So the time has arrived and I’m staring down Ironman 70.3 Racine this weekend. That’s 1.2 miles swimming, 56 miles biking, and 13.1 miles running. Pure awesome. Add all those miles up and you’ll get 70.3 miles. This is merely half of an Ironman race like you might have seen on ESPN but there is nothing “half” about it in my world.
Am I nervous? Not really nervous yet but I certainly would have liked to have more training time in the books. Most who tackle an event of this magnitude use a training plan (check out Triathlon Geek or Beginner Triathlete). Possibly you’ve heard the phrase “fail to plan, plan to fail” but that’s not my reality. A training plan for the 70.3 distance just gives me a ton of workouts that I’m unable to fit into my real life as mom, wife, employee & suburban commuter. So I do what I can do, use the TTF “finish it” plan and that results in 1 swim, 1 bike and 3-4 runs each week (more running because I can do that at home on the treadmill while watching the kiddos!). Yep, that’s it. How will that play out this weekend? We could probably call what we are about to witness a “sufferfest”. It’s gonna hurt.
The good news is that I’m well aware that the race will be difficult. I’ve done the distance previously with the same training schedule. However, I was younger then, weighed less and had an extra month of “training” under my belt. So how will that play out this weekend? Sufferfest.
My plan is to focus on each discipline and not get ahead of myself. Relax on the swim. Not be upset that I’m a slower swimmer and acknowledge that most of my age group will most likely be out of the water and onto the bike well before me. I’m a proficient swimmer; I’m just not fast. Whatever. The goal is to get out of the water and onto dry land. Last time I did a 70.3, I swam the 1.2 mile distance in 44:23. Anything under 45 minutes would make me a happy, happy camper. Actually, just dragging my ass out of the water will make me a happy, happy camper.
The bike is long, 56 miles in this event. That’s a long ass way on a bike. My butt hurts just thinking about it. My issue with the bike is that I like to ride fast. As fast as I can go. Well, that’s only fun for the first 20-30 miles, then I want to cry. So I am going to try to keep things in control so that the last 20-30 miles don’t feel like dog crap make me cry. Think I can make it thru this entire event without a tear? No? I gambling on a yes because it’s going to be so flippin’ hot that I’ll be dehydrated. I’ll let you know on that one. Anyhow, last time, I biked the 56 miles in 3 hours 22 minutes for a 16.58 mph average. I’m hoping for a 17 mph average this time so that puts me around 3:15 and if I’m honest I’m dreaming of being closer to 3 hours but I know that’s just a dream and not my current fitness level.
The run is a half marathon. How many half marathons have I ran? Close to 20 since I started pushing the distance card circa 2007. So I think I can run one more, even if it is hot. Even after I’ve swam 1.2 miles and biked 56 miles. I can do it. The good thing about the “run” is that you’re on solid ground it is what you make of it. You can acknowledge that it will be a sufferfest and just keep moving or you can obsess about how bad it sucks and take yourself out of the game. Choices. Remember, you always have a choice, even if you don’t like the options. I choose to run. I choose to move my butt closer to the finish line at whatever pace I can manage. I have no illusions of speediness but I do know that I can usually run faster than I can walk. So I’m going to try to focus on running and if I need to walk I’m going to do so for a short time and then get going again. My run may look like a shuffle but I plan to keep on shuffling right to the finish line. Last time, I ran the half in 2:20. That’s a 10:43 pace. I’m hoping to be under 2:10 this time, which is just under a 10 minute mile.
So for comparison, here is how I hope predict the race to stack up against my previous attempt in 2008. I know it’s been 5 years but I’m older and wiser right? Plus I’d like to think that Mr. Michael has made me tougher in more ways than you can even imagine.
Great Illini 70.3 – 2008
Goal for IM 70.3 Racine 2013
|Swim – 44:23||Swim – 45:00|
|T1 – 2:37 (small transition)||T1 – 5:00|
|Bike – 3:22:40||Bike – 3:15:00|
|T2 – 3:56||T2 – 5:00|
|Run – 2:20:23||Run – 2:10:00|
|Final – 6:33:51||Final – 6:20:00|
There it is in black and white. I’m looking to go under 6 hours and 30 minutes this time. Will it happen? Only time will tell. Will I be disappointed if it doesn’t happen? Hell, no. I’m in to finish it and it will be a HUGE accomplishment for me to put this in the done column. I’m looking forward to the race. I’m looking forward to pushing my limits. I’m looking forward to the sufferfest. Let’s do this!! Whoooooooop!
** Stronger Than I Think ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **
Well I wish you the best! Just enjoy your experience as best one can in a “suffer-fest” lol! You know…when it comes to running the half distance…you could always resort to a run-walk strategy. Run the first mile steady and as comfortably-fast as you can…then walk 30-45 sec and run to the end of the 2nd mile and repeat. Using this strategy you can sometimes run faster pace than what you can sustain continuous, steady-state running. And it breaks up what might seem like a long way to go….into 13 little 1-mi runs! Give it a try. I am contemplating trying to use a run-walk strategy at the upcoming Chicago Marathon this October. I don’t need the BQT cause I already got that last April in Boston. But…I may try to see if I can post a BQT for my age division applying a run-walk strategy. So if you are expecting a “suffer-fest” by the time you have completed the swim and finished the biking, facing half-marathon to run…consider shifting to a well-planned out run-walk schema….and you might be surprised how good a time you can attain.
Great idea. I don’t run well in the heat and may have to resort to something new to keep me moving. And there will be a few hills which really pull hard at my hamstrings. I know I will walk so it might be a good idea to have a plan. Thanks so much!
Good luck Amanda! I’ll be thinking of you! What an accomplishment to even do it! Can’t wait for the post race recap!
You have a great attitude about the race and you have a plan. You’re going to rock it! Good luck!
Thanks, Katie! I’m hoping the plan can help me keep focused but you know how it goes when you get out there. Anything can happen.
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Best of Luck!
When your body says you cannot, listen to your mind. When your mind says you cannot, listen to your heart.
You can do this and you will kick but!
Good Luck! Here’s to the experience!
It’s not truly fun unless you’re suffering. 🙂 You’ve got this in the bag. BTW – I’d kill to ride that fast. My average is the speed of sloth.
Good luck! We have similar bike goals, I’d love to be able to push myself into the 17 mph range too. Biking is my weakest event. So far the weather doesn’t look awful, I think we’re in for a fun day!
Biking is hard for me too!!! It’s really hard to predict a bike average because it depends on the course, wind, etc. we’ll just keep pedaling & get there when we get there.
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Have a wonderful day!!! I keep hearing various weather reports from folks doing the race….some saying it won’t be too hot….I’ll cross my fingers for you b/c I feel your pain….I do not enjoy racing in the heat 1 tiny bit either!!
Best of luck! I am trying to put a team together to conquer Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. Kill that Tri this weekend!