[116] Race-week ramblings

Swim: 2,000 m/107,145 m

Bike: 19.6/1,190.3 miles

Run: 16.2/442.4 miles

My last post may have given the impression that I’m dreading my upcoming triathlon, that I’m wishing it would hurry up and be done with. But that’s not the case at all. I’m actually very excited about it – I’ve put in the work and I’m just ready to enjoy the finale. Sure, there are some concerns I have, and my mind is running in overdrive as I contemplate all of the details, large and small. But the butterflies are good ones – I’m ready to get this thing started!

I’m not planning to write a goals post for this race. Since it’s my first Olympic-distance race, I just want to show up and see what it’s about. So here I’ll just share some of the random thoughts that are occupying my mind this week:

– I ran 9.2 miles yesterday, my weekly long run as part of my half-marathon training plan. I didn’t want to skip the long run even though I’m tapering this week, so I just moved it up a few days and I’m hoping it doesn’t have a negative impact on my race. I planned to run it easy with five or six 30-second intervals, but I ended up running it a bit faster than I expected. I guess I was just feeling good.

– I don’t have a wetsuit, and now the water temperature in the river at the race site is around 77 degrees. That doesn’t sound too cold, does it? The race organizer is encouraging people to bring their wetsuits. Part of me wants to run out tomorrow and rent one, but the rest of me just doesn’t think that’s going to happen. After all, I wanted a challenge, didn’t I?

– It started raining yesterday and will be rainy the rest of the week. In addition to the wet roads on the bike course, I wonder what this will mean for the swim? What if it’s canceled?

– I can’t decide if I should have my shoes already attached to my bike in T1, or put them on first and then clomp out of transition. If I leave T1 barefoot, I’ll likely have rocks/dirt on my feet, and I’ll be stuck with the prospect of wiping them off while trying to get them in the shoes while trying to start pedaling so I don’t fall over. Will I really be saving any time?

– The last 6 or 7 miles of the bike course is pretty flat, following the last huge climb at Mile 18. Do I want to hammer those last few miles, or conserve myself and spin a little more lightly in anticipation of the run that follows? It’s one of the few places on the course where I could really help my overall speed average and pick up some time, but I need to think ahead and make sure I have gas for the run.

– I’m realizing the importance of a swim warmup before a race. I usually don’t get into any kind of groove until about 500 meters into a workout. It’s hard on the system to just jump in and start swimming cold, but that’s what I’ve done in both of my previous races. I really want to make an effort to get in a swim warmup on race morning.

– Today was my last swim of the training season. It’s been a while since I had a real swim workout, and I felt kind of rusty at the beginning. I was fretting a little about swimming almost a mile during a race in three days. But as the workout progressed I started feeling much better. I just need to remember to relax and find a groove in the swim on Sunday.

– While I don’t want to make any predictions, I do want to hammer the run in this weekend’s race. I’d love to break 45 minutes (my standalone 10k PR is 43 minutes, and I’d love to get within a couple minutes of that this weekend, even after swimming and biking). And I’d love to crack 3 hours for the whole event. There, I said it.

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3 Responses to [116] Race-week ramblings

  1. Whoa, no wetsuit? Really? Isn’t the air cold there? It’s been 50s-60s here, I can’t imagine jumping into a river without a wetsuit right now. Plus I find them comforting once its on.
    Knowing nothing about your clip-shoes, I personally would not attach them ahead of time, your worry about sand/dirt on your socks is valid.
    For the bike part, what I usually do is rehydrate & refuel on the 3rd to the last mile, then zip it for the last 2 miles.
    Good luck this weekend, can’t wait to read about it!

    • traintotri says:

      Thanks! It’s about 80 here this week, with about 90 % humidity right now. So it’s still kind of muggy out there. I’ve never used a wetsuit before and I’m thinking it’s too late now to try one for the first time.

  2. David H. says:

    I think with the weather, you’ll be fine without a wetsuit. Have fun out there!

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