Saturday is my last triathlon of the season – Giant Acorn Olympic. This will be my second year doing this race, and I’m hoping for a completely different race as compared to last year. To summarize, last year I got a flat tire very early in the bike (possibly flat coming out of transition) and had to change it on the fly. Screwed up my derailleur doing so, and just spent the rest of the race frustrated. Was lucky to finish, but very nearly missed the cutoff.
One big thing in my favor this year should be the weather. Last year was hot, and it should be cooler this year. Unfortunately, it may rain, but after Colonial Beach, I know that I can race in the rain. The cooler the weather, the better my run will go. Personally, I’m hoping for just overcast, but beggars can’t be choosers.
This will be my third Olympic distance race. Neither of the other two have been in ideal situations. The second was Challenge Williamsburg, where it was ungodly hot. So in terms of races, I’m not sure what to predict. I’d like to finish under 4 hours. That was my goal for Williamsburg, and I just barely missed it, which I consider super impressive given the weather.
For me, I will make or break that goal on the bike. For me, the swim is about focus and just trying to stay as on course as possible. I like this water, so I’m not too worried about that. I just need to stay focused and sight properly. It will probably be wetsuit legal, so I’ll get some free speed there.
This run is a double loop, and it starts with a giant hill. It is not fun. But at least the hill is at the beginning (and middle) and not near the end. The run is just going to be about finding my rhythm and finding a balance between keeping my heart rate in a proper range while still pushing the speed. Typically, it’s my heart rate that slows me down on the run, which I always think of as a good thing. It means I’m doing the best I can. Of course, I’m hoping that losing weight will help my heart rate issues as well. The cardiologist didn’t indicate that it would, but a girl can dream. Plus if the weather is cool, my heart rate will be lower anyway, so here’s hoping for some rain on the run.
The bike is where I can really push. I’m still trying to find that good balance between holding back too much and pushing too hard. 25 miles is no joke. I can’t ride the whole thing full out. I won’t make it to the end. But at the same time, I can’t just sit back and pedal either. It’s a ride with rolling hills, and that’s something I love. So I’m just going to work to find that middle ground and race. What I love is when I can find someone to chase. Someone who is just a bit faster than I am. It forces me to push myself more than normal, but it’s rare that I find that in a smaller race.
So now, I have followed my Coach’s advice and have started getting my head in the game for the race. Next up? Laundry. I need something to wear for this race.