We knew we weren’t going to get the opportunity to do much racing this summer due to Ironman Boulder, so we decided to sign up for the Accel Triathlon knowing we would be racing on very tired legs from the Legend 100 the Sunday before. We just didn’t anticipate them to be as tired as they truly were.
Accel has both a sprint-distance and an Olympic-distance triathlon, so we opted for the Olympic-distance.
With this race being only 80 miles from our house, we opted to sleep in our own beds and get up early to drive over. This meant a 4:30 am departure, which really isn’t that early for the Iron Hippie and me since we typically get up at 4 am anyway. When we arrived in Cedar Falls, we picked up our packets and then set up our transition spots. This race does not preassign transition spots, so getting there early gave us the freedom to pick relatively prime real estate (there were a few people who beat us into transition).
All of the women in the Olympic distance event started the 1500 meter swim at 8:06 am. I immediately became frustrated because I didn’t quite have my goggle straps tight enough, causing my goggles to leak. I had to readjust my goggles multiple times throughout the swim. Excuses aside, it was my fault that my goggles leaked causing my slower than normal swim.
This was a pretty fast transition for me and I was really proud of getting in and out quickly. I would still like to get this less than 1:30, but it can be difficult depending on the distance traveled varying so much from race to race.
I was beyond excited with my bike split!! The bike route was 2 out and back sections, with the second out and back having a small loop on it. We had to cross railroad tracks 4 different times on the course and one set (that was crossed twice) was extremely rough causing me to slow WAY down to prevent blowing a tube and/or losing bottles.
This course was VERY flat in comparison to some of our more recent races. There were a few hills that some people complained about, but I just kept cruising. I knew it was a good bike split for me when I was only passed by 3 men in the last 4 miles of the race. I passed so many people that I lost count 🙂
Bike: 1:18:28…this was a new bike split PR with an average speed of 19.0 mph (my previous PR was an average speed of 18.49 mph for this distance) 🙂
I again was in and out of transition relatively quickly and happy with my quick transition.
This is where I could feel my body was not fully recovered from the Legend 100. Typically when I get off the bike (even at Ironman), my legs feel good and I have a hard time slowing down and running at a pace that I know I can sustain for the entire run. Unfortunately this was not the case this time. When I started on the run, my legs felt like lead, tired, heavy…not something I usually feel. This is where I had to dig deep and run with #heartandcourage. I was determined to run the entire 6.2 miles (10 km) with the exception of walking through the water stops; I successfully managed to do this, even if it was at a slower than anticipated pace.
Overall, I am happy with my performance given the hell I had put my body through the Sunday before at the Legend 100. Had I been fully recovered from the previous week’s event, I could have taken 2nd place in my age group at this race, but instead I took 5th.
Overall finish time: 2:54:14
Thanks to Carrie Cheadle’s book On Top of Your Game: Mental Skills to Maximize Your Athletic Performance, I have taken a look at 3 important questions to provide myself with feedback for future racing.
- What did I do well? I had a great bike split and improved my average speed by 0.51 mph for this distance (24.9 miles or 40 km). I have been working hard to improve my bike speed, so it is fun to see gains on the bike.
- What would I have done differently? I would not have signed up for an Olympic-distance triathlon one week after finishing the Legend 100. This would have allowed my body more time to fully recover. This would have also allowed me to see what my body was really capable of…especially on the run.
- What did I learn that I want to carry forward? I need to make sure my goggle straps are adjusted correctly before starting the swim portion of the race to prevent leaking from them being too loose. I also learned that incorporating interval training on the bike a couple of times a week has really helped me improve my bike split.
Do you review your races to provide you with feedback to help you improve future races?