This is going to be a rather short post, at least short from what one would expect me to write about my first full iron distance race. I don’t have much to say, and I think that’s because I have so many nerves going on inside me that a years worth of Valium and I’d still be twitchy with anticipation. I’ll just say that it feels like this fire is RAGING inside me (cliche I know; deal with it), and it’s just going to explode on Saturday… JUST 2 DAYS UNTIL RACE DAY!!!
Here’s the skinny; they say that if you take the equation to figure out your time based on previous shorter events (let me say now this has NEVER been true for me when I race) and double my 70.3 time and add an hour, I would finish in 10:51… I’m 100% confident that I’ll finish far before that, barring nothing crazy happens like bike malfunctions or GI issues…GI issues being the usual culprit when I have race problems. The course is flat, like ridiculously flat, so I’m really excited to see how fast my bike and run paces are. Based on my training, having trained at flat venues, and the fact that I am far more fit, I believe that 10:30-ish is definitely possible, and I’d be happy with that, but I really think I can go closer to 10 hours. As long as I stay focused, and God keeps me safe, I really think those times are possible. BTW; both those times would get me an AG podium finish based on the last two years results. How sweet would that be in my first full iron distance event?!
For those of you that want more of a breakdown, I see NO MORE than 5:30 bike split, but really think I can go under or right at 5 hours and still have a solid run leg. Run goals 3:30 max; I can run 3:10-3:15 on a pretty flat course, so I think after the 112mile bike, a few minutes should be added for the pace during the beginning spent getting my legs under me, and for that low point that’s inevitable during the run at some point. I want to keep my pace under 8/mile, and keep it steady. Both the bike and run are two loop courses, so I should be able to really keep my paces where I want them, and track them to adjust to reach my goal finish time. As for the swim… I’m going in with the same idea I always do: get comfortable; find your rhythm; move with the water (and the current; YEAH!!); keep the intensity right at that slow burn. Now the water is supposed to be around 60degrees, and wetsuits are not just legal, but REQUIRED, and I think I’m going with a neoprene cap as well. I may even go with neoprene booties and gloves; we’ll make that decision when I test the water Friday. It’s also a mass start…of 800… so I’ll be treading water in the back left corner. Swimming will never be my strong point; 1:20-1:40 (man that feels slow just typing that…uhhgg) finish. Transitions short; only long enough to strip the wetsuit, and put on my CEP compression socks, windbreaker, gloves, shoes, helmet, glasses…well maybe not short, but fast as I can. 4-5minutes T1, and just my Kinvaras, visor, and FuelBelt for the run, so that T2 sould only be a couple minutes.
Clothes I’ll be sporting are my FCA-E jersey, ATC tri shorts, and BPRC arm warmers… I’ll be so bright and obnoxious I won’t need a glowstick if I’m still on the course when the sun disappears. Nutrition is Hammer Sustained Energy, Hammer Anti-Fatigue Caps, and FRS. All liquid, because it’s the only thing that doesn’t make my stomach become an olympic gymnast, and caffeine gum if I can find it. That’s become almost impossible the last few days.
Gear that’ll be carrying me through that finishing chute (and earning me the M-DOT ink… really the only reason I’m doing this race. I kid, I kid) and the rest of the course will be… XTERRA Vortex Wetsuit, BlueSeventy Neoprene cap, and maybe gloves and booties, and these AWESOME TYR racer Ti goggles. Specialized shoes, Felt B16 (Bella), X-LAB Super Wing, semi-aero deep rimmed Shimano wheels, ISM saddle(GREATEST. THING EVER.), LOOK easy pedals, Profile Design Aero Drink and Stryke cages(for the 3 other bottles) wraps up the bike gear. Run gear is CEP socks(I say they work, regardless of what the research says, even if it’s just in my mind), and Saucony Kinvaras. I think that’s about it.
So in a quick summary, I want a 10hour finish, but would be happy with 10:30, and OK with sub 11hours. 90minute swim, 5minute T1, 5-ish hour bike, 2minute T2, 3:30 run; that’s 10:07. All liquids for nutrition, and a smile, even if it’s just a smile becuase I’m gritting my teeth so hard. You can track me at http://www.setupevents.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=event_detail&eventID=1373#results-text , or at least that’s the URL they gave me, and the site will be updated every 30minutes. My bib is 356. Wish me luck, and give me prayers, and I’ll go out there and burn my path through the course. The next time you see me, and the next time I post, I will be, an IRONMAN.