Five days from today I'll take on my longest race yet. It's a half-ironman distance. You can also call it a 70.3. But whatever you call it - it's long.
The event - Motivation Man
Okay so I'm breaking many of my personal race rules with taking this on. First rule - no first time races. I find that organizers of first time races tend to do things like not have enough water... but when I was unable to race my intended race in Orlando I decided to make an exception.
Another rule I have is to do a larger race for a first time distance. Smaller races are more of a mental challenge. This is going to be a very small race. The field is capped at 1000 for both the Olympic and 70.3 distance but estimates I heard yesterday say that there will likely only be about 700 people registered. Since almost all of those folks will be doing the Olympic distance it's going to be a very small field racing the long course. I may know/train with all the folks doing the long course :-)
6:30 am Start estimated temp 75 degrees
1.2 mile swim.
The swim is in the intracoastal. Allegedly we will be with the current the entire way. I think that's physically impossible (because it is not a point to point swim) but here's hoping.
|I'll be following the blue arrows :-) At least one of these three legs is gonna have to be against the current probably two out to the turn buoy and back from the last buoy will be against the current ... or the map is wrong.|
I'm not crazy ready for the swim but I'll be fine. I did the Nautica swim in 41 minutes so my goal for this is 53 minutes.
As a note I think this will be my first deep water start. So that's pretty cool.
Nutrition Plan - not drinking much seawater. Remember to pee in the water :-)
T1 - apply more sunscreen. Rinse mouth with water, eat Gu, glasses on, helmet on, arm coolers on, gloves on, socks on, shoes on, go. Not worrying about transition times - at all. I'm more concerned with remembering everything. I will probably make a check list. Dorky yes, I know.
7:30 am estimated temp 77 humidity 87%
56 miles on the bike.
The course for this is almost totally straight and flat.
|I start on the right go all the way left - turn around and come back.|
My goal is to hold 17 mph for the duration. That's not terribly fast but if I end up with a head wind for 28 miles that will be a challenge for me. To be honest I have no idea how to estimate this. Yesterday I did a group ride averaging 19 for 62 miles but I know I won't be able to be that fast solo. Also we stopped for about 5-10 minutes halfway through and I did things like pee and refill my bottles while not moving on the bike.
Will I be able to hold 17 ... no idea. So 3.5 hours.
Nutrition plan - I will have 40 ounces of lemon-lime Infinit pre mixed. That's 400 calories. I will also have a cookie to eat half-way 100 calories and I'll carry 2 Gu's to eat if needed. I'll also have a bottle of water. I haven't quite figured out what I'll do with the bottle exchange. I'll stop drinking calories at mile 53 roughly 15 minutes out of transition to let the fluid move through my tummy.
Half way through there will be a bottle exchange. I have no idea how this works. I'll be carrying my own bottles so is the idea that I swap one for a bottle of Zephyrhills? Since I carry insulated bottles that seems like a bad idea. Or is it that I take a bottle of water and refill my own bottle. So many questions.One
My final fear about the bike is that it will be really boring. Usually during a group ride there is chatter and stuff to keep me distracted and I'm concentrating on keeping up with others. This is a small race and we could be very spread out so I could be alone and bored out of my mind for 3.5 hours.
Oh wait I'm also concerned about my shorts. I usually wear bike shorts for long rides. But swimming in bike shorts would be ridiculous. So I picked up a pair of Zoot tri shorts for the race. Wore them Saturday for the run and swim they were fine. Washed the outfit and wore them for Sunday's ride/run. Not so great. The seam around the chamois made a ridiculous amount of chaffing on my tush. I could feel it digging in pretty early on the ride. OUCH! So I won't be wearing those shorts. My other shorts that I've loved have all been Garneau so I'm going to pick up a pair of Garneau tri shorts (with a careful inspection of the chamois area) and wear those.
T2 - I know by now it will be hot. So my plan is to have an extra bottle of water in transition to pour over my body. Then reapply sunscreen. Maybe change my shirt. Put on hat. put on running shoes, fuel belt, race belt and go. I plan to carry my own water, gels for a few reasons. First I like to be prepared second the gels they are having on course are gross. I bought some to try and seriously gross.
11:00 am Estimated temp 84 degrees feeling like 90 humidity 67%
Then 13.1 miles running.
|Two loops by the water.|
I have no idea how I will feel during this run. So I am being conservative with my time goal. 2.5 hours.
Based on yesterday's transition run I plan to take a gu pretty quickly into the run to keep the gloomies away. We'll see how it goes.
Also I've never done a loop long course. I have a feeling I'll hate it. I can't do loops on solo long runs because I always stop at the end of the first loop. Since that would be a DNF I'm not going to do that here.
Here's another place where the small race might be a bit of a drag. The advantage of huge marathons is that I know that there are walkers who will for sure be behind me :-) All the Olympic distance folks will be long finished and the only people out and about will be annoyed folks who live in WPB and will be in my way. I just hope the volunteers are still all out.
1:30 crossing the finish line - smiling. That's the plan.
Total time 7 hours. This will be close to 2 hours longer than my longest endurance event. That was my first marathon more than 10 years ago which was 5 hours. I quite honestly have no idea how I will feel. But we're going to find out.
At the moment I'm not feeling anxious or nervous. I think that's because I've settled into the grind it out and just get it done having as much fun as possible mentality. I expect the nerves to come back later in the week.
Okay that's all. Wish me luck!