.  Mile 11.  My left IT band felt like a rock.  HOLD IT TOGETHER, SUMMER.  I imagined ticking off every tenth of a mile.  Past 12 miles, a woman came floating by me looking impossibly fresh.  It was the final kick in the butt I needed.  I fought to stay on her heels, and was delighted when she continued straight as I veered left towards the finish.  I got an enthusiastic greeting from Rev3 announcer Sean English and couldn't help but grin as I crossed the line.  Split: 1:39:59 (!)

Time: 5:15:14, 1st OA amateur female, 11th OA female

Whoa.  I am very, very happy with the way this race went, and as such, it will definitely be my last triathlon this season.  It was my first time breaking 1:40 in a 70.3 run (by the skin of my teeth! but still!), when at the start of 2013 I hadn't cracked 1:50. To do it off of a difficult bike ride is icing on the cake. It would have still been the slowest run in the women's pro field by a couple of minutes, but at least I'm moving in the right direction.  1:40 was a big mental barrier.  Maybe by the end of next year I'll be able to take my run out in 7s and actually hold them.  Time will tell... 

My travel buddies turned in solid races too, with Simon winning the Olympic overall and Pete placing in the top part of the amateur field in the half.  It was also great to see some of my collegiate friends down at the race, too- they always make things more fun.  And of course the Rev3 family was out in full force!  It was a great trip.

Rev3 girls represent

This weekend I have my final real race of the year- USAT Aquabike Nationals at Rev3 South Carolina in Anderson, SC.  I referred to this as the "dessert of my triathlon season" to a friend recently, and it totally is.  A 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and I'm done.  I signed up for it last year even before I made it onto the Rev3 team.  For once I get to go out and leave it all on the bike, without worrying what it will do to my run.  In the second half of that bike ride, the gloves are coming off, and the claws are coming out.

I can't wait.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ready to Rev: bring on Branson!

REV3 BRANSON!  It's technically a new race, but I already have ties to it.

I went to the race as a spectator/ support crew member 2 years ago, back when it was 70.3 Branson.  It was a week after my "A" triathlon that year, and I was still building run mileage for my first open marathon that October.  Things worked out pretty perfectly back then for me with the race's two transition areas-- T1 at Table Rock Lake and T2 downtown at Branson Landing--  I got to watch the swim and transition, did my 15 mile run from T1 to T2 (with an extended cheering stop by the bike turnaround on the Ozark Mountain High Road) and then hopped around on the run.  The bike route was gorgeous and hilly, and made me pretty jealous of everyone racing (I was much less jealous 2 hours later, when the skies opened up and let out a downpour during the run).

"Waiting for a ride in the dark"- Branson Ducks for race morning transportation

I was SO excited to hear about Rev3 taking over the race this year, and knew I absolutely had to try it myself.  So I'll be attempting to tear it up in the Half Rev on Sunday- wish me luck (I might need it on this course)!  I'm also ~85% sure that it will be my last tri of the season (last tri of the season, not last race of the season...), so even more reason to leave it all out there.

Race day tracking will be available here.  I'll be off and swimming at 7:20 a.m. CDT.

Short and sweet post this time (lucky you)- I've got to finish packing! :)

looking towards downtown from the western part of the 76/ Country Blvd.

Branson is a kind of quirky tourtist town- reminiscent of Wiscsonsin Dells to me, but a little bit more "out there"

case in point

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Rev3 Dells

The Dells.  I had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time- since the race last year, even more when I was selected onto the Rev3 age group team in December, even more when it was confirmed as a Midwest Collegiate Conference race again in January/February, etc.  The excitement has been building.  For a while, I wasn't sure whether to tackle the epic half course, or compete in the Olympic so I could do the collegiate race.  The exact plan wasn't finalized until a couple of weeks before the race, but all along I had planned for it to be an "A" race, and wanted to be firing on all cylinders.

The quick summary:  I had an okay race.  Not a great one.  But I certainly did put everything I had on the day into it.  And I came out with a great finish- 2nd overall amateur in a race with a pro prize purse of over $20k, which meant that my finish qualified me to apply for a USAT elite license ("pro card").  But I know I am fitter right now than I showed on Sunday, I believe I can be much better than I am right now, and I WILL have to be much better before I will feel comfortable moving up.  There are a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head right now.  So this is less a race report than a reflection about how the race fits into the rest of my life.  Those of you who know me know that I like to be thorough, so this is a particularly long post- feel free to skip around; I tried to make that easy.  Grab a cup of coffee and settle in.


My last tri was the Pewaukee Olympic 4 weeks ago, though it seems like it's been much longer than that.  A lot has happened outside of my triathlon life.  I had an incredibly stressful ~ week-and-a-half long period soon after that race in which I did very little other than work.  I skipped almost all of my workouts, and the couple that I did do were cut very short.  I got just enough sleep to remain functional on large doses of caffeine, and I stress-ate my way through a lot of mint M&Ms, Topperstix, and the like.  Looking back, I'm surprised that I didn't end up very sick.  I got through it, a little worse for the wear and without time to really build fitness for the Dells, but with enough time to get back into the swing of things.  Accordingly, I mentally downgraded the Dells race from an "A" race to a "have fun, go hard, and see what happens" race.


One thing that has been in the back of my mind for a while now-- almost since I started the sport, really-- is the possibility of one day racing as a pro triathlete.  I kept this pretty quiet the first few years, afraid to really own it publicly until it seemed more tangible.  It was a dream, not a goal, too far away to seriously consider. I have continued to make steady progress each year, and last year I began to mention the subject to my coach and a few close friends.  Coach B. and I also took it into account as an outside possibility in planning my 2013 season.  I wouldn't be chasing qualification, but I'd put myself into a position to qualify at a few races if things went well.  There are a number of ways to qualify for an elite license through USA Triathlon, but one of the most straightforward was to place within the top 3 amateurs at a race that had a pro race in the same format offering a total prize purse of at least $20k.  I had figured that the Dells would be one of my best chances to qualify, between the timing of the race in the year and USAT's unfortunate placement of the Olympic distance age group national championships in Milwaukee the day before (don't get me started on that).


I caught a ride up to Wisconsin Dells on Friday afternoon with Rev3 teammate Ron and his family, who were coming from the Chicago area.  Up there we met up with teammate Ryan, who proved to be a good buddy since he was also traveling solo (my Wisconsin Tri Team friends wouldn't arrive until Saturday).  Friday night festivities included dinner with the extended team and staff and a trip to the Tommy Bartlett water show, which was pretty cool!

Saturday brought a nice slate of Rev3 activities, including the morning official practice swim, blueseventy "worst wetsuit contest," and swim clinic with super pro Cameron Dye. In the afternoon I met up with Coach Bill and buddy Ansel to check out the run course by bike.  There were some good hills, but on the bike it's easy to underestimate some of the smaller rollers, and I fell victim to this.  Momentum doesn't carry you as far on foot as it does on a bike-- but more on that later.

Game time

Despite a beautiful few days leading up to the race, the morning forecast didn't look promising, and by the time transition closed, it was raining steadily.  I have of course had plenty of practice racing in the rain this year between Rev3 Knoxville, Triple-T, and Rockford, so I thought little of it except that I'd have to corner more cautiously on the bike.

Swim. The swim start was time-trial start by twos, and the age group women were sent off immediately after the age group men.  I love to have people to chase, so I placed myself about 15 women back in the line. I felt pretty strong the first half, and felt like I was swimming fast despite having to weave through the back 2/3 of the age group men.  On the return stretch I could feel my recent lack of swim yardage coming back to bite me a bit, so I just tried to stay focused and maintain turnover the best I could.  I relaxed quite a bit in the last 100m trying to bring my heart rate down before the beast of hill that leads up to transition.  It didn't seem to work.  I took my wetsuit off immediately, like I usually do for long T1s, but as I started "running" up the hill my stomach retched repeatedly, threatening to expel my breakfast.  I kept moving and managed to keep everything down, but I really need to get the situation figured out soon since it seems to happen almost without fail whenever T1 involves a good hill.  From talking with other athletes it seems that swim times included the run uphill to transition, which makes my particularly slow split make more sense.

up the dang hill and getting my bearings back
Bike.  I got my legs back under me pretty quickly, and this turned out to be one of my better rides of the year, power-wise.  However, at the end of the day it's not the numbers on the device that matter- it's how fast you get from point A to point B.  And my split was not as fast as I'd have liked it to be.  So, where did I lose time?  
1. Corners.  I still can't get myself to corner well on wet roads.  Why?  I haven't practiced it in training.  I always end up thinking "I don't want to wipe out on a training ride."  But there's no way to get more comfortable with it other than to practice.
2. First half mile/last half mile.  There were a number of bumps leading between transition and the main road, as well as a few big puddles.  I could've stormed through them quite a bit faster.

Still, I am happy with the ride.  I felt strong, and held my position in the field pretty well. Since the run route out faced the bike route in I got to cheer for a few friends who were up ahead, and that was great!

Riding is fun, rain or no rain.

Run. I felt pretty strong, steady, and under control in the first miles.  There's not a lot of net elevation change until the long hill at about 2.5 miles, but the steep parts of the little rollers each zapped a bit of strength from me.  I haven't done much hill-specific work this season, so that might have been a contributor to the problem.  The long hill near halfway was the only out-and-back section on the new run course, and therefore the best chance to see where everyone was.  The lead female was quite a way in front of me, but the next female behind me wasn't too far.  On the second half of the run, I used that knowledge to keep pushing through the pain as my wheels were coming off.  Each hill took longer and longer for me to recover from, but there's no walking when you're being hunted from behind. 

yep, can tell this was taken in the first 2 miles
The last significant hill on the run course was on Adams St. at 5 miles.  It just about killed me.  Afterward, my whole body felt weak and my brain did everything it could to keep my limbs moving forward along the rollers of Wisconsin Dells Pkwy.  Approaching the last turn onto Lake, someone cheered for us "girls." Uh, oh, plural.  Sure enough, just after the turn the woman I'd spotted earlier charged past me.  I couldn't match her pace, but I picked mine up as much as I could and prayed for the end to come swiftly.  I should've checked out the configuration of the finishing chute beforehand, because it twisted around for what seemed like the longest 100m or so of my life.  Like at Lake Mills, I felt everything start to come up as I ran towards the line, so I don't really want to see my finisher picture.  I didn't quite make it to a trash can.  Oops.  I'm getting pretty good at scaring spectators and volunteers.  Sorry, everyone.


I knew a lot of  people at this race, and it was great to catch up with so many of them! If I missed you, I apologize!

It turns out that with the time trial start, I was actually 10 seconds faster than the girl who passed me before in the last quarter mile, so I came in second overall.  I'm so happy I didn't ease off at any point on the run, because it would have been really, really easy to lose those 10 seconds.

As always, Rev3 gave their award winners ridiculous amounts of cool stuff!

I also learned that coach Wild Bill qualified for his elite license as well by taking 3rd OA on the men's side- this has been a long time coming, and I am sooo happy for him!

Thanks to having the generous Mr. Cagle as my ride back to Madison, I was able to stick around to help start cleaning up the expo area and cheer in the final Half Rev finisher.  The final finisher is a big deal at Rev3- this person has worked hard for longer than anyone else out on the course.  At so many races, the back of the pack seem to be forgotten about, left to fend for themselves. People pack up aid stations and finish lines and head out.  Not so with Rev3-- the final finisher is where the party is at! After hearing about it and seeing videos from other races, I'm so glad I was able to participate in this for myself.
Congratulations, Robert!

What's next?

Qualifying for the elite license was a good milestone.  But I don't want to be in the pro field just to finish-- I want to compete.  I want to be in the race, in the mix, not dangling off of the back.  Whenever I move up, I want it to be clear that I belong there.  Do I expect to be winning pro races?  Certainly not.  It's not about winning.  It's about being pushed to new levels, about becoming the best athlete I can be.  Right now, my swim and bike splits pretty consistently put me in the mix with the back third of the pro field.  On my good running days, I am about even with the last pros.  But on my bad running days, I'm WAY off the back.  My running has been better on the whole this year, and good more often than in the past, but frankly it's not yet where it needs to be to race at an elite level.

I think I can get it there, but I'm not sure how soon. One of the nice things about elite qualification is that an athlete has a year from the date of qualification to apply for the elite license.  My current life timeline has me finishing my dissertation and defending my PhD next May, and at this point in my life that has to be the priority over athletics.  Will I continue to train the best I can while working on it?  Yes.  But when time runs short and the two butt heads, I will be choosing academics.  So I'm not sure where I will be able to have my fitness at come next spring, and I will be holding off applying for the elite license for now.  If I'm at the level  I need to be at to move up, I should be able to re-qualify anyway.  I'm still young (relatively :) ).  I've got time!


Lastly, I just want to recognize some of the people who have helped me get to this point on the journey.  Be prepared, things are about to get a little bit sappy...

My amazing family, for their unflinching support in whatever crazy endeavor I've been hooked on over the years. I love you more than you could ever know.

My coach, Bill.  We've been through a lot of ups and downs over the past 4+ years, personally and professionally.  The things I think are most valuable in a coaching relationship are 1) trust, and 2) open communication.  You are fantastic at both with all of your athletes, and I have faith that you will keep me moving in the right direction.  To the rest of the SBR coaches: Jessica, Kory, Kitty, Scott; plus Pete at Rocket Bikes: I appreciate all of your help and your feedback. You always make me feel valued and welcome, even when I pepper you with questions.

My newest team, Team Rev3.  I don't know if I can say enough.  Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and letting me be a part of the family.  You are some of the kindest, funniest people I know, and it is an honor to be part of your ranks. The same goes for the Rev3 staff.  I believe in what you do, and you do an incredible job.  The Team Rev3 sponsors: PowerBar, Pearl Izumi, blueseventy, SBR Sports, Biotta JuicesCompex, NormaTec, Quintana Roo, Reynolds.  Thanks for keeping us happy, healthy, comfortable, and fast!

The Wisconsin Triathlon Team, past ("UW Triathlon Team" :) ) and present.  You keep me motivated, inspired, and having fun, day in and day out.  When I joined, I knew next to nothing about the sport.  Now I get to pass on some of the things I've learned to the people who are just discovering it.  Each of you brings a little something different to the table, and that's what makes us such a strong group.

Last but certainly not least: all of the incredible friends that I've met through this sport-- particularly the collegiate athletes, and those from the Madison tri scene: the folks out at Endurance House, the Race Day Events clan, my friends over at Team BBMC, and more others than I can name.  Training and racing wouldn't be the same without you.

Onward to the rest of 2013.  Let's make it great.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rev3 Wisconsin Dells preview

It's almost time for Rev3 Wisconsin Dells!!!  Less than 2 weeks now, my how time flies...

The Dells is pretty special to me-- it was my first Rev3 race, the one that got me hooked!  I did the Olympic Rev as part of the collegiate category last year, and will be doing so again this year to help out my Badgers-- just in a Rev3 kit this time :)  Anyway, as the Team Rev3 member closest to this race, I feel a sense of responsibility for it-- like I'm inviting all of my friends over to play triathlon.  So now that work has settled down a bit (I just submitted a paper!!!) I finally have enough time to finish this blog post.  Hopefully it will help those of you who are racing feel as prepared as possible, and help anyone who's still on the fence make their decision (*cough* come race *cough*)

This year's Athlete Guide was just posted over at the Rev3 website.  There's a lot of great info in there, so check it out!  I'm not going to regurgitate the guide here- instead, I'll hit some highlights that you might have skimmed over, and provide some perspective and additional info where I deem helpful.  If you have any other questions, feel free to put them in the comments and I'll track down the answer from someone in the know if I can't help you myself.  Now on to the goods!

Help! What should I do if I'm racing AG Nats?!

Unfortunately, this year a lack of communication resulted in the USAT Age Group Nationals race being held in Milwaukee on the same weekend as Rev3 Wisconsin Dells.  Fortunately, the marquee race at AG Nats (Olympic distance) is the day before Rev3 and the venues are about a 1.5-2 hour drive apart. Yes, Rev3 has mandatory packet pick-up and bike check in on Saturday (until 6 and 6:30, respectively).  BUT the great thing about Rev3 is that the staff is so caring and so understanding of personal situations.  So, if you're racing in Milwaukee want to race at the Dells too, but really concerned that you can't make it up there in time, it's worth contacting the Rev3 staff to see if you can make an alternate arrangement. Warning: do this before race week!!!  Once the team is on the road, they have limited email access.

If you're on the road from Milwaukee, I've also heard it recommended to get cream puffs from the Wisconsin State Fair.  You can make your own judgement call on that one. :)

Another great option is to come volunteer!  You'll have a great view of all the action, including a fast and furious pro race.  If you are part of a group or team, you can even earn $20 per shift worked as a donation to your group!  Sign up here.

Tell me about the swag.

Things vary a little bit from race to race, but here's what you can count on:
  • Long sleeve cotton race t-shirt.  I don't know about you, but over the past few years of racing I have collected far more short sleeve dri-fit shirts than I could ever possibly use.  The Rev3 race shirts are nice enough to actually wear around town!  You'll get yours at the finish line.  
the shirt from Knoxville this year
  • Swim cap (woo!) 
  • Rev3 visor
  • A sweet finishers' medal.  If you place in your age group, you'll get an additional cool medal that fits in with it, as well as other great stuff.  In the past I've earned things like PowerBar products and a gift certificate to the Rev3 Store that can be used on site, or later. 
  • medals from Knoxville

Tell me about the courses!

The swim takes place in Lake Delton, and stages inside the stadium for Tommy Bartlett's Ski Show down a hill from transition.  This means there are some cool pre-race amenities for athletes and spectators alike, such as access to nice bathrooms in addition to the porta potties closer to transition, tons of stadium seating to watch and wait, and race morning concessions for spectators (or adventurous racers).

Wisconsin Tri Team members pre-race 2012
The start is organized into "waves," but is in practice essentially a time trial start from the dock in the stadium.  Athletes self-seed within their waves.  The swim course is a simple counter-clockwise rectangle, with the Half Rev athletes heading farther out into the lake before the first turn.

Transition 1

Almost immediately after coming out of the water you climb up the big hill to transition, so be prepared!  The path is wide and asphalt.  Last year there was an aid station with water just before the transition area entrance.  The TA is on grass.
pro and collegiate bike row in 2012

Olympic Rev: This is full of typical Wisconsin rolling hills.  The biggest climbs on this course are the hill on Highway A that you hit in the first few miles on the way out and again in the last few miles on the way in.  Other than that, nothing too difficult or dangerous to note.  It's a pretty ride. View the route details at MapMyRide here.

Half Rev:  I recently rode the course with my coach, who raced the Half Rev last year.  In the process we noticed that there have been a few small changes on the back half of the loop that result in less time on the highway and more time on a nice, quiet county road- excellent!  View the route at MapMyRide here.

There are 3 significant climbs on the Half Rev course: Devil's Lake (DL), Devil's Head (DH), and Caledonia (C) (marked above).  For comparison, note that the "big hill" on the Olympic Rev course as the little rise near the beginning and end of this course.  For more detail about the difficulty of the course, and the climbs in particular, you are welcome to view my power file from the test ride here.

The Devil's Lake climb is first and pretty straightforward.  It's steepest near the top of the climb.  The descent is fast (40+ mph) but not very technical (there are a couple of turns, but they are pretty open).

The view turning onto Bluff Rd. from Co. DL.  Yep, you're going up and over this.
The Devil's Head climb is next and about twice as long in duration as the other two.  The bottom section is very steep, then the climb shallows for a bit before leveling out. However, before long you will turn right onto Tower Rd. and are immediately met with another steep section (but not as bad as the beginning of the hill).  Because of this hill, I would recommend having at least a 25 tooth cog on your cassette for just about everyone, unless you are ok with being in a lot of pain on the first part of the climb, or are a ProTour level rider (ha).  If you consider yourself a weak climber, you might want to consider having a 28 available.  For reference, at one point near the bottom of the climb I was working hard in my 39/25 gear going 5 mph.  Yeah.  The descent of this hill is also the most technical of the three.  There is a left turn at the bottom of the steep drop-off on Tower, then a somewhat sweeping (but fast) right turn, then a fast 90* left turn.  Be careful!

Where does the road go?  Down...
The third climb at Caledonia on Beich Rd. currently has fresh pea gravel to make it even more challenging.  This should be a lot better by race day, but there still might be a few loose patches.  The gravel sections are from the turn at 78 to halfway up the hill, and on the whole descent.  The climb is steepest in the bottom to middle section.  The descent is much slower and less technical than the other two (only one turn), but with gravel that sweeping left turn might still require a little bit of caution.

There's a video of the 2012 bike course (again, mostly the same) here.

Transition 2

Pretty simple.  Same location.  Athletes cross through the whole transition area.


Both distances have new courses this year!  Athletes will be headed around Lake Delton.  The final sections of each race have stretches on Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, which should be exciting!  I haven't had the chance to check the full courses out in person, but I mapped them out for you:

Olympic Rev at MapMyRun here. The distance here is slightly off, probably due to my estimating the off-road portions at the beginning and end, and guessing the location of the turn-around.

Half Rev at MapMyRun here.  Again I estimated the turn-around location, etc.

 More perspectives

Want to hear what someone else has to say about #Rev3Dells?  Enjoy these 2012 race reports:

*Team Rev3 member

Lauren Bogenberger*:    part 1      the race
Pam McGowan*
Andy Rosebrook*

Anthony Beeson*:   the Dells experience       the race
Coach Bill Martin

Looking for photos?  Slowtwitch gallery

What else is there to do during the weekend?

Some classic Rev3 Saturday activities:
  • Worst wetsuit contest: you have a chance to win a new one from BlueSeventy!
  • Practice Swim: including members of Team Rev3 out there to make your swim more comfortable with Foggies and Trislide!
  • Pro Q&A:  Cam Dye. Starky. Kelly Williamson. Lauren Goss. Kyle Leto.  This should be good!

Afterward:  It's the Dells!!! That means waterparks! You might want to check out:

Noah's Ark (right next to the finish!)
Mt. Olympus

Other things to do in Wisconsin Dells: ...there are a lot.  You're better off checking them out here.

Outdoorsy fun nearby:
Mirror Lake : Camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, and more. *Motorized boats ok.*
Devil's Lake: Camping, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, and more. *No motorized boats*

There are some pretty nice views from the trails at Devil's Lake!

Anything else you want to know?  Ask below!