Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

So I’m racing a triathlon in a few days…

This weekend is my first triathlon of the season and also my first race in 2.5 months.  I am now officially 3 months into the #projectspring plan, which means minimal training.  It’s a very weird feeling this year, normally this race is the end of things, one more hoorah before I take some time off.  This year, it’s as things are ramping up a little.  That means there are a lot of different expectations (or lack thereof) on an untrained body vs a body that’s super trained and straddling the line of fitness and burnout.


Last year, this was the face of the start of #offseason.

Day before/pre-race/nutrition plan/gear:

We’ll be grilling and celebrating Father’s Day with the ‘rents on Saturday, so it’s not the normal steak-n-taters, feet up, relaxing time.  However, it’s not as if we’re walking around Disneyland all day or anything, and we have a lot less accumulated fatigue to worry about.  What worries me the most is the sleep – midnight is generally bedtime for me these days, and if that holds true, that means very little sleep the night before.  So, I need to make sure to get really good sleep the rest of the week and also try my darnest to be in bed and relaxed early on Saturday night.

Belvita breakfast cookies and chocolate almond butter is my new race day breakfast tradition, so I’ll be sticking with that.  For caffeine, I’ll probably go with purple stuff – it makes me pee a lot so it’s bad for running races but perfect for tris because the world is your bathroom if you need it to be so.  I’ll take a few chews for pre-race, because breakfast to race time will be somewhere between 3-4 hours (grumble grumble 3rd to last wave grumble).

During the race, I’ll give myself the option of caff chews or a caff or non caff gel on the bike, and stash a gel in my pocket in case I feel awful right out of T2.  I’ll do gu brew or heed on the bike in my bottle.  I’m debating on the merits of carrying a frozen bottle on the run, and whether it should have water or sports drink.  Water is better for dumping on your head.  I might need the salt, sports drink has it, but can get sticky.  The temps will determine what I do here.

This is the first race I’ll be doing with my super pro looking set up.  Team race kit, aero helmet, new TT bike… I’m excited to at look fast, no matter where the actual numbers end up!


Not my pro kit, but this tri makes me jump for joy!


I definitely have endurance here, but I’ve lost a lot of my speed.  I’ve swam speedwork in the pool the last few months a total amount of ZERO times.  Also, we went to go do recon at the lake last week and HOLY HYDRILLA!  The lake zombies and plant monsters are out in full effect.  I’m hoping they’ll cut a path, but it’s likely it will end up being an out and back like they do for the August race.  Those usually end up long, crowded, and kind of scary (chance of head on collision with a stray swimmer is high).

I’m going to try to go out a few notches above a paddle, but I don’t want to be shelled getting out of the water.  I don’t expect a personal worst here, but I definitely don’t think I’ll be breaking any records.


First tri of the year usually means fighting a lot of transition gravity.  Hopefully being a familiar race venue will help.  I have new gear, but that shouldn’t mean much because it’s new versions of the same stuff I had before.  Sock shoe sock shoe sunglasses helmet bike go.


I can’t believe I still wore a camelback 3 years ago… *blush*


This leg could be very interesting.  My bike fitness is the LEAST in the toilet of all the sports, and I have a shiny new TT bike.  However, I’ve definitely not been training like I normally am at this point of the year, and I don’t really know the ins and outs of riding the Death Star yet.  Everything could click and I could have an awesome PR here, or I could feel weird and awkward and my legs don’t show up and I’m rolling through this race about 16 mph.

Depending on how things feel, I’ll push the bike REAL HARD and try to hang on for the run or I’ll take this easier and hope to make up some time later with fresher legs.  Honestly, if all goes well, my race strategy will lean towards the first choice because it involves finally getting to open up on my new toy.


Same as T1.  If I can, I’ll spin a little easier before dismounting (though the last part is a hill :P), and just remember the run starts the minute I leave my bike. Shoe off, shoe on, shoe off, shoe on, helmet off, race belt on, visor on, grab bottle and RUN!


I always like to leave a window open for good things to come in, but I would be absolutely SHOCKED if I could PR this leg of this race right now.  It would be 100% mental fortitude, not due to any amount of physical conditioning I have on the run right now.  I may get some advantage from riding my new bike, but I doubt that will make THAT much of a difference.

No matter what – I’ll run as hard as I can for three miles, because that’s pretty much the only way to pace a sprint triathlon.


At the end of appropriately pacing a sprint triathlon.

Overall, I’m looking at this as a test to see where I’m at right now, physically, sure, but mostly mentally.  How do I feel in the morning?  Am I excited or just want it over with?  How do I feel reaching past the point of comfortably hard?  Is it like “fuck yeah, let’s dig at that pain cave floor” or still a bag of “nope nope nope nope nope”?

If I’ve learned anything in the last few months, it’s that you can’t force enthusiasm as much as you might try.  At the finish line, whether I’m chalking up a new personal worst or busting out a crazy great race, that’s just where I am at this moment in time.  Unicorns or not, it’s totally ok.  I’m excited to toe the line to find out.


Hippo Hunting and the Death Star


Lake Pflugerville Triathlon



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