Swim: 0 m/83,300 m
Bike: 31.2/677.2 miles
Run: 5.4/201.4 miles
I have a race coming up this weekend and my goals are pretty basic – I want to finish, and I want to enjoy it. Other than that, there’s not too much to hope for.
I’ll be happy to have this week behind me. I’ve had a cold since the weekend that has left me feeling like I was run over by a truck. When I first felt it on Sunday, I thought that my body was just really sore from my bike wreck the day before. But, after a few days of overall fatigue, the congestion really set in on Tuesday night. I’m hoping that it clears up by Sunday morning – I still have a few days to rest and hydrate.
It just happens that this was the first week that my daughter has been back to preschool after having the past three weeks off. I had been looking forward to this week to really hammer my training. I got in a decent hourlong bike/run brick on Tuesday – my first brick workout since my last race – and a 22-mile ride on Wednesday. My better judgment won out today and I refrained from exercising altogether. I’ll probably be laying low for the rest of the week unless I miraculously feel a lot better. There’s no reason to push too hard this close to a race.
As for the race – here’s what I’d like to accomplish:
Swim: This will be my first open-water swim in a race environment. I felt pretty comfortable swimming across a river a few weeks ago, and the scale here will be much smaller. The only difference will be that I’m sharing the water with hundreds of other triathletes. I have no time goal – I’d just like to stay calm during the swim and complete the distance in comfortable freestyle. I plan to take a position to the outside and rear so I don’t get caught up in the mass at the start. I really have not been swimming much lately – the pool at my home gym has been closed for almost two months and my backup pool has also been under repair for a couple weeks. But I’ve felt good during the couple times I have been in the water and I don’t feel like I’ve regressed with my stroke or form.
Bike: As I’ve said before, this is a moderately challenging course. Most of the first 9.5 miles is a gradual incline, with a really tough hill just before the turnaround point. But the way back is much speedier, so I can make up time on the back 9.5 miles. Last weekend I wrecked around Mile 17, so I’ll be looking hard to avoid the rough road that caused it. My overall speed could be compromised if I find myself being overly cautious in this area. I’ve been on the bike a couple times since the wreck and I haven’t found myself lingering on it at all, but I wonder if I’ll be a little more nervous when that part of the course approaches on race day. My goal on every ride is to exceed an average of 20 mph, but that’s only happened on two training rides so far this year. I’ll throw it out there as a high-end goal for this race, but I don’t really expect to reach it. Taking out time for the wreck on Saturday, I covered the course at about 19.7 mph.
Run: My running has been relatively strong recently. My slowest run in the past two weeks was a 7:35 pace, and that was on my 9-mile downtown run. My shorter runs, including my course preview on Saturday, have been in the 7:0X-7:1x range. I’d love to be in the vicinity of 7:0x for the run on Sunday, but my first tri taught me that the run leg can be slower than you might expect due to the mental and physical fatigue of the previous two legs. And this tri has a bike leg that’s more than 50 percent longer than the last tri, which was only 12 miles. In last weekend’s course preview I ran at about a 7:18 pace after completing the ride.
Fun: The biggest goal is to have fun. I don’t have strict time goals I’m trying to reach, but I want to give it a good shot. I’ve been sick, I’m in week 5 of a 6-week weight regimen, and my overall training hasn’t been very heavy in the past month. I know at the outset that I’m not going to be in top form, and that helps take off a lot of self-imposed pressure to reach certain benchmarks. And I like it that way. I just want to get out there and have a fun morning.