Friday, July 15, 2011

Mass State Tri Goal Post

 This weekend I am racing at the Massachusetts State Triathlon. Last year this was my very first triathlon! It will be my second Olympic distance event and hopefully an opportunity to smash my PR. After a few weeks of recovery from Mooseman, I've gotten in about a month's worth of solid training, with a renewed emphasis on tempo runs at tempo pace, track workouts with speed (just a few), and long runs intentionally slowed down. I am hoping this will translate into a strong(er) run on Sunday. Last year I went 3:03. This was WAY faster than I had planned, despite a very conservative swim (29:xx) and a painfully slow run (6.35miles in 57:12). I rode my dad's old hybrid and only purchased Nimbus after the race when I knew triathlon and I were going to make excellent bedfellows.

This year my endurance is certainly better. My volume is higher and I am much less worn down by training that in those first 6 months last spring. I haven't made huge gains in the swim, but I was pretty pleased with where I started. My biking has come a long way, by definition, given that I hadn't spent any time on a bike in 20 years. I hope to gain most of my time on the bike. My run, well, we'll see.

Other factors: last year was hot as all get out. 90F by noon, which was right about when I thought I would be finishing. My wave didn't go off til close to 8:40am. Up until 2 days ago they had been calling for highs around 80F on race day, but the temps have slowly been creeping up and now its looking like 88F. If I'm done by 11:30 it might have only reached 80F. Still 80F is too hot for me. So I expect I will suffer on the run. Last year, it had been quite hot for a while and the water was up above 80F as well so they strongly discouraged wetsuits. I didn't have one, so no problem there. This year, I have a wetsuit (sleeveless) although I'm torn about wearing it. On the one hand, I swim faster with it on (duh). On the other hand, with temperature regulation being an issue for me, I don't want to be overheating from the get-go. In addition, in both of my HIMs when I've worn it I've had a stripper to help me out of it. In this race, no strippers (not that I would expect there to be). So there could be a slight T1 disadvantage to wearing it.

Enough with the preamble. Here are my plans and goals:
Swim: Line up towards the front, second row on the right. Go out slightly harder than in past races and see if there are any feet to find. No sprinting. But unlike past races, no lollygagging either.
C goal: sub 30:00
B goal: sub 29:00
A goal: 28ish
A+ goal: No such thing. I can swim 25:xx but it just means getting passed by more people on the bike and run. I don't want to get caught up with people I can't hang with.

Transitions: I seem to have a particular aptitude for spending a long time in transition. It would be great to spend just a little less, particularly in T1. Under 3:00 each?

Bike: The course is a double loop with one significant hill (x2). Find a comfortable pace in the miles leading up to the hill the first time and then spin up the hill. No ego. Open it up as much as I want between the back side of the hill and when I come up on it for the second time (miles 6-16). Then spin again. Steady effort back in to the park for T2. Given the heat I am planning on my aero water bottle (22oz) to be filled with G2 + 200cal or CarboPro and an addition bottle on my down tube with Nuun + 100c CarboPro. I will take endurolytes at least once (in T1 if I swam with wetsuit, on bike if not) and maybe twice if its turning into a scorcher. I have had good training rides with Medjool dates so that is my plan for additional nutrition on the bike. Will also keep a chocolate outrage Gu handy in case the dates don't strike my fancy. Although my goal splits don't look much different than what I hope to be writing for FirmMan 70.3 in two months, my goal here is to have a solid run and to be reasonable given the heat. No ego, Rachel, no ego.
C goal: 1:25 (17.5mph)
B goal: 1:23 (18mph)
A goal: 1:21 (18.3mph)
A+ goal: sub 1:20 (18.6+mph)

(T2: As above, here if I don't save time I will be okay with it. Sometimes my heart rate spikes as I run my bike into transition. Standing still for a minute and catching my breath is not the worst thing in the world before I start what will be a hard (but hopefully solid) run.)

Run: Don't start too fast! First two miles are false flat (1-2% grade) and then there are 2 miles of jagged hills. My biggest goal on the run is to feel like I can push it during the last two miles. Suggesting, or even intimating in any way, that I want to negative split the run would be ridiculous, so I am not putting that on the table. But I don't want to blow up. I don't want consecutive 9:30 miles like last year (miles 4 and 5). I have been practicing running at an uncomfortable pace -- its uncomfortable. I am going to try to keep this in mind and not freak out about it. If I execute bike hydration/nutrition well then hopefully I won't be dealing with side stitches and will be able to stick with the discomfort for the last stretch. Last 2 miles. Give it all I've got! Last year I mustered a sprint to the finish, I hope to do the same this weekend. The course is long (6.35 by my garmin, mapped twice, on the tangents) so the times are slightly off for 10k. Depending on the heat, I will likely carry my small 10oz fuel belt handheld with G2+carbopro and a gu. If its sweltering I might grab my big 20oz bottle with water and take endurolytes in transition. Both will be in T2.
C goal: better than last year's 57:12
B goal: 55:00
A goal: 53:30
A+goal: 52:30

C goal: PR. sub 3:03:09
B goal: sub 3:00
A goal: sub 2:55
A+goal: sub 2:50

[For the sake of completeness and honesty I also want to put the following FUTURE goal on the table. At the Olympic distance I would eventually like to go 2:40. Did I just say that?!?!? No, no, I meant 2:45. Okay, actually, I want to go 2:40. To go sub50 on the run would also be awesome. 2013?]

After the race James and I will be hightailing it back to Boston to watch the Women's World Cup final at my parents'. I also intend to gorge myself on pizza. Chocolate my be consumed.

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