Making the self-imposed Thursday deadline for the blog post is something I haven't been so accurate with lately. oops. Oh well.
This week's lame excuse is construction in the house that had the computers all covered up with plastic and also my family arrived for vacation / Rev3 racing.
So, that's exciting. Yesterday we all sat on the couch reading the Rev3 athlete information on the couch. I chose this race for 2 reasons. First, I think the Miami 70.3 course is yucky (the races are the same day), and second but more importantly to me the Rev3 advertising was that the race was family-oriented.
A few weeks ago my sister-in-law emailed the organizers asking was their a playground near the tranisition area and the response we got was a little vague so we were both a little concerned that maybe it wasn't going to be so kid friendly in the end. But the athlete packet was filled with things that are for the family / kids to do. They are having trick-or-treating at the expo (come in costume even), a family adventure race (we're not sure what that is but it sounds like fun), and inflatables to play on near the finish line - plus and this is a biggie for us, a family finish line. That means that without breaking any rules my kids can run with me over the finish line. They love that, I love that and so I'm glad they have it.
My official goal for this race has been and still is 5:3x. That means anything in the 5:30's so if I hit 5:39 I'll be thrilled. This would be a massive improvement from my first 70.3 and it is a long shot. Why is it a long shot? Well because if you take my recent results at Escape to Miami and extend that to this longer distance it's 5:59. Sadly, that's not the way these things work as the distance gets longer you don't just usually hold the same pace. You usually slow down.
There are a lot of other things that could happen that would work together to not hitting that goal and so while I'm striving for it I'm not emotionally invested in the absolute result. That being said here's how I hope it plays out.
Swim 40 minutes
Here's hoping for a freak cold snap between now and next Sunday that doesn't bring wind or rain so that we can wear our wetsuits. It's not likely that this will happen but in a swim this long the wetsuit makes a pretty big difference so here's hoping. Also, hoping for little to no surf or current or even a favorable current (which is impossible given the course.) Lastly, the course has to be correctly measured and have enough buoys out for me to swim a straight line. This is I think a smaller race so I could be swimming by myself out there and I tend to swim in not a straight line if I can't see the next buoy.
T1 - 4 minutes
I'm allowing a little extra time here than I think it will take for things like taking off a speedsuit or wetsuit.
I hope to break 3 hours on the bike. That's the long and short of my goal right there. In order to do this I'll have to stay very focused on the bike and keep the speed up the whole way. Also, a headwind for any significant portion of the course will make this harder but we'll see. Holding 20 mph on the bike is pretty crazy fast for me. My time at my last 56 mile race was 3:01 but in truth the course was a little short according to my watch.
T2 - 4 minutes
Again allowing for extra time and not forgetting to reapply sunscreen.
Here's the wild card. How much can I expect to be able to run for those 13.1 miles. I walked a lot of my first 70.3 half-marathon which resulted in a not excellent 2:41 time. It was extremely hot. This race will be warm but nowhere near as hot as mid-summer. Still a freak cold-snap would bring this much closer to reality. But can I crank out a 2 hour half-marathon after biking 56 miles? I have no idea. That's the truth. In order to do this I will have to really stay super focused and be willing to be in a very uncomfortable state of pushing hard for the run. This is honestly something I'm not terribly good at doing outside of race days so for example in yesterday's run when I got miserable I slowed down. I'm better at pushing myself in races but I'm not super great at it even then. So, I don't know how this will feel on race day. So we'll see. I am thrilled beyond any imaginable feeling that it's a one loop course. I hate running past the finish line when I still have to do 6 more miles.
That equals 5:38:53 Ahem ...
So that's the goal. I believe a lot in making big goals and then going for it. This is one of those that I'm not sure I can do and I so I won't be crushed if I don't make it as long as I feel like I gave it a good shot. It's going to be fun to race with my brother. He'll probably crush me time-wise but I like race with him. Almost my entire family will be there and that's always the best. Hopefully I remember to pack the t-shirts.