I wanted to wait until later in the week to write this one. When we last spoke, I was recovering from a weird flu-ish thing and I wasn’t sure how much it would take out of me this week. The answer was that it actually gave me the right perspective – I shut all sorts of shit down that I hope will help me on Sunday.
This week, it’s obvious what I needed was early to bed book reading time and lots of good relaxation and sleep. I may have stayed up a little too late one night reading, but over the last few, I’ve averaged a LOT of great zzzz time.
Did my best to let shit slide like water off a duck’s back this week. Being sick made me too tired to care for a few days, and that helped me realize that que sera, sera with work and other random stuff. The house is messy. Stuff at work might be undone until next week. Maybe there’s some packing to do. What-freaking-ever. I needed to chill about it.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Trying to stay in my little bubble. The one where it’s happy and positive and has all the carbs. Garmins have carbs, right?
Race week has seen a few little pops here and there, even with recovering from the mystery funk. Fastest time around the buoys at the lake so far – POP! Race pace off the bike feeling like butter – POP! I’ve tried not to be greedy and want to do more, and instead take those as little fireworks I can grab from my pocket and explode if I need on Sunday.
Since I am feeling good again, I’m ready to write the race goals I want without cringing and wondering if I’d be up for the task. I’m ready to conquer at Kerrville and I’ll go after it. It’s one of my A races, and the only crack at 70.3 this year, so I want to make it count. HOWEVER: I have some epic things planned this fall. If I am not actually in fact feeling 100% – I’ll take the plan and spin it sideways.
While I’ll save you the gory details, I have a full nutrition plan from the time I wake up on Saturday until after the race Sunday. Then, all bets are off (until Tuesday morning, when I start eating like a normal human again).
I’ll also save you my Saturday schedule, but I want to make sure that a) we drive the bike course (we do it every year but it’s still nice to re-orient) and b) scope the new run course. Drive the closest to it we can or bike down it.
I have enough extra run shoes to get a warmup run this year since my main pair needs to be nestled at T2 the night before. Since we usually don’t get a warmup swim, I want to make sure to get a quick trot.
While I don’t love this forecast it is what it is:
Every time the “weather on the 1s” comes on our local news, I tell Zliten THIS 10 minute weather snippet is the one where the rogue cold front appears and we have a high of 75 on Sunday. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’ll keep the faith…
In all honesty, I know there is jack and shit I can do to change it and I’m just glad I’ve been training in WAYYYYY worse. A shady mid-80s run with a decent breeze will probably not kill me.
And, let’s get on with the actual race…
I’m a pretty good swimmer. I’ve made some major improvements over the last year. However, it definitely has not been my focus for the last 2 months, and I feel like I had a pretty great swim LAST year, so I’m not sure how much better I should expect to do.
Start mid-front of my age group line. I pass a lot of people if I start in the back, which is fun, but inefficient swimming. I always feel like people look at me funny when I head up to the front since I don’t exactly look like a contender, but this time, I’ll just be like… “bitches, I was top quarter in my last tri” and scoot on up there.
If I can find someone slightly faster to draft on, that would be EXCELLENT. I think there will be a much better chance of that if I start about 1/3rd of the way in my heat (with the time trial start).
Try not to start quite as breathless as last year. Get a good solid start and settle into a comfortably hard pace. Keep focused on the swim and the stroke, and don’t space out.
Swim Time goals:
- A+ goal – sub-35. This is ambitious. I could swim this in a pool, no problem but open water is another story. Hopefully the current + race day + wet suit will help me out.
- A goal – sub – 38. Like, this is easier than my easy pace in the pool. I should be able to hit this.
- B goal – sub – 40. I swam just over 40 mins last year, I’d like to beat that.
Last year I was pretty winded from the swim and took an extra MINUTE on 2013. This year, my mantra will be “race is still going, recover on the bike”. No need to get freaked out about high heart rate, I have like 10 miles of downhill on the bike following.
In and out as quick as possible. Any time I spend dicking around here, I have to make up on the course. Who needs that?
- Sub-3 minutes.
Here’s the really ambitious goal. I’ve had a pretty stellar cycling year. My bike paces have been between .5 to 1 mph PRs. I’m able to nail the ~17 mph I rode last year in long training rides not feeling like I’m racing. I ride pretty fast on this course. It’s a good one for me. Before I smashed the hell out of it earlier this year at Cap Tex, it had my pace pace PR (for the sprint).
But… 1.4 mph over last year is going to be tough. I don’t have enough power data to really ride this one by power so I’ll definitely be relying mostly on feel, which I’m pretty good at, and glancing at speed, heart rate, power, etc.
Take in a gel every “side”. There’s 4 sides. Once during each side I need to eat foods. Obviously, new gatorade at each exchange.
Ride aggressively, don’t get stuck behind people, make the most of that awesome mostly downhill section on the front end. Treat the uphills like class segments.
Try to err on the side of high cadence vs smashing, but smash when smashing is needed.
Chasing down speeds (if I’m at 16.9 mph average, set a goal to hit 17.5 by mile 40, etc) have worked well for me in practice rides. Do that when it makes sense.
Remember that certain higher power outputs can feel better than lower power outputs. Switch around my cadence and gearing and do some faster pace work if my legs are feeling stale.
Recovery is for ONLY after you crest a hill and also get up to speed.
Aeeeeeero as much as possible.
- A+ goal: sub-3 hours. Like I said, this is the one I feel like I’m LEAST likely of my A+s to hit, but… I was able to hold friggin 19.4 mph for 25 miles in May at Cap Tex. 18.7-ish is not completely off the wall.
- A goal: 3:05.
- B goal: 3:10.
- C goal: 3:15. I’m a much better cyclist this year. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t beat my time last year.
I did really well here last year, and I even sat down for a sec to try and pee (no dice).
No dicking around, T2 is full of hot fucking lava. Woman up and pee on the bike if you’re going to pee in this race. 😛
- Did it in 2 and a half last year. Sub-2. Why not?
Ahhh, the run. I have been having such amazingly phenomenal runs off the bike. Even in the heat. Even when the end of the bike sucked. Let’s call it super great consistency, not “I’m due for a bad one”. Because I’m not. I deserve to fucking conquer this half ironman run. Let’s roll with some more ambitious goals.
First mile is for settling in. I know what race effort *should* feel like, and sometimes it takes a little bit to get there. Whether I’m running 12s or 9s, the first mile will be no-judgies.
If for some reason I feel ah-may-zing, stick to no-faster-than-the-low-end of race pace on lap 1. I don’t want to explode and walk the second lap. If I’m still feeling great lap 2, I can run down the pace.
Cadence, cadence, cadence. If I’m having trouble and pace is pissing me off, just work on shoving that cadence up to 90.
Looks like my excuses are out the window – the new run course is relatively flat and has shade. Run it all!
If things start to suck, keep running and let time pass.
Stay in the moment. The mile, the section, the step I’m on. Internalize the process and focus on what I am doing right the fuck now. Obviously this is my goal during the whole race, but I’m going to need to really hold to it on this run.
- A++++++ goal: PR my half marathon. Sub-2:08. Let’s just leave this one hanging out there as super-ridic but I can’t lie – if I’m anywhere close I’m going to really go for it because I don’t have another crack at the distance planned this year. I’d give this about a 1% chance but leaving myself open to the chance.
- A+ goal: 2:15. This would be a 15-min run PR for me, but pretty close to what I’ve been pegging as my race pace in practice.
- A goal: 2:20. This *should* be easy for me unless the heat is killer.
- B goal: 2:25.
- C goal: sub-2:29. Yeah, I’m hoping I’ll be able to beat my time last year on an easier course with a run focus all year.
Overall, just one thought:
HAVE FUN. I love this race, it’s the 70.3 I do every year because it’s awesome. Even if I’m having a rough go at it, I can’t help smiling up and down this course. I get to go swim and bike and run for a long time with a few hundred of my closest friends on a closed course with people tending to my every need! What’s not to love about that?
- A+ Goal: Sub-6. A lot has to go right to hit this one, I need to really hit either that A+ bike or A+ run goal to have a shot here (and do well at the other discipline). But it’s not completely crazy. So, A+ goal it is.
- A Goal: Sub-6:10. Most of the math I have done on having a good day is somewhere around 6:03 or 6:08 or something, so I’ll be perfectly pleased to scoot on into the finish around that time.
- B Goal: Sub-6:20. If this happens, I’m having a decent day I’ll be proud of, but not an outstanding one. Sticking this one in here so I don’t default-ly jump to “damn, I’m not going to make 6:10, well, let’s just jog it in”.
- C Goal: Sub-6:30. That would only be a 2 min PR, but depending on the kind of day I’m having, it could be a victory.
If you’re interested in following along with the fun, go ahead and follow me on twitter (@quixotique) or instagram (adjusted_reality). Send me cool and fast thoughts if you have a little extra energy Sunday morning!