This race holds a special place in my heart because it was my first Olympic distance triathlon. I learned so much from this race and used it as a springboard for 70.3 Oceanside in April 2011. I also learned that I need to figure out how to pee on the bike during this race. If you have ever read my race report from last year you will recall that I had a completely full bladder on the bike but had not yet learned how to become the Golden Warrior. After that race I spent my training rides learning how to relieve the pressure and keep going on the bike. Today I am proud to say that I not only pee on the bike, but I can pee while I run too. Remember minutes are the enemy.
The 2011 triathlon racing season is drawing to a close for me. After the race on Sunday I will be racing 70.3 Austin on October 23rd and then converting to a runner for the rest of the year. This season has brought PR after PR at the Olympic distance and this race should be no different. In evaluating my training as well as my performances this year I believe that I can go sub-2:30 at this distance. This will be a tremendous improvement from last years 2:53.
My goals are attainable and I wonder if I am just giving myself a crack to not push myself harder. I have gone through the numbers from each of the Olympic distance races this year but have I truly thought about how hard I pushed myself to get to those times? The answer to that question lies somewhere between I’m not sure and Can you really go harder?
I am not one to put a limit on myself but I am also realistic in my abilities. If I have been running a 7:30/mile pace the idea that I would somehow run a 6:30/mile pace is just not realistic. When I assess my ability and my goals I try to make sure that they are one in the same. I don’t want to be disappointed when I finish because I always view race day as the present for all the hard work that went into getting to the starting line. For me, racing is the fun part of this sport. Standing next to your fellow competitor about to put everything on the line. Push your limits and exceed expectations.
That being said on Tuesday I did some open water swim practice and it was the best open water swim I have had since the CapTex Tri on Memorial Day. The water felt like it was gliding over me and that gave me a renewed confidence of my ability to swim much faster than I have all season and faster than I ever have in competition. Knowing what I am capable of doing on the bike based on my split at Disco Triathlon this year, and my run time from Austin Triathlon a few weeks ago I am ready to crush my 2:53.
Here are my goals for the Toyota US Open Championships:
Swim: 28:00 – 30:00 (PR at Olympic distance race with wetsuit: 31:40.) Last year I swam this event in 37:33.
Bike: 1:08 – 1:10 (PR at Olympic distance race is 1:08:29.) Last year I rode the course in 1:18:16.
Run: 45:00 – 47:00 (PR at Olympic distance race is 46:09.) Last year I ran the 10K in 53:23.
Transitions: Total time 4 minutes 16 seconds.
Final Time: 2:25:16 – 2:31:16
The weather for this race is shaping up to be perfect with overnight temps in the 60s which should lead to race time temps right around the 70s. The water is perfect and because it is a protected harbor there is not much chop to deal with. Toss in the idea that we have a drop in from a dock start and there is no mass swim start. You can pick your line right out of the gate and go.
The bike course has been adjusted for the first 9 miles to eliminate problem areas which should lead to much faster bike splits compared to last year. With improved endurance and the new Speedfil A2 on my aero bars my bike time should match the Disco Triathlon.
As mentioned two paragraphs above the weather should be perfect which would be a 180* change from last year’s event where the temps at the finish were at 90*+.
Look for the race report and recap next week on whether or not I pushed myself or coasted to these times.
My wife, Karen, is looking to PR as well at this course. Except that her PR involves seeing Andy Potts as many times as possible, getting a picture and possibly an autograph from him. This will be my third time racing on the same course as Andy Potts and he’s beaten me every time so in my last shot I need to redeem myself and get my wife back in my good graces…..HA!