I’m as ready as I can be in terms of training. Now it’s just figuring out what my race plan is. This is my first 70.3, so my only real goal is to finish in the time limit. IM 70.3 races give you 8:30 from when you start, not from when the last wave starts. If I want to be an official finisher, I have to finish in under 8:30. Otherwise, I’m officially a DNF.
I typically set 3 goals for a race. A, B, and C. My C goal, I suppose, is just to finish the race, even if I’m not an official finisher. But I will still be pretty upset if this happens. My B goal is 8:29:59. Official finisher. My A goal is anything faster than that.
If you want to track me on race day, just go to the IRONMAN website on Sunday. There should be a live events link at the top where you can click to hunt me down. Just remember, I’m planning for this race to take me a while. My wave starts at 8:20.
I’m trying to set my goals for each segment.
For the swim, I have no idea how long it will take. It’s a wetsuit legal swim with a crazy current. I’ve heard estimates that indicate I could be as fast as 35 minutes, but I’m making my goal 45.
I initially estimated each transition being 5 minutes, but based on what I’ve seen from previous year’s results, I think that might be a bit fast (likely a distance thing). So my transition goals are FAST, but I won’t worry if I’m closer to 7 or 8 minutes. That said, each minute I lose is a minute I have to pick up elsewhere.
On the bike, my minimum pace goal is 14mph. Hoping for faster. I’m also planning to stop at one of the water stops to refill bottles (because we all know I can’t do it on the fly) and take a bathroom break. I have issues with letting myself get too dehydrated, so I need to make sure I take in enough water on the bike. My coach says I will know I’m properly hydrated if I have to stop for a bathroom break, so that’s the goal.
Ultimately, I want to leave 3:30 for the run so that no matter what happens, I can finish. I’d like to at least run at least sub 15’s (note that my PR is around a 2:50, so I’m not a fast runner). That will put me in at around 3:17 for the run.
Given my training, I should be fine. I should have no issue making that 8:29:59, but anything can happen, and I want to be ready.
I think I’m the most nervous for the bike leg, not because I’m not able to cover the distance, not because I’m worried about the hills, but because I’m worried about properly pacing myself. I need to push hard enough, but not so hard that I can’t handle the run, or worse, that I struggle through the last hills on the course.
I’ve been training on hills all summer, and for that, I’m glad. There was rumor that the course would be changed, turning the initial 17 miles of flat into 10 miles of flat and 7 more miles of hills. I’m actually happy for this. Because I bike so much on hills, it’s flat where I don’t know what to do. For hills, I can just focus on getting up the hill in the strongest way possible, but I’ll have to figure out how best to pace myself for that first ten miles.
It’s going to be a long day. With an 8:20 wave start, I should be done before 5pm. That is a long, long day. But it means so much to me to have my family and friends cheering for me, both in person and from afar. It’s been awesome to have all this support through my training and I hope to make you proud on Sunday!