I've heard good things about Rev3 over the past year as they've been growing more and more. When I heard they were adding a race in the Dells, I jumped at it as there aren't that many bigger races close to home. Talking to some friends earlier in the year who have done Rev3 races they told me to prepare for a tougher course. As a Rev3 official mentioned, they don't go out of there way to make the courses hard, but they don't purposely avoid hills either.
Racing close to home allowed me to ride the course a couple times this summer. That was an advantage, especially with a course like this. I got to work on the technical sections and prepare for the hills. When race day came and it was only in the mid-60s, I got to experience a much easier course than the one I remember training on when it was in the mid-90's.
The race started in a time trial format, which is good and bad. Good because it reduces swim congestion, although generally if there is an elite amateur wave that solves that problem for me. Bad because when you're on the course you don't necessarily know if you're ahead or behind the people around you. I started near the back so I could be confident that anyone around me was actually behind me as the day went on.
My swim was just not that good. It wasn't the worst swim I've ever had; I did swim my lines well but I just didn't have energy in the water. The barely wetsuit legal temp probably didn't help but I didn't feel quite like myself in the water. Probably had to do with my recent swim training, or lack thereof, so I'm not surprised. Luckily this race turned out not to attract many swimmers outside the pro field, so I exited in a good spot.
On the bike I started to feel better. I was having trouble pairing my powertap computer to the hub in the morning so I wasn't getting a reading on watts, so the bike was all based on feel this weekend. After all my training and racing with the powertap this year, I actually think I did a good job with pacing and holding back where I need to. This was verified with my good run off the bike. The roads were uncharacteristically smooth for this area of Wisconsin, and I felt strong the whole way. It wasn't easy, and I feel like I wasn't putting out quite the same power that I did at High Cliff earlier in the year, but I rode steady and started the run in a good spot after a killer T2.
Early in the run I was caught by a group of 3 and stuck with them for almost the first 5k. At that point I wasn't able to keep the pace anymore. I had to let them go, but hung onto the hope that they would fade. They didn't, but I ended up having a very good run nonetheless. Not an easy run; I was suffering the entire way but I was able keep the turnover high which led to a 1:26 on a very hilly course. The uncharacteristically slow swim times overall were made up for with the disproportionately large number of very fast runners at the race. I finished as the 9th overall amateur, with 5-10 coming in the span of just a few minutes. As of writing this on Thursday following the race, I'm finally walking normally without extreme soreness in my legs. The relentless hills definitely beat me up.
Overall I am very happy with the way I raced, given my preparation. What I need to do better is my preparation. I feel, and showed, that my training going into High Cliff/Pleasant Prairie was much better than it has been for the past month. Things slacked off for a variety of reasons, but I just need to do a better job of staying on the horse no matter what else is going on around me. Rev3 was the last race I was signed up for this year, so the last few days I've been looking around at races and deciding how I want my season to wrap up. I've decided to head down to Miami at the end of October for the 70.3 race. That gives me a little over 2 months to refocus and sharpen back up. I still have my huge base fitness from earlier in the year so this should be doable. I'm getting to know that area very well by now, and the course should suit me very well.