Saturday, July 17, 2010

Max Performance Mass State Olympic Triathlon - Tomorrow is Race Day!

I can hardly believe that I started training at the end of January with a vague idea for a tri in the summer and now its here! Since then I've written my dissertation, presented it at a conference, moved from PA to MA, started my new job...tomorrow I become a triathlete!

I've been so busy of late that blog posting has basically gone out the window. I've had some great workouts in the last month. I've found bike routes that make me happy when I cross by in my car. I lost and then found my swim groove. I've started to conquer my unexpected fear of the sea monster on open water swims. My running has been ehh, but I did a solid 3k on Thursday which was a confidence boost and a reminder that there is pain and there is pain and not all pain is bad. I hope to remember this in miles 4-6.2 tomorrow. I also took my first fall last Thursday. Early morning run and my reflexes were not what they normally are; I tripped and couldn't catch myself. Tore up my knees, hands, an ankle, etc. I'm mostly mended, just a few scabs. It may have been a blessing in disguise b/c it forced me to actually do my taper. I'll post pictures of the cuts (is that morbid?) when I download everything from my camera after the race.

James and I will be heading out to the race site in Winchendon MA and our hotel in a few hours. My parents are coming to cheer me on tomorrow as well. I have time goals but am not sure what is reasonable given how few complete SBR's I have under my belt at this point. Also the forecast is calling for nearly 90F by noon (when I'll be out on the run - a late 8am race start and I'm in the last wave) so the race director told everyone to adjust their expectations for time up 10-15%. Regardless, I have some general goals:

1. Finish
2. Don't race people on the swim - take it easy.
3. Hold back on the bike. I have a tendency to want to hammer but with my heavy ass hybrid and my tendency to massively bonk on runs off a fast bike I need to be conservative. I've been saying 15-15.5mph on average. Its a two loop course with one big hill on each loop. I suck on the hills. I need to drop into my small chainring and not try to muscle up the hill. I have to let people pass. I will work on my hill skills this fall. I've told James and my mom to tell me to slow down if my first loop is fast than 16mph. I may or may not listen. I'm gonna drive the course this afternoon so I should have a better idea at that point how bad this hill really is.
4. Start easy on the run. Its gonna be hot as hell by the time I get to the run. I'm shooting for a 9:00min/mi even though that is a hard (too slow) pace for me to run most of the time. After 2 miles I will assess how I'm doing and speed it up if I can.
5. Finish strong, if I can. The last 2 miles of the course are a slight decline. If I have anything left in the tank this is the only time I want to hammer. If I explode out there, so be it.
6. Nutrition and Hydration: I will have 2 bottles on the bike (one with carbo pro in it). Gonna drink in T1 and maybe T2. Am bringing my 22oz handheld in case I am feeling at all dehydrated at the start of the run. Would rather not race with the bottle but will if I have concerns about delirium in the heat. Am using carbo pro on the bike and gu on both the bike and run. The RD just sent an email telling us that there are increasing the number of water stops on the run because of the heat so I'll drink from the stations whenever possible. I also plan to drench myself in water whenever possible. Haven't run with sloshy shoes in months but hopefully that will be ok. I'll lube my feet and hope to ward off blisters.
7. Have an awesome time. Finish smiling. Okay maybe not finish smiling. Likely I'll finish on the verge of puking. But I hope to be smiling with an hour of finishing :-)

Admittedly I have time goals. I worry about admitting them. But I like accountability.

Worst case scenario: If I flat. If I explode on the run. If I have GI problems and multiple pit stops. Regardless of the IF I want to finish under 4 hours.
B goal: 3:30
A goal:  <3:20
Super A+++ goal: <3:10

Gonna go jump on my bike to make sure everything is in order then start packing up the car. Wish me luck!!!I hope to post something very very brief tomorrow afternoon/evening but then I'm off to PA to defend my dissertation on Monday morning so I might not get to a race report until Wednesday...


  1. Good luck! I've been following you on twitter for a while now, and with all your training I bet you'll achieve your Super A+++ goal :)

    Have fun and don't be afraid to push yourself!

    Good luck on your defense too!

  2. You will finish sub 3, this is my prediction. Good luck, your plan is sound. I say finish with an empty tank!

  3. Good luck! Can't wait to hear how the race goes! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on your question... As far as whether you could be ready for a half iron, I do think it's doable, especially since you've been a runner for a while. One of the easiest ways to tell is to look at a few half iron distance programs and see whether you would be able to slide into a program given the number of weeks you are out from your "maybe" race. If nothing else, you can increase your long bike by 5-7 miles per week. I would aim to do at least a 60 to 65 miler two weeks before the race if possible. You should be working on your run endurance, too. You will definitely want to focus more on distance and less on speed. The great thing about jumping from an oly to a half is that you won't have much to work on for the swim. You will also need to be focusing more on nutrition. You can get by with crappy nutrition for an oly, not so much for a half. Let me know if you have any more questions! Once you get me started on racing, I can't stop :)