As I write this, I have 9 full days before race day… it is getting so close! The weird thing is I am more nervous about it than I was last year, and I am better trained and weigh less!
Last year I just wanted to finish. I just wanted to survive.
And the goal still remains to finish the race. There are a lot of things that can happen during a race to prevent a person from finishing…
-panic attack in the water
-getting punched in the face in the water by another swimmer (accidentally of course;)
-really adverse weather
-a bike malfunction that is not repairable roadside
-crashing on the bike
-severe muscle cramps
You get the idea. Sometimes there are things outside of a racers control that prevents them from finishing the race.
So the first goal is definitely to be able to finish the race.
But having trained more consistently and weighing 25 lbs less than when I did St. George last year, I have higher expectations for myself.
This is my results from last year:
Swim – 59:17
Swim to Bike Transition – 6:14
Bike – 3:42:33
Bike to Run Transition – 6:57
Run – 3:07:36
Total Time – 8:02:37
I Can Do Better
I believe I can do the swim in about 55 minutes or less. I have not done as much swim training as I had hoped to, but what I have done, has gone well. The biggest thing will be to stay calm in the water and keep moving forward instead of doggy paddling.
Actually my real plan is to get in the water at the same time as Al, and have him “pull” me… he usually finishes in a respectable time so should work out good for me ;D… LOL!
I don’t know if I can improve too much on the swim to bike transition time. The wet suit strippers help get the wet suit off, but then I have to run over to my bike, (a little wobbly from being horizontal for an hour), change my shirt (I like to wear a bike jersey on the bike… just feels more comfortable), make sure I have my water bottles secure, put my helmet on, bike shoes on, and then take my bike off the rack and run to where I am allowed to get on my bike.
Oh yea, and make sure my wet suit, goggles, swim cap, ear plugs, etc, are all put into a bag with my race number on it so volunteers can bring it to the finish area.
I want to take 22 minutes off the bike and finish in 3:20:00. Even though I have not done any outdoor bike rides this year yet, I have worked hard on the trainer.
I LOVE biking. But last year I had to push my bike up part of Snow Canyon. I was not trained well enough, and didn’t have a granny gear. I still don’t have a granny gear, but I think I am better equipped to make it up there this year!
(Snow Canyon is the picture at the top of my web page. I keep it there not only because it is incredibly beautiful there, but also as a reminder of what I am working towards!)
Then after being grumpy about the walk of shame pushing my bike up a hill, the fast downhill into town was not fast at all. The wind was very strong and was almost pushing me over on the bike, so that I had to pedal going downhill!!
So if conditions are better this year, I don’t think its unreasonable for me to be able to finish in 3:20.
I think I can drop the bike to run transition down to 5 minutes. After putting my bike on the rack and making sure my helmet and bike shoes are in the appropriate bag, I change out of my jersey into a technical t-shirt. Again, this takes extra time, but I like a fresh shirt to start the run to prevent chafing.
Then I put my socks on and my runners, put my visor on and grab my race belt, if I am using it. Still undecided, but I am thinking I can put a salt stick in there in case I get cramps, Advil in case I am really sore, and maybe little baggies of coconut oil in case I feel I need some quick energy from fat.
The hardest part is running off the bike. It feels unnatural and weird in the legs to run after pedaling for 3+ hours. So my first goal for the run is to run the first mile without walking at all. (Lofty goals, I know… ;D)
Right now the forecast for race day is a high of 32 degrees Celsius. I am hoping I can finish before it gets that hot, but it is indescribable how hot it actually gets up on the red rocks. There is usually not a breath of wind out there, and we run on a road that is surrounded by high red rocks. It feels like a sauna!!
That being said, my first priority is to stay safe, and not over heat. So even though I want to run a lot more than I did last year, I won’t risk heat exhaustion to do it.
I will walk if necessary but I want to complete the run in well under 3 hours… preferably 2:45. But considering my lack of run training this is pretty lofty for me.
All these goals puts me around 7:20:00 finish time. I would be OK with that!!
But whatever happens on race day will happen. I just hope I enjoy the day and finish with a smile!!
I will leave you with this video to see what is so great about St. George, Utah!