Friday, June 5, 2009

What kind of idiot?

What kind of idiot schedules his first oly tri only 6 days before his first marathon?

This kind of idiot:

No, I didn't bring back the perv stache. But it must take somebody who would to do something like this.

This week I've been going through stages emotionally, from fear to nervous, to anxious, to sheer anticipation. Can I really cover a triathlon of this distance? Is the training going to hold up? Do I have everything I need logistically? Is 6 days really going to be enough time to recover?

On the marathon side I know I can cover the distance. The unknowns there are the course, travel, heat, hills, hotel, recovery options. and since I never did a 3+ hour race the weekend before one of my super long runs, the prep time.

Instead right now I have to focus on the triathlon. This race is the Festival of Flowers race, it kicks off a huge weekend of flowers here. It's an international distance, a.k.a. an olympic or oly distance. 1500 meter swim (1.5k), 24 mile bike (40k), and 6.2 mile (10k) run. This is roughly twice as long as the sprint tri's I've done before.

The swim course is one counterclockwise loop in a lake. We swim out as a group to a buoy, turn left and stay on the outside of some other buoy's, and then turn left again to head back to the shore. The starting points and finish points are not the same place, and the finish is near the transition area. I've never actually swam 1500 meters without stopping before, so this is the leg that really has me worried. The water is too warm for wetsuits, so I'm betting it will be comfortable but slow.

The bike course is one big loop of rolling hills. most of it is outside of the state park on local roads, but since it is still near a lake it is going to seem flat compared to the hills around here. (for reference) the 15 mile bike leg of the Greenville Sprint last year took me 1:10, and there were some pretty decent hills on that course. Looking at last years finish times in this race, the back of the pack guys were finishing around 1:15, and the reports all say that the bike course is just plain fun! It's not really challenging with hills, it's just lots of small rolling hills and you can go fast. I like fast. So I'm really looking forward to this part.

The 10k run is entirely on pavement and mostly closed to traffic. It's an out and back with aid stations every mile, and it's mostly within the state park. It's pretty flat, supposedly. By this point in the race, the air temp is typically over 90 degrees. Only about 40% of the run course is shaded. So the heat is going to be a factor.

I'm going to prep the transition area like I did for the TOA sprint back in april. That setup worked really well. Have the bike ready to ride, bike shoes and socks/race shirt ready to throw on. Shoot a GU gel, with some water, and two bottles of Heed loaded up on the bike already. No wetsuit to strip off this time, so if I feel OK coming out of the water it could be a fast T1. T2 is just a shoe change at that point, and shoot another gel with water. Have the camelbak preloaded, I know that one filling of the camelbak can get me through about 7 miles of run time, so it should be enough. Hydration is the key to getting in a good run with that kind of heat and sweat loss. So I think between the camelbak and aid stations every mile I should be ok.


Swim: 35 minutes (18 minute swim in TOA sprint, half this distance)
Bike: 1:20 (that's about a 19 mph speed)
Run: under one hour - I've never run a 10k race before so I really want to break an hour
Transition: 10 minutes total
Total: 3:05

I would love to break 3 hours for the whole race. Looking at the 2008 men's results, there were two guy that broke two hours. Nick finished 19th last year with a 2:13 time. I'm sure he's going to try and beat that time this year, I know he's a lot stronger. The event has a cutoff time of 4 hours, and last year there were only 5 guys (out of 191) that did not finish. There was one guy that finished in 4:01 (he was also 72 years old), and the finisher before him did it in 3:26. So my back of the pack status would normally put me between 3:10 and 3:20 if the trends hold up. If I can pump the bike and really give it everything I have and break 60 minutes on the 10k run then I think I can break 3 hours. I've done plenty of 10k's on the treadmill in 55 to 57 minutes, but that's not in 90+ heat. or after doing 24 miles on the bike.

AND THEN 6 DAYS LATER I'M GOING TO RUN A MARATHON. suddenly I feel like I truly fit here with all of the other south carolina people. Normally I feel surrounded by dumbasses.

The tri starts sunday at 7:30 am. Kelley will be with me taking pictures. and if it's anything like the TOA sprint, you skirts will be pleased with the race report. There are plenty of other SC tri bloggers running this race, so I can't wait to meet some really fast guys like Nick and plenty of other folks who are faster than I am. This race is a qualifier for the USAT Age Group nationals, so it gets a lot of fast people. The top third of the finish times qualify for nationals, and there is no open or extra waves, just age group divisions.

Good luck if you're racing. I know Wes has his first tri since Ironman, it's got to feel good to dust off the old racing gear. Missy has a great sprint coming up too. Have a great weekend! report and pics to come on monday.

I also have to bid a fond farewell to Marcy, who turned 30 yesterday and retired her blog. I can still stalk her on facebook, but she can burn in hell for shutting down one of the funniest, trashiest running blogs on these here interwebs. Blogging after 30 can still be fun. I think she'll miss it and come back once she gets settled into the new house in maine. Oh, and happy birthday, whatever.


Wes said...

Thanks for the shout out. I'll be thinking about you too tomorrow. You'll be fine.

After you become an Oly finisher, and you will, focus on recovery. Immediately after the race, in that 30 minute window, get that sports drink with 4:1 carbs to protein. Accelerade is good or chocolate milk. The day after, spin your legs on the bike for 30 minutes. High cadence, low speed. You just want to flush the lactic acid out.

Good luck bro... You'll do great!

Jess said...

Good luck with all of your craziness! I'm wishing you the best of luck this weekend and in your marathon! Rock it dude!

Missy said...

Woohoo, thanks for the shout out! Totally with Wes, if you CAN, schedule a massage by Monday to help flush out the gunk. Be sure to eat and drink after the race (not beer, yous gots another race to do)! Transition shouldn't take you that long unless there's a huge distance inbetween. Less than two minutes a piece and I put socks on AND tie my shoes (no bungees).

Best of luck. I think you'll surprise yourself.

Sun Runner said...

Don't worry. I bitchslapped my marathon taper with no ill effects. Of course, I only ran 2 5Ks two weeks before my taper, not a freaking triathlon six days before my taper. What kind of idiot would do something like that? ;)

OK, OK, that was mean. You know what, I'm sure you'll be fine. You're an athlete!

tfh said...

Good luck! It sounds tough, but your goals look about right. And hey, maybe the tri will make the marathon feel easy in comparison? Esp. if it gets to 90 degrees by the time you're running.

Viper said...

Holy smokes! Good luck on the tri/marathon back-to-back. You can do it. Sounds like Wes has good advise. I would just tell you to get off your feet and drink yourself silly for those few days between.

Mike G said...

Ha perv stache awesome!

I think the tri will be great training for your marathon. Hopefully your marathon starts early in the morning so that compared to the relative heat of that 10k it will seem like a breeze.

Also, I think if you can swim 1.5k and bike 40k - and if you stay hydrated - you should be able to bang out a 56 minute 10k no problem. Good luck!

teacherwoman said...

Good luck with your Oly this weekend! I can't wait to come back and read all about it! YOU WILL ROCK IT!

Ryan said...

Have a great race!

I'm with you about Marcy but think she should be punished before we accept her back when she returns.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Good luck. With that pervy facial hair, if you succeed in these races, the gay men will be flocking to you, I bet.

Exactly as you planned.

nwgdc said...

I'm honestly surprised G was so subdued in his comment. After seeing his new haircut, it's obvious he's a fan of the trash stache.
As for your salute to Teh Marcy...hilarious!
I can't wait to read about your adventures!

Xenia said...

Nice chops, dude.

Good luck today!!!