I have a race tomorrow. Crazy, huh? As I sit here sipping a glass of wine on this very windy afternoon, I’m in disbelief myself. I guess the up-side to this whole Ironman behemonth is that I am being desensitized to the anxiety that goes along with racing…
The training plan that Greg and I are following calls for an Olympic Distance triathlon this weekend. There just-so-happens to be an event happening about an hour south of here that we signed up for — the Reservoir Triathlon in Morgan Hill. Since I started racing at the Half Ironman distance three years ago, it has been fun for me to walk around saying, “I can’t wait to go back to shorter distances. The Olympic distance is just so doable. I mean, it’s less than three hours of suffering on race day and the training doesn’t affect your entire life.” We’ll see how much of that is true tomorrow. The obvious difference between a sprint or Olympic distance race is that you are pushing your very hardest the entire time, whereas the longer events require you to pace yourself.
It has been an enjoyable week of shorter workouts, culminating with a pre-race brick this morning. We had to bike 30 minutes with four 60-second sprints mixed in, then run 15 minutes with three 60-second sprints. My workout went quite well, and it was a beautiful day to be out there. The fog was still rolling over the mountain at 10 AM — I was glad we were not climbing Skyline today!
Greg just informed me that his plan has been to drive the van down to Morgan Hill and sleep there tonight so we won’t have to get up sooo early in the morning. That was news to me! I’m going into high gear to get everything packed and ready to go.
As for goals, the training plan says to practice transitions and mental aspects of racing while keeping my my effort level (measured by heart rate) at my lactate threshold until the last 5K of the run, where I will pick it up through the finish. So I guess that’s my goal, right? Ideally, I’d like to do that as well as these couple of things:
- Execute my nutrition and hydration. My plan is to carry 2 water bottles on the bike (one on the aero bars, one on the down tube) and not stop at the aid stations. I’ll eat breakfast as usual, take a 5-Hour Energy before starting the swim, and have 1-2 peanut butter-filled dates on the bike. I should not need nutrition on the run, but I’ve got Clif Shot Bloks in my race belt just in case. I will not carry water on the run.
- Finish under 3 hours. The course looks to be fairly flat and fast, so hopefully I’ll be able to pull this off. I can finish the hilly Wildflower course under 3 hours, so that’s my benchmark. Today’s training brick incorporated those sprints, which did increase my average pace and I may try to test this approach tomorrow.
- Have fun! I think this will mostly come in the form of, “At least it’s only 6.2 miles of running and not 26.2!”
Back tomorrow with results!