I was planning on waiting until the end of the week to talk about my goals, but I don't really have anything else to talk about today and it's all I'm thinking about anyhow, so here we go.
Swim (1.2 miles)
In the pool, I can regularly and easily do this under 40 minutes. I'll be wearing a wetsuit, but I also still have quite a bit of open water swim fear (bugs! fish! zombies!). Sadly, I didn't have a chance to do any open water practice swims because of how early in the season this race is. I'm going to try to get one in Friday afternoon if we get down there early enough, but it might be Saturday morning or not at all. My swimming has been really solid, and I feel incredibly prepared for this leg, but I'm worried about tricks my brain might play on me. I really really hate putting my face in murky dank water. I know I will get over this eventually.
Goal: 45 minutes
Bike (56 miles)
I just heaved a huge sigh. My original goal for this was to go under 3 hours (roughly 18.7mph). I just don't think my fitness is there yet. I can easily hold 18mph+ for 10-15 miles during my tempo rides, but I don't think I'm strong enough to do it for 56. I still don't have the strength to get out of the saddle, and pushing hard in the big ring hurts my healing glute/piriformis/SI joint. I know that the course is rolling with only one really decent climb, which works for me. I also know that it takes my legs a while to get warmed up - 5-10 miles at least - and while I'll be well-rested, I'll also be cold from the swim and probably frazzled from fighting with the wet suit. I've decided not to rent race wheels or use clip-on aerobars (I'm really comfortable in my drops and didn't want to have to re-fit my bike) for this one, so the extra oomph that I would have gotten from those things will also be missing. My race plan is going to be to allow myself a solid 10 miles to warm-up, and then just work in blocks of 10-15 miles until I hit 50, and then try to spin fast with low resistance to shake my legs out a bit going into the run.
Goal: 3 hours 30 minutes
Run (13.1 miles)
And another huge sigh! I think this is the toughest goal to set, based on everything I've gone through the past 2 months. Again, I was originally hoping for a flat 2 hours here, but there's no way I'm in shape for that right now. My run this morning was fantastic - the pickups turned into a fast 2 miles to round out 4 in 36 minutes - but running a quick 4 miles does not translate into 13. The 8 mile run I did on Sunday was awful. Thinking back, I know that it was in part due to the fact that I'm just not adjusted to the heat yet, and I was carrying a handheld and drinking not nearly enough for the first 3 (I had to pee) and then FAR too often for the next 4 (ended up making an explosive pit stop). I also really haven't done the training to smash this. So I honestly have no idea what's going to happen here. If the weather cooperates, I think I can do well off the bike, but if it's hot and exposed, I'm going to be a disaster.
Goal: 2 hours 20 minutes
Nutrition Going In
One of the few things I have going for me is an iron stomach. My plan is to eat a fairly large breakfast early enough to move things through. I'll eat a granola bar about 45 minutes out from the race start, and I'm used to sucking down a Gu right before swimming. I'll chug some water and eat another granola bar in/leaving T1. My plan on the bike is to eat a bar every 45 minutes (4 total), plus I'll have shot bloks and Gus to supplement as needed. I'll have two bottles of nuun on the bike, and I'll probably stop at least once at an aid station to refill those with water. When I get into T2, I'll suck down some more water and try to shove another granola bar down if I'm feeling empty. I'll have 3 Gus with me on the run, but I'm hoping to not need them. I did a few test runs with my handheld and have decided not to take it. There are aid stations almost every mile on the run loop, so I'll be fine. The thing with nutrition for me is, if it's cool and cloudy, I won't need nearly this much, but if it's hot and sunny, I'll probably need all of it. I do think that I've done enough endurance training to know when I need more nutrition before I get into the danger zone of bonking, but I'm mapping it out anyway because when my brain is all a-fuzzle on race day I'll have a plan.
Nutrition Going Out
I am making the blanket statement here that if any of the nutrition I am putting in needs to come out during the race - and I think it will - I will be getting off my bike/stopping my run to duck into a porta-potty. I do not mind having two extra minutes on my time for a happier stomach and drier shorts. There may come a time in my life where I change my race strategy on this, but this weekend it's about finishing, not saving 90 seconds on the clock.
That said, I'll be taking my time in transitions. Not ridiculous time, but I'm not trying to win the race, so I will take the extra minute to make sure that I have all my nutrition and accessories leaving T1 and T2. I realized this morning that I need to go pick up a pair of speed laces, but otherwise I'm solid on transitions (except for getting that darn wetsuit off).
What I'm Wearing
Welcome to my packing list. This is still a bit up in the air. I'm borrowing some tri kits to try from a friend, but I'm still hemming and hawing about just wearing my bike shorts and dealing with a wet butt.
Swim: tri top, tri/bike shorts, wetsuit, goggles, cap, ear plug for the right ear (ear infection central).
Bike: tri top, tri/bike shorts, socks, bike shoes, bondi band, helmet, sunglasses, gloves.
Run: tri top, tri/bike shorts, socks, running shoes, race belt, sunglasses, GasCap visor.
I'm going to try to figure out multi-sport mode on my 310XT but it actually only takes me 2 seconds to flip modes and hit go, so if I'm not feeling good about multi-sport mode I'll just change it on the fly. I will probably leave my HR strap behind because sometimes it chafes me, and I can live without HR information during a race. I will take the 15 seconds to grease up my hooter before getting on the bike. I will remember not to leap off my bike coming into T2 so I don't end up running with road rash again. I will remember that there is a big hill coming out of transition so I am not discouraged by mile 1. From my goals, you can do that math to figure out what my overall time goal for the day is if you want, but I am swearing now that I will not be heartbroken by missing these goals. I will take the time to enjoy the race, and if it turns out I love the distance, I will pick a fall 70.3 to try and crush the shit out of. It's going to be a long morning and I want to be happy and exhausted at the finish line, not in the medical tent by 8:30am.
Triathletes, anything I am forgetting? Any tips on ANY of this for race day? I'd love any and all advice anyone wants to send my way!