Monday, July 10, 2006

Race Week!

The Lifetime Fitness Triathlon gets underway on Saturday! This is always a HUGE race with the best organization and atmosphere - because the huge purse attracts the top pros and sponsors, Lifetime goes out of its way to create a killer race. It's a lot of fun to be a part of, and I'm really looking forward to it.

I'll be racing the Olympic distance, which is a nice break from the 2 Half Ironman distances I've done lately. .9 miles swim, 25 mile bike and 6 mile run. That's the good news. The not-as-good news is forecasts are now predicting 99 degrees on Saturday with nothing but sun. That's stupid hot. As it is, this race has tried to kill me the last 2 years (the only 2 years) I've run it. 2004 it was my A race, my goal race of the whole season as a brand new triathlete. I had so little of a clue it's absurd, and finishing - regardless of time - was tops on the agenda. I did in something under 3:10. Last year it was an A race on the way towards a Half Ironman goal race for the season, and the heat was much like what's predicted. I had a great swim and a great bike and totally melted down on the run. Just fell apart. Finished sometime around 3 hours, I think. Let's hope this year goes a whole lot better.

Unlike past year's this one isn't an A race for me, so it is existing in the midst of my training. Essentially no tapering for this one at all. My goals include having a strong swim, then getting comfortable and lowering my heart rate early on the bike - this exercise I'll use for Ironman relevance. So even thought it's only a 25 mile bike, I won't sprint it - I'll try and take it easy, emulating as much as I can what I want to do for IMWI while still keeping top of mind that it is a race. So we'll see how that goes. The objective for the run is to just stay strong. Hydrate and keep my core temp low, which is what killed me last year. I'm not really thoughtful about a pace or time goal for the run (or any of the disciplines for that matter) or for the race itself - I just want to feel strong all day. No drama, no crises. It's a great opportunity to manage the heat in a raceday environment that might come in useful in September. I'm a much different triathlete now than I was a year ago, so hopefully stronger legs on the bike, being a better runner, and a more intelligent athlete will pay some dividends over the course of the race.

On the other hand, if I do melt down, it's an opportunity to problem solve that. I can experiment with standing down for 10 minutes, or slowing to a walk to hydrate for awhile, or whatever else I might need to do. All in all it should be a day for discovery, as every race seems to be. I'm really looking forward to it, hot or no.

It is the culmination of a serious training week - 2.5 hours running on Wednesay, and I'll head out Sunday (I think, we'll see how I feel and how recovery goes) for a 3-4 hour ride. I'll take Friday off, but that's it. So we'll see, too, how racing demands figure for my untapered self.

Shout out to my friend and blog regular Todd who's racing the Sprint distance on Saturday - his goal race of the season. It's been a blast having him in the mix, and I think he's done everything right to arrive at the starting gun healthy and ready for a great race. Good luck man!


Todd said...

Holla! See you Saturday Cowboy, guns blazin!


Pharmie said...

Good luck this Saturday! I'll be in the crowd cheering you on. Make sure to wear sunscreen. Last year, I forgot and quickly realized that permanent marker doubles as sunscreen. I had white numbers imprinted on my red arms for days. Make sure to take it easy a bit in the heat. I think they treated 40 some people for heat related issues last year and sent several to the hospital. That is not what I want to read in your blog anytime soon!

Sara F. said...

Take it easy on Saturday. That is some dangerous heat. I'm just a supporter and I'll be warm.
A wise man once told me; race for the run.
Translation: Remember, I'm not hard core, so my advice is take it easy. You're doing it, which a lot of people can't say.