Race review time! 2015 Indy Toughman Aquabike, Richmond, IN 5/30/15
I know I say it each race but this was the toughest race I have done to date. It was hilly, windy…hilly and windy! I did the aquabike race which was the swim and bike. Both still regular distances swim (1.2 miles) and bike (56 miles). My coach advised against the run this race since it really didn’t fit yet into my training for Louisville IM.
So first off, really well run race. I was very impressed. The transition area was not on grass so that was nice but the pavement was a little hard on my feet.
The swim start was carpeted so that was a really welcome touch. Once again I found all of the athletes friendly and welcoming no matter what level you were at. (Everyone is a newbie at some point). Water temp was great. Though the massive raccoon Tony filmed lurking in the water was a tad bit concerning. The elite swimmers got to go off in mass while the age groupers got to start single file. Good and bad. Good that we didn’t have to fight a churning mass of swimmers but bad that I stood in line for 26 minutes after the gun building up anxiety. My swim started well, but I suffered a back cramp about 800 yards in. I had to flag down a kayak-er so I could rest for a bit and stretch. This guy was awesome. He talked me through it and encouraged me through the turn. Bottom line was my swim ended up being way slower than I planned.
Transition was a an experiment. It was my first race with a wetsuit. Legs were too long and I got hung up in them. So T1 took about three minutes longer than I planned. But because they assigned our rack spots based on bib numbers I had an end spot and plenty of room to maneuver and transition. #wishIhadbroughtmybuckettositon.
The bike was brutal. Course was hilly and windy. I would estimate 20 miles of 15 mph wind in your face 10 miles of crosswind. It definitely slowed me down. But the cool thing was I got to meet one of the pro riders on the route…USA rider Myles Alexander. Ok, ok…I didn’t actually meet him. He lapped me and yelled, “On your left!” But as a slow age grouper…I’m counting it as a meet and greet with a pro! When they advertised this race as “Home of the hill” they were spot on. There was the massive hill at the start of the route and with two laps you tackled the elevation four times. Yuck. Very little of the course was flat. Rolling moguls best describes it. I actually did not mind the hills, it was the hills, and the wind that was wearing me down. I was on track for my time through mile 40 but the wind kicked up and really slowed me so I adjusted my plan and simply focused on a strong steady cadence and finishing with my tank empty.
I struggled some fueling at regular intervals because of the hills and the amount of shifting I was doing. My thoughts were lost in my riding and I neglected my regular fueling. It didn’t effect me too much since it a “half” distance but I could feel towards the end that of the ride was longer I would have suffered some. I am very thankful I did not have the run to conquer as it traversed some of the same hills we biked. Double yuck. I do think they could have one more official aid station out around mile 20. That would have given you two more fueling options.
Overall very happy with this race. I look forward to the full attempt next year.
Previously Fat Guy