Is my taper half over? Or is that I still have half of the taper to go? I’d like to think of myself as a glass half full sort of person so I’ll go with the former.
So far, the taper has been completely uneventful which to say it has been perfect. I’ve done a couple of easy swims, short bike rides, and quick runs to keep myself from going completely crazy. Today I cleaned my bike and made sure everything was tightened, adjusted, and greased.
The one stupid thing I did was look at last year’s results for the Breakwater Triathlon. There were about 100 HIM finishers last year, so it looks like it is going to be a fairly small event. That shouldn’t be the issue. The issue is the bike course. I know, I know, I have complained about this already and I swear this is the last time (at least until my race report). Last year, the fastest bike split was 20.9 mph with an overall average of 16.8mph and an age group (25 – 29) average of 17.4mph. Compare this to the overall average of 19.7mph and age group average of 20.1mph at Steelhead. So, what does this mean to me? It looks like I should expect up to a 3mph slower bike split. Yikes! Good to know, but sort of intimidating.
That said, I am going to make my goal 18mph on the bike. I did a 34 mile ride earlier this month on part of the course at a 17.2mph pace. That ride was a casual ride and I really didn’t feel like I was giving it my all. Especially after having done a 56 mile ride the previous day. So, I think 18mph is a fair race pace to set for this course.
The run is my chance to shine. So far, I haven’t been 100% happy with how I have finished the run. My best outing was at Racing for Recovery where I logged a 1:41:32 on a shortened course. Adjusted for the distance, I would have come in around 1:50:00. In hindsight, I’m happy with that time, but the unofficialness slightly diminishes it for me. So, my goal for this weekend – 1:47:00. How did I come up with that time? Well, my half marathon PR is 1:37:XX (7:24 pace). I’m giving myself an extra 45 seconds per mile which equates to an estimated 8:10 pace. A challenge, but definitely doable. This will definitely be the nicest HIM run course I have done. A simple 6.5 out, 6.5 back on a bike path. No endless loops and no big hills.
For the swim, the course is sort of a funny L-shape. This means extra turns or the way I like to look at it – extra places to accidentally lengthen the course. Also, with fewer athletes, there will be less chances to draft. On the other hand it will be less crowded and shouldn’t be too physical. I’m going to shoot for a swim time of 35 minutes.
So, that means 35 minute swim + 3 minute T1 + 3:07 bike + 2 minute T2 + 1:47 run = 5:34. Yikes. Seeing it added up like that makes it seem awfully aggressive – at least for this course. Oh well, I’d rather set an aggressive goal than sell myself short.
Finally, if you have a chance, head over to The Last Month, a blog by a high school friend who is doing her first half Ironman at Breakwater this weekend. Read her story here and wish her luck! Good luck Becky and I’ll see you in Petoskey!