We’re just a few hours away from packing up the car and starting the drive to Louisville. I guess race weekend is really here. Really, really here.
And I’m still not excited.
But I’m also not scared.
Maybe scared that I’m not scared?
Perhaps. I think, though, it’s a reflection of the fact that I did every single workout on my training schedule, save one optional recovery trainer ride that I cut short in July and a run in March that I bailed on while I was sick.
Since I had well over 200 workouts since January 1, that still puts me over 99%. I think that’s about as good as it goes. And now, rested and packed, there’s little left to do but race. And here’s how I’m planning on doing that.
Swim: Goal of :59-1:10
I’ll be missing out on the signature Ironman mass start, as Louisville is a time trial start. This means that a line starts forming at something like 3 am, because people are worried about making the time cutoff for the swim. However, as I am close to growing gills after decades in the water, I plan to show up sometime around 6:30 am and hang out with the slackers in the back, hop in, and enjoy a nice straight-line swim in the Ohio River with a bit of a current assist for the second half. Breaking an hour would be cool, but if not, no big deal.
Bike: Goal of under 7 hours
When we biked the course a month ago, our pace would have us finishing the course around 7:05, and my legs managed a 20 minute run after that. And since running 20 minutes is BASICALLY the same thing as running a marathon, I’m sure that I will be JUST FINE to hammer the bike course even harder.
Kidding. I’ll be spinning up the hills easy, watching a bunch of guys engage in dick-swinging while hammering up the early climbs, and waiting to pass them back on the run later in the day. If you’re out on the course, either racing or spectating, look for me on this beautiful Felt B2.
Run: Goal of under 5:30
Doug did one marathon two years ago. His time is 5:32. The basis for this goal is therefore self-explanatory.
OK, and more relevantly, I managed to do two longer runs (60 and 90 minutes) right after 80+ mile bike rides in 110 F heat index conditions, at about 12 minute per mile pace, which included walking two minutes every mile. And each time, I felt that I could have continued. So, keeping a ~12:30/mile pace is a reasonable goal. If you’re still around in the later hours of the race, look for me running along at a slow, steady pace.
Overall race goals
Since it’s my first time at this distance, I have a pretty wide range of finishing times that I’ll be happy with. Here goes:
Super-duper awesome day: 14 hours
This requires being close to all my goal split times and getting through transitions quickly (in other words, not spending 75 minutes eating waffles in T1, like I did in an oddly vivid dream last week). It’s doable on a good day, and I’d be finishing up before it got too dark and wouldn’t get stuck with a glowstick necklace at the end of the run.
An OK day: 15 hours
Stuff happens. Flat tires. Dehydration. Bad tapers. So if I wind up spending 7.5 hours on the bike and walking a bit more of the marathon, I’ll be pushing 15 hours, but I won’t be a midnight finisher.
The real goal: Finish
I mean, being a midnight finisher could be cool in a way, right?
See you all in Louisville! If you see me, say hi! I often hoard chocolate and occasionally share.
And if you aren’t there in person, go to ironmanlive.com to track #236 and see how this all goes.