Rev3 Anderson SC HalfRev Race Report

I was really excited to race at Rev3 Anderson, mostly because not only were a TON of my Trakkers teammates coming in for the race; but, because it is so close to Atlanta, a lot of local tri friends were going to be there as well.

I was also excited about implementing my new Nutrition Plan for the race.  I'd kind of "Frankenstein-ed" a nutrition plan taking what I thought were the best parts of all of my plans from the past and combining it with the information that I received from Gatorade Sports Science Institute on what works well for me.  If anyone just wants to read the nutrition bits, I've put them in orange blocks below.

I was worried about how my body would race - after IMLou, my priorities took a definite turn and triathlon moved pretty far down the list.  As any Mom knows, anything out of the ordinary (in this case, mommy being gone for a day and two evenings) can really throw the kids for a loop.   While I received great data from my experience at GSSI, it definitely made things difficult at home and after that trip I just focused on staying healthy and taking care of stuff around the house.  I stopped making workouts a priority, so you can imagine how many of them I completed.  :)

While I wasn't positive I would have a bad race, I knew I wasn't going to have the race of my life.   Knowing that, totally took the pressure off.  I was ready to head up to SC and just race for fun, because after all, isn't that why we do this sport? For the joy and sense of accomplishment?

So on Friday night I headed off to Augusta, where I was meeting my Dad to hand over the boys. My Mom and Dad watched the boys at their place for the weekend, and I drove north to Anderson.

I almost ran out of gas in an area without cell coverage... but that's another story.


One of the biggest reasons for racing was to test out my new nutrition.  This included changing my pre race eating.  Friday I ate fairly normally, maybe had a bit more protein that normal (not by design, just because the food at the restaurant was yummy! - We ate at Club Havana in downtown Anderson.  I recommend it!! - it IS a cigar bar, but the ventilation INSIDE is amazing, but there is smoke so just a prewarning)  It was nice to just eat like a normal person and not pay attention to EVERYTHING I put in my body.  So the big change here - RELAXED

Saturday Morning
I woke up feeling awesome on Saturday.  I'd had a great night of sleep and I was able to sleep in until almost 7:30!  Then I lazed around a bit. I had a meeting with a potential client at 9am, and it went really well.  It put me in a very positive mood.  As soon as I could I headed over to the expo to meet up with my friends (who also happen to be my Trakkers teammates).  There were a ton of us and soon enough I'd found two people to ride and run with before the practice swim.  Or at least that's what we were supposed to do :D Anthony, Josh and I rode all around Anderson trying to find the road in the directions, turned out, we had made one TINY wrong turn.  It was fine, but we did end up missing our chance to spray folks down with TriSlide before the practice swim.

I wasn't too upset about the getting lost, I think we got in a better ride because of it, and since I'd been on my bike so little, I wanted to get some cobwebs worked out.

Practice swim felt awesome and then Josh and I went for a nice 15 min easy run.  That was great because I'd been wanting to get a chance to chat with him and I hope he didn't mind me trying to give him advice on his downhill running.  I love running downhill and just letting gravity pull you down the hill (hips first keeps your feet under you)

Saturday night the team all met up at SummaJoe's again in Downtown Anderson.  Kristin and her friend Sarah and I all drove over together, anxious to get dinner and get back to watching Ironman World Championships on the computer :D  SummaJoe's was also yummy and I ordered Shrimp and Grits and they were delicious.  We also had a great waiter, Brayden, so if you go ask for him :D

Night Before Nutrition
I ate shrimp and grits the night before.  My usually pre race is Chicken and Sweet Potato, but to be honest, I haven't been able to eat a sweet potato since Lou so I knew it was time to try a new pre race meal.  I was planning to avoid dairy and I really didn't think about how much dairy would be in Shrimp and Grits when I ordered it... but it was super yummy and I ate a lot of it.  That night right before bed I also had a lean performance Mix1 to top off the tank as it were

Alex had to get up early on race day to set up a sales location at the swim start (it was several miles form the expo) so that if people needed last minute items they could get them.  This was nice because I knew I was going to wake up in time for the race... less anxiety meant I slept better than usual.

I'd put all my nutrition together the night before... here was the new plan:
Breakfast - same as always, 1 pack Justins Maple Almond Butter, 1 banana, 1 Mix1. This is what I'd had for IMLou too.  I didn't drink the Mix1 right away, but sipped on it once I got to transition.  Now for the new stuff...
I mixed my First Endurance Pre Race with Gatorade Prime.  I drank half the Prime about 40 min before race start.  I drank the rest of it mixed with PreRace about 20 min before race start.  The good news? I finally found something that covers up the taste of PreRace haha.  The bad news... the Grape Prime, while it tastes great, turned my toungue black ha ha.
My tummy was feeling a bit full at this point and I was a little nervous about getting through the swim without puking, but I was fine in the end.


I lined up for the swim with my friend Andree. It was a comfortable moment as we both were in our own heads a little.  A light moment was when Sean, the race announcer, spotted me lined up for the swim start and told everybody that it was Alex's and my 12 year anniversary.  It put me in a good frame of mind and helped remind me of the great support system that I have.  Happy Anniversary Sweetie!! (I know some folks might think it strange that he was working and I was racing on our anniversary, but it worked for us :D)

Me and Alex pre-race - Celebrating our 12th Anniversary

The swim was fairly uneventful. I found a little pod of ladies and so I swam in the back of that group.  I'm still not super great at swimming straight so I would find myself veering away and have to swim back to them.  I was super comfortable in my TYR Cat 5 Wetsuit, it is so easy to swim in, but I knew I wasn't swimming "fast".  I was at a comfortable pace and I chose not to push it because I knew it was going to be a long day for me.  Again, I was really unsure of how much fitness and endurance I had remaining from Lou training.

As I exited the water I was feeling pretty good (always glad to get the swim done) and headed up to T1.  I pulled me arms out of my wetsuit and was pretty happy with the time I saw on my watch.

Swim 1.2 miles - 34:17

I know it sounds silly but as I ran through T1 I felt like a rockstar because there were so many teammates and friends doing the Olympic and they were all in and around transition (the Oly starts late to allow them to reset the swim buoys).  Everyone was yelling out times to me and how far people were in front of me.  It was fun! I was giggling though, because I knew I didn't have a "race" in me, but that doesn't mean I wasn't going to try :D  T1 went smoothly and pretty soon I was out on the bike course

I had heard that this was a tough bike course.  I figured since it was in the same area as the Tugaloo Olympic that the terrain would be similar.  This actually turned out to be the case.  I really enjoyed this bike course.  It was a lot of turns, also a lot of up and down, very rolling.  A lot like the loops on the IMLou course.  There were also some good long sections of just steady slight uphill, I really like that type of terrain and I knew it was a course that suited my strengths.  Unfortunately, my legs just never had that extra "oomph" in them.

So I tried to ride smart and really pay attention to my nutrition. I passed a lady possbily around mile 20? I passed her on a flat, then she passed me back on an uphill, then I passed her back... etc. We were also mixed up with some guys at this point and I think both of us were doing our best not to get caught in a "drafting" situation. At one point I'd passed her and she came by fairly quickly and I wasn't expecting her and she kind of shocked me and I said "Geeze!". Well of course I was really worried that she thought I was complaining about her conduct, so I hurried to pass her back and explain. I said "sorry, you just scared the crap out of me when you passed!" when I rode by her. Well, then of course I started worrying that THAT sounded like I was upset... I didn't see her again so eventually I stopped worrying about it.
Nutrition Plan on the Bike: 1 salt stick every half hour
1 NUUN (iced tea - has caffeine) in my aero drink to start - drink during first hour
Drink 1 bottle of liquid every hour (I need to increase this to 1.5 bottles I think)
Take 1 Gatorade Perform at second Aid Station mix with water on course to total 3 bottle of liquid during bike
1 Flask of First Endurance Liquid Shot - take a "sip" every 15 min (alternated with Gu chomps) - this totaled three servings during the ride or 300 cals
1 package of Gu Chomps (peach tea - has caffeine) - eat one every 15 min (alternate with LS) - this was four chomps or 90 calories
Total Calories on bike : 550 (as opposed to IMLou where I took in 650 for the ENTIRE 112 miles).
I almost doubled the amount of calories I was consuming - I did it with products that I know have been sitting well in my stomach all season added to the cool weather my stomach didn't have any issues with this at all.
Around mile 35 I had a guy fly past me, it seemed like maybe he had had a mechanical and was trying to get back to where he was. I must have been motivated by him because I kept him in my sights for a bit. Then he sat up a bit to eat, and I passed him on an uphill. Oh we was NOT happy about that!! He goes flying by again and we start the dance all over again. This was EXACTLY what I needed to keep me motivated to keep working to the end!! Things were actually going pretty well for a bit... Then as I'm making a left turn I hear a high pitched WHINE and I though on no I have something rubbing, I was checking my brakes, etc. and a guy rides past me and says "your spare tubular is rubbing on your wheel in case you don't know!" THANK YOU!! So I pull off to the side and try to figure out what happened. I don't know how long it had been rubbing, there was a HUGE hole in the spare. I re-cinched everything up and was on my way again PRAYING that I wouldn't flat. I noticed about 5 ladies pass me while I was on the side of the road. OH WELL.


I made my way back to transition, still feeling pretty good, but emotionally I really wanted to be done. My friend Carmen had mentioned that after mile 10 of the run it was mostly downhill, so I tried to convince myself that I only had 10 miles to run haha. As I pulled into transition, I spotted Alex standing on the side of transition next to the row that I was in. There weren't many bike around, but there was one RIGHT next to mine, so because of how the racks were done, and we'd put our run stuff in the little "boxes" once I'd racked my bike I basically boxed myself out from my run stuff. I had to shimmy in between the two bikes to get to my stuff. I also had a smorgasbord of food because I wasn't sure what was going to sound good to me on the run and it took awhile to stuff all of it in my pockets. It was a really long transition. :D

I had an entire conversation with Alex.
Alex: How are you feeling
Me: Not too bad
A: you are about 10 min behind the leaders
M: yeah? how are you feeling?
A: tired
M: yeah, I bet. Okay, see ya later!

As I ran off Alex yelled, YOU DROPPED YOUR CHOMPS! I turn around and decide they don't sound good and just leave 'em behind. One of our friends was working transition and was able to run them over to me as I made the u turn at the end of transition. So nice!! Thanks Scott!

Nutrition Plan for the Run
My plan in Louisville was simple... COKE, seriously I had no other plan for the run. 
In Anderson I decided to try the Gatorade Prime.  It had worked so well during the carbohydrate tolerance testing at GSSI that I thought it would be worth a shot. 
Just in case I also brought along another flask of Liquid Shot,
a package of Chomps,
a GU in my bra strap
and salt tabs in my SpiBelt. 
My plan was to start with the Prime (in a flask in my back pocket) and Salt Stick. 
This worked great.  The PRIME didn't upset my stomach and the types of sugars it's made of seemed to give me a more sustained energy than just the pure sugar of coke. 
I also grabbed coke at almost every aid station.  I felt clear headed for the first time EVER on a half or full distance run

The only problem with being clear headed - I FELT EVERYTHING!!  My legs were moving but not moving fast.  I made a promise with myself that I wouldn't look at my pace until mile four.  Because the Olympic folks were out on the run course as well, there were lots of folks out there, so I just used people as "goals" and tried to pass them.  I was serious "muscles screaming at you to stop" pain but because of the extra calories (or so I think) I was able to stay mentally strong and not give in and start walking. I saw my friend Shanks at one of the turn around and he seemed so close, I just kept trying to reel him in, but it seemed like we were running the EXACT same pace.

But it kept me going... I told myself, I don't care what your pace is, your goal for today is to stay steady and strong - no walking no stopping.  I also pulled on the knowledge that my friend Jason was 22 hours into his 24 hours mtn bike race and I knew he wouldn't quit.  What I didn't know at the time was that he was in first place and ended up winning it and breaking the course record.  

Around mile 5 or so I passed the lady from the bike.  As I ran past her she said "did you have a flat or something" and I said "yes" (just easier to explain while running). She was so sweet, she said "I think there are two ladies in your AG up ahead, go get 'em!" I said thanks and then we ran our own races.  (I actually saw her as she finished, she was very cool, came over to me to say hello, we exchanged "congrats" and "good race"; I love meeting people like that on the race course!)

 I only stopped once and that was to stretch my quad when it started cramping around mile 10 (which by the way was a long uphill, you were SO WRONG Carmen ha ha).  I was popping Salt Stick like it was candy and was genuinely bummed when I drank the last of the prime that I'd brought with me.  I finally passed Shanks in the last mile, on an uphill.  I was so sure that I was almost done, when the nice volunteer told me I had to take a left turn AWAY from the finish line I about collapsed.  But again, I say it's because my mind was working because I had enough calories, I was able to keep my wits about me and finish the last section.


As I am coming toward the finish line, Alex is waiting for me.  I thought "that's nice, he's going to run into the finish with me on our anniversary".  But then I noticed he's got a HUGE grin on his face.  He says "You are going to finish with a great time, so I'm not going to mess with you, but listen to the music"  I can barely hear it, which is odd, because Rev3 finish line is usually ROCKIN' and I'd heard the music for about the last mile of the race... then I realize they are playing "Endless Love",  the song we had played for our First Dance 12 years ago.  As we are running down the finish line, I can see a ton of our friend lining the barriers with cameras.  Alex says "look up at the Jumbotron" and as I look instead of the picture that they took of me at check-in, they have posted our wedding photo with a message from Alex at the bottom.  SO SWEET!!  It was a very special moment and I'll remember it forever.  Thank you hunny!!!

I ended up finishing the race in 5:23:07 which is an 11 min PR.  It was probably the easiest Half course that I've done, so I was hoping for a PR, but I really wasn't at my "fighting fitness" and I wasn't sure how far I'd be able to go on that day.  I was ecstatic about the PR, I was especially happy with my nutrition on the day.  I would not have been able to do it unless I stayed mentally tough on the run and I believe that having more calories in my system gave me a big boost of mental energy.  The other awesome part of the day, after a quick break for my legs (I had Alex let me lay on the ground once we got out of the finish chute) I was able to be up and around pretty quickly NO MED TENT!!!!

This report has been a bit all over the place, but the big thing was nutrition break through.  I found that my body can actually handle a lot more calories than it could previously during a race.  I know some of that has to do with the temperatures being so mild, but to almost double my calorie intake and NOT suffer GI distress is a HUGE boost of confidence and it gives me HOPE that I can perform to me expectations in a half and full distance triathlon soon!!!

The Rev3 Age Group Highlight Reel: (my anniversary kiss at 8:05 thanks rev3 :D)

I haven't mentioned it yet, but I had made a bet with my friend @ClydeWatts (Slayer) over twitter and Facebook.  We were racing for charity - whoever won all bets would go towards their charity.  No one really bet on us (I was told it was because picking between the two of us was like choosing which one of your children you like better, you just don't do it). So if anyone didn't bet because they didn't want to choose sides... now is your chance.  The Slayer kicked my little patootie!!  He won by 22 min (the spread was 18 min)!!  Congratualtions Slayer!! Please consider a contribution to his charity the GA Transplant Fund, please consider making a contribution because not only is he an incredible athlete he's one heck of a person and it's a worthy charity!!

This is how awesome Rev3 is for families, just a little picture of what they have available:

Big thanks to my teammates for their support throughout the day, you guys were awesome!!!  Of course a big thank you to my awesome husband for being so thoughtful and making a big deal on our anniversary!

Also, I have to thank the folks at Gatorade Sports Science Institute and the folks involved with Inside Endurance.  It's been such a fun experience and the fact that I have been able to make positive changes in my training and nutrition gives me so much hope for the future.  I look forward to implementing the Gatorade Pro Series products in my training and racing next year.

Now it's time for a little rest before I ramp up for BOSTON MARATHON!!!!  Whoo hoo!!!!


  1. Sounds like you had an awesome race! Hope to have one of those some day! How sweet of your husband too. I love to hear amazing stories like that. :)

  2. Great race report Jill! I love the nutrition information, especially as I'm starting to think about tweaking all of mine next year! :)

    And I love all the anniversary stuff! So cute! I think there is NOTHING wrong with you racing and Alex working on your anniversary! You were still together... both doing what you love! :)

    Congrats on another great race!!!

  3. Your RRs are the best! Well done on a great race, learning from past events, and 12 years of happy marriage. Many parallels in your racing and a working marriage exist. You are strong at both and, like the rest of us, do best when you are relaxed. Thanks again for the competition and shout outs all season. Boston stands no chance!

  4. You know that "Gatorade Perform" isn't really a product, right? haha.

    Awesome report! Glad you got some of those GI issues figured out! I was also very glad I got to see your finish first hand ;-)

  5. Awesome report Jill. I love seeing the GSI stuff in action. Thinking back to you finishing I don't think I said congrats, the first thing out of my mouth was..."how does your tummy feel?" I'm an awesome friend I know :-) Congrats on a great race.

  6. Thanks for sharing your story Jill! Congrats to you! I think that you really enjoyed the race. 'Til next time around. :D


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