I’m going to go play triathlon this weekend, and I’m not quite sure what to think about it. But, I’m 8 weeks out from the little race I did at The Woodlands, so I should be ready to get back on the horse for a little gallop, right?
I’d discuss this weekend’s specific race goals but there aren’t any, really. I am going to go swim, ride, and run as fast as I can without fainting or puking and collect my freezy pop at the end and sit in the lake and be at peace with whatever happens because #offseason.
Now, here’s where I contradict myself. I think the thing I care about is the bike. I’d like to think I may do okay since I *have* been riding a little bit, enough that those muscles should remember what to do. I also do have a benefit this year over every other year – they’ve switched the waves to have the women go first, I take off somewhere in the middle vs almost last. So, if I show up and somehow feel awesome with race day magic, I am set up for success. Or maybe to at least beat Zliten for once *grumble*.
Since it’s been a while, here’s where I remind myself of what it takes to do a triathlon that doesn’t take a full day to complete.
- I will need to remember to practice transitions a few times this week. At the IM, I took 10-15 minutes and made full changes. Not this time. The least amount of stuff possible in the shortest time possible.
- Pre race food the day before – bringing my calories back up to flush (or close) vs less than I burn. I definitely feel the calorie deficit working its magic – both in how my clothes are fitting (yay) and the lack of fuel for training (boo). My plan is normal breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch, and chicken/potato/veggies and a salad for dinner.
- Pre race swim. This has become a tradition and I <3 it. Probably will accomplish this at Lake PF after packet pickup (or before, depending on how early I’m up) so I can check out the lake monster (hydrilla) situation.
- Breakfast will probably be a tried and true sunbutter jelly sandwich and some coconut water. I’ll bring either blocks and some nuun or just a gatorade to sip on for hydration and calories between then and race start.
This race is also the best and hard to skip because of all the friends and teammates that show up. 🙂
During the race:
- I’ll position myself at the front-ish of the pack for swimming since I’m typically about top quarter/third out of the water at this type of race. I need to remember than yes, even if I am a little untrained, I do swim faster than my average age group fish. I’ll keep an effort that is challenging but not anywhere close to redlining. I’d rather save some energy here and put more into the bike.
- Transitions are quick and focused. Sock, sock, shoe shoe, glasses, helmet, and go. Shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe, visor, frozen bottle (it’s supposed to be killer hot), race belt, go. Don’t need anything else for ~40 minutes on the bike or ~30 minutes on the run.
- The bike is going to feel like sucking wind for 40 minutes, sprint races always do, and that’s ok. Keep pushing anyway. I have zero watts metrics or any idea how fast I’ll ride but I know where my heart rate can hang and I expect it feel like death, but hopefully enough unlike death that I can still find my Hokas afterward.
- I have zero confidence that holding anything back on the bike will help me here much on the run, so I don’t plan to do it. I expect a run personal worst and that’s not being self-depreciating, it’s being honest. If I can hold 10:30s for 3 miles right now after a bike ride, I will be shocked and amazed. However, I’ll go out with the goal of getting to the finish line as fast as humanly possible so I can plant my overheated butt back in that lake. I know where my HR is just shy of redlining but can stick it out (around 175 bpm) and I’ll just watch that to make sure my brain isn’t making shit up about being tired while my heart is actually just at 150 bpm.
My best is 1:30:30 (2015). My worst is 1:40:37 (2011). I’m going to start with the goal to go sub-1:30 but I’ll abandon that as soon as it doesn’t make sense (really, the bike will tell the tale) and see if I can come in somewhere sub-1:40 at least if all goes to hell.
As for the rest of the year, I am still maintaining that I will not put any more A races on the schedule. Ironman Texas got the one and only slot for 2017. Nevertheless, I also am ready (kind of) to go play triathlon and bikes with LOTSA friends a bit so it was time to start thinking about putting some things on the schedule before I spend the entire year paying late registration fees to jump into things at the last minute.
In concert with Zliten, we put together a scale of how much we care about each race. A is obviously your most important race, B is kinda important but not the MOST important, and C is kind of a training race, something you’re not going to taper for. We added the D category, which would be a race where you’re almost completely untrained but show up and toe the line anyway. Obviously, like any convoluted grading scale, there are minuses and plusses for various and arbitrary reasons.
Look how awesome I am, just beating this guy who is probably twice my age…
Bold = signed up or definitely planning on. Italics = possibilities
Lake Pflugerville – D (6/18). We do this one every year and it’s Zliten’s favorite. I am counting this as a D for the fact that I’ve swam less times than I can count on one hand and I’ve run approximately 9 miles since 4/22.
El Diablo Poker ride – C (7/15). This is not a race, but a team ride, and this is training for HHH100 below and also motivation to ride bikes longer than 25 miles a few times beforehand.
Jack’s Generic – C/D (8/6). Eh. Maybe. I either need to volunteer here or race for the TX Tri series completion so *shrug*. On the pro side: lots of friends doing it, it’s my sprint PR from last year on minimal training (so it’s not exactly a hard one to crack), and I have to either work packet pickup the day before or be there anyway. Con side: It’s hot, not sure I actually want to train even that much just yet, I could save money by just volunteering if I’m not going to take it at least semi-seriously, I might want to use this weekend to redo the kitchen instead. I think I’ll take stock again after Pflug and see if there’s fire in the belly.
Hotter than Hell 100 B- (8/26). This will solely exist on the schedule to keep me doing a few long rides over the summer so I can complete this one and not totally die. I’ve always wanted to do it and this summer is about bikes (not 70.3s like normal). It’s a B simply because I’m training FOR it (since it’s long), but I honestly don’t care how fast I finish it as long as I stay #rubbersidedown.
Kerrville Sprint Triathlon B+ (9/23). This one is MY favorite and I’m overjoyed at an opportunity to race the sprint again. It was one of my fastest bike splits WAYYY before I had any business riding that fast. I think I could, on a day full of unicorns and rainbows depending on how things are going, possibly podium given the finish times and what I’m capable of, if I’m interested in training again for this race (otherwise it will be super fun anyway). At the very least, I’ll really go for it here.
I think that’s plenty of things to keep me out of trouble over the summer. After that… *shrug*. I’m not doing Austin 70.3 for SURE this year (have a conflict) and I don’t want to do anything that long anyway. My next A race I’m planning on is 3M half marathon (stupid 2:08 PR is GOING DOWN Y’ALL) and I’ll probably put my eggs in that basket from Oct-Jan.
What’s on your plan for the summer?