After receiving some crap about a lack of pre-race report for Steelhead, I decided I better whip together a quick post. I’ve been playing catch-up at work after the week off last week (broken servers don’t just fix themselves you know) and haven’t had a ton of time. Couple that with the fact that I lost essentially 4+ hours today to do packet pickup. There is no race day packet pickup (pretty typical of big races) so I had to drive 2 hours to Benton Harbor today to take care of it. Benton Harbor is at the edge of whether it makes sense to get a hotel or to make the long drive race morning. We’ve done the drive the last two years and it has worked fine. It is just the packet pickup that is a pain in the arse.
Packet pickup went very smoothly (better than the last two years) and I had two great blogger meetups. The first was with Matt @ Go Smitty Go. I knew he was going to be there and planned to meet up with him at the expo. He and his wife Jennifer (all these Jennifers are getting confusing) are awesome. I’ll be seeing a lot of them Sunday as Matt and I’s race numbers are only 7 apart which means we’ll be racked right by each other. We are also in the same swim wave (dead last). The second meetup was a surprise. Sean @ LearnFitness found me and introduced himself. Sean has commented on my blog in the past but somehow his blog escaped my Google Reader (which has now been fixed). Go give Matt and Sean some love on their blogs as it is their first half Ironman race.
If you want to track me and some of the other fabulous Steelhead racers, here are the details:
- Me – Bib 1804
- Matt Smith @ Go Smitty Go – Bib 1811
- Sean @ Learn Fitness – Bib 1634
- The Captain Bryan Payne – Bib 845
If I missed you, just let me know and I’ll get you added to the list.
I believe that IronmanLive should have tracking available on race day but we all know how well that works. Otherwise, the always wonderful Jennifer will be doing Facebook/Twitter updates. Friend me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/kevinmichaelneumann) or follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/ironmanbythirty) if you want.
Anyways, onto the pre-race goals.
First off, fingers crossed that there is a swim. I’m not sure about the Benton Harbor area, but the Holland, Grand Haven, Saugatuck areas (which are north of Benton Harbor) have had really bad rip currents lately and several people have drown after ignoring the red flag warnings on the beaches. Thankfully, my latest check of the weather showed this (Benton Harbor is just south of South Haven):
Any ways, I don’t really have any concrete goal for the swim other than the to relax and take it easy. This swim is always with the current so it is generally a fast swim.
Time Estimate: 32:00
The main goal on the bike is to take it easy. I went crazy hard at the Grand Rapids Triathlon earlier this year and ended up with a 2:32 bike split (2:30 moving if you subtract being stopped by the train). I do NOT want that to happen again. That was a 22mph average and faster than I should have gone out. My goal for IMWI is 18-19mph so I am going to shoot to stay in the 20-21mph range here. I know I can’t maintain 20-21mph at IMWI but I figure by pushing a little bit harder over the shorter distance, I can better simulate tired legs for the run portion.
The other goal of the bike (and the race in general) is to treat it as a dress rehearsal for IMWI where the keyword is nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. I’ve got the practice down pat when it comes to training. Now I just have to execute on race day. This is a bit more of a challenge for me because I tend to get caught up in the race and lose track of time. So, what I am going to try is setting my stopwatch timer to beep every 15 minutes. Drink 1/4 water bottle every 15 minutes. Eat 3 Gu Chomps every 30 minutes. That gets me roughly 300 calories per hour. I may even supplement this with half a PB&J halfway through on the bike. I don’t really need the PB&J during a HIM, but I plan on eating a full one at IMWI so I figure I better practice it.
Time Estimate: 2:40 – 2:45
I want revenge! I have blown up on the run the past two years. Last year wasn’t as bad as the first, but I need to do better. I had a 2:13 split in 2009 and a 2:07 split on 2010. What killed me was the amount of walking I did. And the walking is all mental to me. Because of the double loop nature of this course, you end up running with all different waves and age groups. As soon as I see a group of people walking I begin to think, “That looks pretty nice. They are all walking. Why can’t I walk too?” And then it just snow balls. I need to block out those thoughts, HTFU, and just keep running. I improved my run split to a 1:48 at the Grand Rapids Triathlon earlier this year by forcing myself to keep running even if I slowed my pace down.
This course is a little more challenging than Grand Rapids with a couple of hills that go straight up. But at the same time I am much further along in my training. As Jon put it, I am a different animal – “You’re no longer a pony, you’re a bear.” haha. That said, I really, really, really, want to get into 1:40-1:45 range for the run split. It is going to be tough, but I know it can be done.
Time Estimate: 1:40 – 1:45
If you are coming out to cheer, I’ll be sporting a new race kit for the first time. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of me in it yet (but I have trained in it to make sure it works).
The Black Rock
“You know the difference between you and me? I make this look GOOD.” haha
(Name that movie)