About IMRoycer81

Richmond, Virginia, United States
Thanks for visiting! I'm a civil litigator at KPMLaw. I attended Cornell where I swam IM and Breastroke. In 2007 I filled the void of swimming retirement with triathlon. In my first tri I thought, "holy sh*t this is painful" and "when can I do it again?" Things escalated quickly and my first half was Augusta 2009 and my first full was Louisville 2011. Since 2007 I've been chasing my dream of qualifying for Kona. Prior to September 2017 this blog focused on attempts (and failures) to achieve an elusive KQ. I got the monkey off my back in my 10th Ironman at Chattanooga. There is still much room to improve and I look forward to putting in the work to become a consistent podium finisher. In 2018 I have the privilege of racing for Team Every Man Jack and look forward to learning from a great group of guys while giving back to the triathlon community. I couldn't do any of this without my amazing family. They lift me up. I am lucky to train in a fantastic triathlon town with inspirational athletes. My job, training, and daughter keep me busy, but I update as often as I can. I'm always willing to share the knowledge I've picked up along the way. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rev 3 Williamsburg: Sometimes You Just Need to Blow the Eff Up

Rev 3 Olympic
2:14:31
20th OA/ 4th Men 30-34

Rev 3 Williamsburg was my first Olympic in two years and it was also my first Rev 3 experience.  Rev 3 put on a fantastic event that was extremely well organized.  Kudos to Jay Peluso who served as race director and did a bang up job making sure everything ran seamlessly.  The event took place on Sunday morning and Rev 3 required that we rack our bikes on Saturday.  This required an extra trip to Williamsburg which was a bit annoying but ultimately made race day run smoothly.  Much like Raleigh this was a dual transition event.  Fortunately there was ample parking at the two transition areas which allowed for my dad to sherpa Justin and I so we could avoid shuttles.  I elected to stay in Richmond on Saturday night so I could sleep in my own bed.  This unfortunately made for a really early morning.
Dad in Full Sherpa Mode

On race morning I woke up at 3:45 am.  Ever the champion, my dad was there to pick me up at 4am and we traveled to Williamsburg together.  Breakfast consisted of two packages of oatmeal, a cup of almond milk, a banana, a scoop of almond butter and two lava salt tabs.  We arrived at T2 at about 5:15 am and I set up my run transition and met Justin.  After a quick visit to the facilities dad drove us over to T1 to get ready for the swim.  After a quick check of the bike area we headed down to the beach to prepare for the swim.

 SWIM
19:38.19
1st AG/4th OA
The game plan for the race was to swim hard, ride harder, and see what I had left for the run.  The swim was set up as an in water start and the water was warm.  No wetsuit was a relief and I wore my Blue Seventy speed suit.  This is an excellent product and during the swim I was reminded of how well it is designed.  It is made for swimmers and not triathletes.  Those of us who come from a swimming background will know exactly what I mean by that (sorry for the swim snobbery).  When the gun went off I got off to an aggressive start and slotted into second position.  The fastest swim split was from my old college teammate and pro triathlete John Kenny.  He quickly pulled away from the group leaving me with a small group of two other swimmers.  The swim course was square and swum counter clockwise.  I was passed by two swimmers as we rounded the buoy onto the back stretch.  This actually worked out well as I was able to get a decent draft for the remainder of the swim.  I stayed under control and tried to take advantage of the draft.  The finish of the swim ended up being challenging because we were swimming directly into the sun when we turned towards shore.  The sun was blinding and I couldn't see a damn thing.  Fortunately the two guys in front out of me managed to keep straight and I followed them into the finish.  The other difficult aspect was the shallow nature of the water.  This meant that there was a long stretch of swimming alternating with dolphin dives off the bottom of the river.  This jacked my heart rate into the stratosphere which was not particularly helpful especially since there was a quarter mile run to T1.  I ended up coming out of the water fourth and was red-lined as I ran toward T1.  In fact I was so anaerobic that I started cramping during my dolphin dives.....guess I need a little more threshold work if I want to be a gamer at the olympic distance.

BIKE
1:03:57
Avg Speed- 23.7 mph
Cadence-93 rpm
Avg Power- 305, Norm Power- 307, VI-  1.01
Placing at end of Bike- 3rd AG, 10th OA
The goal on the bike was to ride over 300 watts with a goal target of 310.  My secondary goal was to focus on my position and keep my head tucked in a "turtle" position for maximum aerodynamic benefit. I was in the red for every second of this ride.  I really struggled keeping the power above 300 and I was proud I was able to do so because this ride hurt like an SOB.  In Raleigh I rode 285 and felt like I could have ridden 300.  At Rev 3 it was a serious struggle keeping wattage over 300.  I knew pretty early on that the effort was going to leave a dent on the run.

The bike course was gently rolling and more difficult than I was expecting.  I foolishly assumed a pancake flat course.  While the course wasn't difficult, it definitely felt like there was a lot of false flats and undulating terrain.  I should have done a better job scouting the course.  I rode the first 15 minutes alone before a group of 3 guys caught me including my buddy Justin.  When they passed I was able to up my effort and work with them for a short period of time.  Ultimately, the pace was more than I could sustain and I fell off.  I rode most of the remainder alone.  Fortunately it was a two loop course so I had people to pass on the second lap which helped distract me from the personal hell I was feeling.  

This ride was a grind and I felt the pain for the full hour.  It was certainly a good lesson in embracing the suck.  I was pleased with my bike effort including holding my wattage over 300.  However, I feel there is still a disconnect between my wattage and speed.  I am hoping the new aero helmet and speed suit I ordered will help close this gap with some free watts.  Additionally, I realize that I need to improve my ability to work with the faster riders when they pass.  Somehow I need to weather a burst of effort when passed by the uber elites so I can work with them for the remainder of the ride.  My difficulty is that I am already near my max when they pass, and I am unable to sustain the additional surge of effort to hang with them. There is a huge benefit to be gained from riding legally with a group and if I can train myself to withstand the initial surge and settle in, I can ride several minutes faster.  It is tough riding out on an island by yourself.  It can really grind you up mentally.  As the ride drew to a conclusion, I knew I was in for a real sufferfest on the run.  However, I had a positive attitude and was ready to attack the run with whatever I had left.

RUH ROH
RUN
46:35, 7:36/mile
As soon as I ran out of transition, I knew I was in for a long 10K.  The effort on the bike left a mark and it was quickly apparent that my goal of running 6:30's was overly ambitious.  A big portion of the course was on a wooded trail.  Again I did a poor job scouting and didn't realize how hilly the trail would be.  Honestly there weren't many flat areas of the course at all.  The terrain continued to keep my heart rate spiked and I really had difficulty running well.  I felt as though I was running with my heart in my throat.  In fact I elected to ignore my watch and run as hard as I could and let the chips fall where they may.  I was so redlined that I actually got a bit dizzy on a few of the hills and even contemplated walking....the dizziness was a new experience.  Ultimately, the run turned into a bit of a death march as I watched numerous competitors run me down and pass me.  Needless to say I was relieved when this one was over.

Takeaways
1) Short course is hard and short course specialists are phenomenal athletes.  The amount of pain those guys are able to withstand is impressive.  Going flat out for 2 hours is nuts!  It was a fun test to race so long at threshold but it HUUURT.

2) I am not ready for primetime when it comes to running well off 300 watts.  The good news is that even though I was cashed out on the run, I was still able to run at sub ironman pace.  This is a good sign moving forward.  I was about as exploded as I've ever felt and was still running faster than I plan to run at Placid.

3) My buddy Justin Moyer is a stud!  Every time I race with this guy I am more impressed.  Fantastic athlete that never seems to tire.  More importantly he is a humble and awesome guy.  I am lucky to call him a friend.

4) I need to improve my ability to latch on to some of the faster riders to work legally and improve my bike splits.  This will require me to somehow learn how to surge when they pass and hold that effort long enough until I can stabilize my heart rate.  I am not exactly sure how to accomplish this, but I know I need to do it if I want to be more competitive at short course events.

5) It was great to see so many Richmonders competing and spectating on course.  It was a nice reminder of how lucky we are to have such a great tri scene in central Virginia.  Congrats to Brian Jastrebsky for taking the overall win in the half...very impressive stuff.  Congrats to everyone else that raced in both the olympic and half.

Moving forward I am debating doing the Tavern Tri next weekend.  It is a big training weekend leading into Placid and I may bail on the race to focus on putting in a good training block.  I haven't made a decision, but will by mid week.  If I race, look for a race report next weekend.  A little bit over a month until Placid and everything is going according to plan.  Time to put in one more big push, work on my self confidence and get ready to break 10 hours.  Thanks for reading!




4 comments:

  1. Well, I was exhausted after reading the "swim" paragraph. I really was looking for a 1970's blue wetsuit with yellow pin-stripeing but since there was none I took a nap, had a beer (keep the almond milk thank you) and moved onto the bike, after which I went out to the shed and did the sign of the cross over my rusted out spokes confessing I did not do enough for him/her? and my spreading derriere is the penance I deserve. Ok - let's run. I actually got excited when I read Tavern Tri. I thought, finally, this insane, incredible, disciplined, young man is going to do three different taverns and cut loose! But I don't buy the self confidence part- if you can put on a Seventy wetsuit you've got confidence. You are awesome and talented and I wish you every success as you pursue your goals!

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  2. Solid write up! I would love to have your swimming and cycling abilities! =)

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