Rev 3 Portland 70.3 Race Recap (or “I Totally Meant to Eat Pavement, I Swear”)

I signed up for Rev 3’s inaugural Portland 70.3 race way back in December along with about a thousand of my TN Multisports teammates. We were all pretty excited to try a non-Ironman branded race that was close to home, and Rev 3 had a reputation of being a challenging series…until they were forced to switch the venue at the last minute due to permit issues. Poop. Instead of a challenging course taking place in downtown Portland, we were treated to a flat, boring course out at Blue Lake Park, where a bunch of triathlons are already held each year. Most everyone’s reactions to the change: My reaction: Some of my teammates who are racing Ironman Canada next month were bummed because they wanted Rev 3 to be a challenging training race to help prepare for the big one in August. I, on the other hand, have had a season plagued with injury so news of the course change had little impact on me since I’d long given up on kicking ass this year and was instead trying to focus on having fun instead of beating myself up over factors I can’t control. I was more bummed that the race was less convenient to get to since our hotel would have been right in front of the old transition area, but oh well, shit happens. Week of the Race Naturally, leading up to the race I developed a last-minute hamstring injury because my body hates me, so before we left to drive down to Portland, I popped into see our team’s sports medicine doc for some last-minute TLC. (Yes, I know that’s a picture of my thigh, not my hamstring, but I wasn’t exactly limber enough to turn around and snap photos of the back of my leg when I was told to turn over for Round 2…wait, that sounds kind of dirty. It was a rape-free treatment, I swear.)┬áThe only other thing I could do for my hamstring all weekend was to alternate straddling a heating pad and a bag of ice like I was trying to hatch an egg and hope for the best. Day Before the Race On Saturday Jas and I woke up and headed to Blue Lake Park to meet with our teammates. As we drove by the transition area, I gawked at it and exclaimed, “Uh, that’s just for the pros, right?” I was mistaken. Apparently about 800-900 people dropped out or deferred their registration to next year when they found out about the venue change, leaving less than 500 people to race on Sunday. The transition area and registration set up was super dinky, giving this whole race a “small town” vibe. I felt like I was doing the Olympic distance Apple Capital race in Wenatchee instead of a fancy schmancy half Ironman. Even better was that my team’s 31 athletes represented over 5% of the race, so there was going to be a lot of blue and yellow out there on the course. Speaking of the team, we met them at the swim start, which is a lovely 0.5 miles away from the transition area across the street from the park. As we drove past numerous large parking lots and huge grassy areas, I kept sarcastically thinking, “If only Blue Lake Park had a spot big enough for transition!” Why they set up the actual transition area so far away from the swim is beyond me. Since the lake was roped off for pre-race swimming, all we could muster was a sad 30ish meter looping swim along the rope. I pulled on my Zoot suit and received an odd compliment from...
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The Funny Thing About Tapering

This is a tapir: This is a taper: Not the most traditional taper, but it’s how Jas and I roll. We’re less than two weeks away from Ironman Canada and have finally started to scale down our workouts. It couldn’t have come a moment too soon — I’m getting burned out on exercising and just want to get this pesky Ironman over with already. The taper’s timing was pretty crucial for us — we had a Portland wedding to go to and the Lake Stevens 70.3 race to spectate, so even though we didn’t have as many training hours, we still had to cram in a bunch of stuff over the weekend. We drove down to Portland Friday night and had dinner with a friend of ours. Jason and I got suckered into having a couple beers with our buddy, and after not having drank much lately because of the relentless onslaught of workouts, a measly two beers made me feel a bit tipsy. Stupid training. On Saturday we woke up and had breakfast with another friend of ours and his girlfriend. It was going to be a super hot day out, plus I didn’t want to run around downtown Portland, so after breakfast I went back to the hotel and ran in the fitness center. My treadmill TV was stuck on MSNBC at full volume, so I ran and watched some “Criminals Caught on Tape” show where the most recent footage was from 2000. After the run, we showered and got a late checkout. Since the wedding wasn’t starting until 6 pm, we had our bags held and figured we’d find a place to change later. We killed time by seeing a movie and getting some food, then we returned to the hotel and got ready for the wedding ghetto-style by sneaking back into the fitness room and changing in the bathroom. At one point someone came in and started using one of the treadmills. We got a weird look when we finally emerged from the bathroom wearing a suit and a dress. I bet she thought we were a crime fighting duo (or that we just got it on in a gym bathroom. Gross!). At this point it was nearly 100 degrees outside, but thankfully the wedding was indoors. Unfortunately, the air conditioning didn’t help too much, and by the time the reception started and people were dancing and acting goofy, we were a sweaty, sticky mess. Since we planned on driving back to Seattle after the wedding, I only had a glass and a half of wine while Jason took it upon himself to drink it up one last time before Ironman Canada. When the dancing started, we had the following exchange: I start dancing in front of him Jason, looking concerned: “How much have you had to drink? Are you going to be okay to drive back?” Me, looking sheepish: “I’m not drunk, I’m just a crappy dancer!” Jason, laughing: “Oh.” Thanks, Jas. Eventually we left the wedding and I drove us back to Seattle. I was tired and thirsty and wondering if I’d be able to get up at 4:30 am to catch the start of the Lake Stevens 70.3. We got stuck in construction traffic (seriously, construction traffic at midnight on a Saturday) and didn’t get home until 1:30 am. Three short, unsatisfying hours later, the alarm went off and Jason got up to head to the race. I was still really tired, so I decided to meet the crew later so I could try and get a bit more sleep. Jason and his dad caught the start of the race and I...
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A Roundup of Randomness

I’ve come across a random assortment of links and stories in the past week or so that I’ve wanted to feature on the blog, so I decided to just throw them into a roundup-type post. I used to do weekly roundup blog posts at an old job and hated how time-consuming they were, but our readers really liked them so I trudged along and tried to spruce them up with my standard Beccanisms. Below are some various stories I’ve come across and have found to be interesting — hope you enjoy them! Kenny Powers is the Perfect Spokesperson for K-Swiss If you’re not familiar with Eastbound and Down, you should definitely watch it. The show’s about a crass ex-baseball player who becomes a gym teacher despite his ignorance about the fact that his professional pitching career is over. I’ve blogged in the past about how much I’ve enjoyed K-Swiss’s ads (and I have a super-comfy pair of K-Swiss shoes that I wear more for fashion purposes than for running), but this current fake commercial combines Kenny Powers, K-Swiss, and crass humor to create an amusing pitch meeting (language NSFW). Kenny Powers Gets Signed By K-Swiss – watch more funny videos And I Thought Jason’s Injuries Were Bad I shared some of the carnage from Jason’s recent bike crash, but I readily admit that they were nowhere near as bad as this guy’s (caution: NSFW). Apparently he was riding with a group of cyclists when the guy in front of him ran over a tree branch that flipped up and impaled him in the shin. What the crap! How fast were these guys riding, like 85 miles per hour? The article has lots of graphic photos of the clearly morphined-up cyclist laying in a hospital bed with a freaking tree sticking out of his leg. I hate this sport. The Classy Way to Win an Ironman Race Professional triathlete Julie Dibens recently won the Ironman 70.3 in Boulder, but she waited five minutes before crossing the finish line to ensure that the females who finish behind her get to have a prize purse. The reason is due to some bullshit rule change stating that professional Ironman triathletes must be within 8% of the winner’s time to collect their prize money. This rule makes no sense other than to screw over other podium winners because Ironman is too cheap to guarantee them a purse and rewarding their excellence. Your placement should guarantee you some money if there’s a prize pool set aside for that place, regardless of how far behind the leader you are. Julie Dibens is a class act, and I hope other Ironman winners follow suit and take care of their fellow triathletes. A Blast from the Past A triathlon website recently took a look at an issue of Triathlete magazine from 1984 and laughed at some of the absurd recommendations and equipment being featured. I like the image of the dude trying to clean his bike off in the bath tub — apparently a hose was too forward-thinking in the mid-80’s. The dude with the sweet ‘stache perched in the thinker’s pose atop a Cannondale frame is pretty awesome too. “Hey Baby, What’s Your Age Group?” Jason came across this post called Tips for Dating Endurance Athletes, and while the list itself is a bit hard on the eyes, it has some amusing gems like “‘I find fulfillment in charitable work’ really means ‘If I am not racing, I am volunteering or cheering on my buddies, and I expect you to be there alongside me as I stand out in 90 degree weather for 8 hours handing out...
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Blow Me: My 2010 Boise 70.3 Race Report

Blow Me: My 2010 Boise 70.3 Race Report

Hey, check it out, it’s my 2010 Boise 70.3 race report! I know, I grumbled last year about how I probably wouldn’t do the race again due to a multitude of factors (crappy weather, annoying late start, double transition), but wouldn’t you know it, I found myself once again driving 8 hours to Boise for another year of crappy weather, the annoying afternoon start, and the double transition. I must be a glutton for punishment.

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Ironman Craps on Its Brand with Lake Stevens 70.3

Ironman Craps on Its Brand with Lake Stevens 70.3
Recently Jason and a number of my triathlon teammates raced Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3. I had been training for the race but decided at the last minute not to do it because I had traveled to San Francisco, Napa Valley and San Jose the week before and had too much booze and horrible food sloshing around my system to feel prepared to tackle a half Ironman. Nonetheless, I watched the race anyway to cheer on my friends and the BFG. A word of advice to any triathletes out there reading this: if you’re thinking of racing Ironman Lake Stevens, don’t. First of all, Lake Stevens sucks. If Washington state had a hillbilly cousin, Lake Stevens would be that hillbilly cousin’s poo-crusted butthole. It’s such a crappy town that the only thing the official Ironman race catalogs can advertise about the area is that it has a Buzz Inn Steakhouse, which looks about as classy as the bar where Jodie Foster got raped in The Accused. The town literally consists of this skeezy restaurant, a Subway, a crappy foodmart, a burger shack, and, inexplicably, a town museum (maybe they wanted to commemorate the day they scored a Subway franchise). To answer your next question, no, there are no hotels in Lake Stevens, so if you’re thinking of flying in to do this race then lucky you, you get to stay in Everett or a neighboring city. (And no, Seattle is not “twenty minutes away,” as I heard one race official tell someone over the phone; it’s more like 50 minutes.) Secondly, the “lake” part of Lake Stevens is filthy. It smells terrible and is full of garbage. When Jason swam in it the day before the race, he said the bottom of the lake was littered with beer cans and junk. Teresa said she spotted an old rusted chair while swimming. Jason and his dad once saw a half-submerged mattress in the lake after they finished a bike ride, and I had the pleasure of experiencing an obese kid with a rat tail throwing firecrackers into the lake as I was standing in it for a post-workout ice bath. This lake is the town’s urinal — they don’t give a crap about it and they certainly don’t take care of it, so excuse me for not wanting to pay a couple hundred dollars to do a race that involves swimming in it for 1.2 miles. Thirdly, the bike course is horrible. It’s two loops and is a challenge for sure, with a few tough hills, a lot of false flats, and many twists and turns. However, what I hate most about the course is that the town’s inhabitants are so mean and inconsiderate to cyclists that it makes for a stressful, miserable ride. Every time I’ve ridden the course I’ve had some redneck in a Ford F-150 angrily honk at me as he passes me at 50 mph. And surprise surprise, Ironman didn’t close off the course during the actual race so my friends said they kept getting passed by jerks in cars who would angrily swerve and honk at all of the cyclists who were racing. Jesus Christ, this race is one day out of the year — you’d think that these a-holes could show some courtesy and put up with a few hours of inconvenience, but no, they’ve gotta get to Walmart or a monster truck rally or a Larry the Cable Guy viewing party or wherever the hell they’re rushing to. The cherry on top of this turd sundae was the expo hall for the race. Race organizers had the expo hall in Everett, because, as I’ve...
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