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 **