Ironman Texas is in 8 days and I am posting my goals post today for a few reasons:
- I will not be posting over the weekend as I’ll be spending time with the family. Chico is racing his first tri on Saturday morning so I plan on getting on my trainer at 4am and riding for 2 hours then a 15 minute run then off to do the kids tri with him and Karen.
- Next week may get crazy with packing, checking, re-packing, re-checking, etc and I may lose track of time.
- I have been thinking about this for 4 months and so I want it off my brain. There are other thoughts that need to occupy the space that this has been taking up.
As the commercial says: HERE WE GO!
- Laugh as much as I possibly can. This is going to be a tremendous weekend and I want to soak it all in and have a great time with family and friends.
- Meet Susan Lacke, Chloe Efrink, Andy Fernandez, Charisa Wernick, and Chrissie Wellington. Getting to meet all of them would make that a tremendous weekend.
- Enjoy dinner with Karen, Shannon,Jeff, Annie and Lesley.
- Wake up Sunday, pump my fist and enjoy the biggest carbohydrate loaded breakfast I have ever eaten.
Now onto the race. When I first started writing this post in my head my thoughts were: Swim Goal: Don’t know. Bike Goal: An idea but still don’t know. Run Goal: Who the f*(k knows what could happen here but the more I thought about it the more I know what I am capable of. Notice I said capable and not will do because the day will dictate what happens out there.
Based on my HIM times of anywhere from 40:00 to 41:00 I am looking at a time of 1:20 and I am comfortable with this number. I am taking the point of view of just getting through the swim and not pushing myself too hard. Swimming 2.4 miles is just something I have to do on race day and consider it a warm-up prior to the race starting when I exit the water.
A 1:20 swim averages out to 2:04/100m or 1:54/100y. This is something I am comfortable with. Yesterday I swam 20x100y with all times between 1:49 and 1:53 and was not breathing heavy and never felt like I couldn’t continue. I could have swum all day at that pace.
Goal: 1:15 – 1:20 (my OWS projections from the past few weeks put me in at 1:16 but since I was by myself I did not have the things that could knock me off my game)
I rode the course (backwards mind you) back in February when the weather was perfect with little wind and no humidity. My speed back then for the 92 miles I rode was 19.5 mph. This would be ideal if I knew that I could run a marathon at the pace I want to coming off a bike split as fast as this for my first Ironman.
The forecast for the race is showing winds 2-4mph from S to SSE which is the same direction but slightly lighter than last year. Having 2-4mph winds is like having no wind considering that I have been doing my training rides in the open with winds in the 15-20mph range and gusts up to 30mph. 2-4 mph would be heaven. The temps are forecasted to be around 88* which is warm but no different from Puerto Rico. So the weather, should it hold up, will not be a huge problem.
The key will be hydration/nutrition and keeping my heart rate in check. The biggest goal will be to maintain an average Heart Rate of 135bpm. If I do that then I will be setting myself up for the perfect run. A heart rate in that range has shown me to be anywhere between 18.0mph and 18.5mph.
Goal: 5:50 – 6:00
The biggest unknown in this entire race will be here. I have never run a marathon after riding for 112 miles. I have run for an hour after riding 119 miles and felt great but that was only a fraction of the 26.2 I will need to cover next Saturday. The key again will come down to how I took care of myself via nutrition/hydration on the bike.
I have a strategy for the marathon that I have been practicing since December. Run the first 4-6 miles about 15 to 30 seconds per mile slower than my goal time. I want to get my legs under me and running at that pace will only put me behind my goal time by 2 to 3 minutes. Not a huge time difference. After that I want to walk 30-45 steps at each aid station. I am not putting a time on the walking because 30 steps at Mile 2 is going to be a lot faster than 30 steps at Mile 20.
Goal: 3:55 – 4:00 (this is ~9:00/mi)
The goal for any race, but especially 140.6 miles, is to just finish. As Kevin emailed me earlier this week: Finishing an Ironman is a PR no matter how fast you go. I couldn’t agree more with him on this. Each course has a different story and each race, even on the same course, will tell a different story.
Goal: If you take the lower end of the times along with transitions you end up at 11:15. The higher end puts you at 11:30. Should this go as planned an 11:30 finish time would put me in the Top 15% of finishers and that I will happily take in my first Ironman and shout it from the mountain tops.
I also want to point out that my Bib# is 1626 and I have converted that to mean:
1st Ironman with a finish time of 6:26p. A 6:26p finish time would mean an 11:26 race. Karma? Foreshadowing?