Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rev3 SC: Relay Report

Rev3 Anderson embodied all of the things I love about the Rev3 series, and the awesome support we feel as members of Team Trakkers/Rev3. I flew to Atlanta on Friday to meet up with teammate Andree for the drive to South Carolina. Tommy went above and beyond to make sure he was home from the firehouse in time to get me out the door to the airport. I slept like a rock on the plane, and arrived in Atlanta ready for the weekend. I was very excited to meet Andree's husband and sweet puppy Kaleigh.

The 2 hour drive to Anderson was relatively uneventful, until I started itching. It started as a vague itching on my neck and face, which I chalked up to my sensitive skin. We dropped our stuff off and headed to the race venue. It is always like old home week when hanging out with our teammates. Many of the Team Trakkers members were working the race, which made it that much better. The venue was nice, with the finish line, T2, and expo at the Anderson civic center. T1 was at Lake Hartwell, up the road.

My rash had other plans for the weekend. Despite benadryl, it got worse overnight. I ended up going to urgent care in Anderson as the hives were spreading and the itching becoming unbearable. No fewer than three people said "Bless your heart" to me at the urgent care center. Translation: "You look awful!". I got a steroid injection, and was back to the expo. The big celebrity participant was Ryan Sutter (and his wife Trista) from The Bachelorette. This was the one season of the Bachelor/Bachelorette I ever watched. I might have said hello, but I was covered in hives, looked ridiculous, and certainly wasn't going near any strangers.

Saturday morning- awesome!
Saturday night was mellow. Andree and I bowed out of dinner with our teammates since she was battling allergies and I was not very good company. Pre-race dinner at Outback, followed by an ART session with Andree's chiropractor from Atlanta. That alone was worth the trip. He worked on my SI joint and my shoulder, and neither have felt this good in ages. I didn't sleep well that night-poor Andree had to deal with my scratching. It was chilly at transition race morning. Since there was a Half Rev and the Oly, I had lots of time before the swim start.

I was initially supposed to race the Oly as an individual, but after my Oly in September I realized that I had a long way to go to get my fitness back. I put out an email to my teammates, asking if anyone wanted to race the relay. My teammate Kristin (who just competed in the Full Rev at Cedar Point), and teammate Kacie's husband George (who is prepping for Cozumel), both stepped up right away. George is a wicked fast cyclist, so he offered to do the bike. Kristin is training for a marathon, so that left me with the swim. Eek!!!! I'm doing the swim portion of the race????? As long as everyone is ok with not winning, I am fine with that. Of course what I think is being matter-of-fact sometimes comes across as self-deprecating. I want to be a fast swimmer, and tell myself I can be, but I'm still figuring out how to make it happen. I started Masters this month, and am working toward my goals (of course this is on hold until the hives are gone- chlorine is not my friend).

Pre-race with Teammate Kati (my race angel- she works the races and always looks out for me)
The pre-race vibe was incredible. Since it was a regional collegiate championship, there were 100+ college triathletes. They were cheering like crazy, chanting, hyping it up. It was so much fun. I felt good at the start, and hung tough until the first buoy. My lack of fitness just caught up with me. I told George that if I could be in the mid-30s, I would be happy. Since I didn't have to use my legs for the bike or run, and have been complimented by two Masters coaches on my breaststroke (while they told me that my freestyle kick was awkward and painful), I did resort to some breaststroke. I surprisingly held my own that way. Obviously not a good plan for next season, but it got me through, and within my time goal.

I sprinted out of the water into T1. Knowing I didn't have to do anything else, I ran hard. George was off like a flash. I came out of the water at the back of the relay teams, but didn't give George too much of a deficit to make up. Kristin and I hopped on the shuttle to meet him at T2. We knew he would be fast, but George came into transition more than 20 minutes ahead of the next closest relay team (he had the fastest bike time on the Oly course). Kristin ran hard- a 10K PR. George and I ran the finish chute with her, and our team took a solid first place. This was my first ever podium finish at a Rev3 event. The coolest part? The awards were hand-made by our teammate Anthony's mother.
Why do I look like I need to go to the bathroom? George, Kristin, and I. 
The "Rev3 Rocks!" relay team with Josh, flashing the Rev3 "sign"

The finish party was great, as always. Once again, the collegiate athletes got things really amped up. We had a blast cheering on our teammates, and then headed back to Atlanta. Six days later and I'm smiling from a great weekend, but still have the hives. Apparently South Carolina didn't agree with me too much, but I will be back next year!