The last couple of weeks, my training has been average. I’ve gotten in some great runs a couple of open water swims and a few decent rides. In particular, I’ve increased the frequency of my running, most notably my speed work. The couple of set backs I’ve had deal with riding anxiety after going down pretty hard on my bike 2 and a half weeks ago. I find myself nervous riding in traffic and I’ve let that hold me back. Additionally, I still have a good bit of pain in my ribs although they’re starting to feel better. Also, when I’ve done the open water swims, I definitely gain knowledge and experience, but I don’t always feel that I get the same pure workout value from them yet. With a week to go until race day (6/25), my focus this week will be on quality workouts, flawless nutrition and rest.
Having compared my times from my last sprint (1/3, 7.6, 3.1) and open water swim (.6) I generated goal times for this one. Although the bike course in this race is more than twice as long, I think I can use the same pace that I held for the last one, given the fact that I didn’t leave it all out there last time and that I have added experience now. That being said I came up with the following time goals for the Philly Tri:
Swim (.5) 14:00 This pace was in the middle of my last two swims, a bit closer to the faster of the two. I know I’m a fast swimmer, and I think with the added open water experience, I can maintain my composure a little better and just allow my speed to move me through the course. This swim takes place in water that I rowed on and swam in in high school and college; although the swims were playful, I’m familiar with the water.
Bike (15.7) 47:00 This time was generated by using about the same pace that I held for the Cheap Fast and Not So Easy tri on Memorial Day. Although more than twice the distance, I remember getting off the bike on Memorial Day feeling angry at myself for not pushing it more. I had a good bit more in my tank and it was pouring rain during my memorial day ride. I’m fairly certain I can hold this pace on a course that is 95% flat.
Run (3.1) 25:00 Predicting the run time is going to prove more difficult for me. First off, I finished Cheap in 25:27 which I was proud of, but I think things will be different. To start with, Cheap had a very steep hill that had to be dealt with and this course is flat and hugs the river. Secondly, Cheap was not well marked and I didn’t realize how close I was to the finish until I was at the mile 2 marker and I expect this race to be better marked. Lastly, I’m hoping the my increased volume and speed workouts will offer some benefit here. I think this is an ambitious but fair goal.
Add in 4 minutes for transition and I’m looking at 90 minutes flat. This time in last year’s race would put me right at 100th place out of 1337 finishers or in the top 8%. This is very exciting to me and also makes me feel a lot of pressure. Part of me has trouble understanding why a guy like me would finish only in the top 1/3 of a much smaller race but in the top 10% of this one. Clearly something must be wrong. Then it dawned on me that although there is a lot more competition, this race is in a big city and perhaps many of those people are doing this race for fun, and are not serious triathletes.
Well we’ll have to wait and see what happens. There are a lot of variables in play here and all of them have to go right for me to hit my time, while any one of them could ruin my day. I’ve fallen in love with this sport. It’s made me a better man for certain. I do it because it’s fun and I don’t want to loose sight of that fact. As the title of my blog suggests, it’s not about the race, it’s about the journey. But I’ve come a long way and this is definitely my A race for the year. I want to race it and come away feeling like I did my best and left it all out there on the course.