Time for the obligatory goals post. Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change this at anytime between now and midnight on Sunday.
Basis: I have done the full 2.4 miles multiple times during training, both in the pool and in the water. My fastest time was 1:04 and my slowest was 1:07. In the pool, I take my splits every 10 lengths/5 laps (250yds) in order to help count my laps. I know that I can comfortably swim each split in 4 min which would put me at 1:07. In order to prep myself for race day, I would swim very aggressively for the first 500 – 1,000 yards before settling into a groove. I did this to try and simulate a race atmosphere where it is easy to get caught up in the fray and over work myself.
Race Day: The swim is the biggest unknown for me on race day. I’ve never started a swim with 2,500 other swimmers in a mass start. It could go good or bad – hoping for good. I am hoping that I can get settled into a groove and not run into too much congestion.
Basis: I have only rode the course once back in June as part of WIBA. I rode with 2 other guys (no drafting) and we we finished just shy of 6 hours not including stops at the Kwik-E-Mart (which we won’t have one race day). For 112 miles, I would have to maintain a high 18mph pace to come in at 6 hours. I think I can do this. Pretty much all of my long training rides have been in the 20mph range and each one of them has been followed up with a run without any issues.
Race Day: My strategy is to go “stupid easy” on the first loop. If I feel like I am going easy, go easier. I mainly want to have fun on the first loop. I keep thinking back to when I rode the course in June and remembering how much fun the course was; the winding roads, bombing down the hills and flying back up the next hill. If I can recreate that feeling on Sunday, I’ll be in good shape. Once I get to the second loop, I can evaluate how I feel and step it up a gear if I am feeling good.
Basis: I have a standalone marathon PR of 3:26 which is a just under an 8:00 min/mile pace which I suppose in the case of an Ironman is somewhat irrelevant. My last marathon was the Honolulu Marathon which was the perfect storm of being under trained and not acclimated to the climate and I was still able to go sub-4. I started walking at about the 15 mile mark in Honolulu and it was a run/walk for the rest of the race. This makes me feel like I can pull out a 4 hour marathon at the end of the day as long as my nutrition is on.
Training wise, I’ve been able to average an 8:00 – 8:15 pace on all of my long runs which have been the day after my long rides. I have found that I actually run better right off of the bike than the day afterwards. At Steelhead, I maintained a 7:50 min/mile pace after going super hard on the bike and still had plenty of gas left in the tank at the end.
Race Day: Just like the bike, slow and steady for the first loop. I’ll have to try and reign myself in a bit because I tend to shoot out of the gate at T2. In the past, I would run with my Garmin, but not actually use it during the race. However, I have started to learn how to use it to my advantage in training and will do so in the race. I just need to remind myself not to get frustrated if I see a split (or multiple splits) that seem slower than they should be. I plan on walking through aid stations so that I make sure I take the time to get the food and fluids I need. However, my goal is to be run into the 2nd loop. Mentally, I think it will be a huge boost to be going strong as I turn away from the finish line to start another loop. If I can nail the first loop at an 8:30 pace (1:50 total time), that would give me 2:10 (10:00 min/mile pace) to finish the second lap.
Transitions: 15 minutes for both
Basis: None really other than looking at transition times from the previous results. I know that the distance you have to cover from the swim to bike and then bike to run is a bit long and that T1 will be longer than T2. Other than that, total guess here.
So, where does this put me? Ideally, I’ll finish with something starting with an 11. Do I think I have an 11 hour Ironman in me? Absolutely. Will I be disappointed if it takes me longer? Absolutely not. I’m basing all my estimates on my training times and that could all go out the window on race day.