Wednesday, April 24, 2013

IronMan Texas (IMTX) 2013 Goals

Now that my longest training days are behind me, I've been thinking a lot more about race day. I feel like I'm well prepared physically, so my biggest concerns now fall into two categories: those that I can control and those that I really cannot.

On the "I control" side are things like nutrition, hydration, execution, etc. I have been practicing these things, so I know what the plan is, I'm just concerned that the plan will be inadequate or that I will not execute it well.

On the "I don't control" side are things like heat / weather and mechanical issues. Obviously, I'm trying to practice dealing with the weather and I'm working that learning back into my goals and nutrition planning, but it's hard to practice Texas heat in Pennsylvania.

I'm also taking steps to minimize the potential of mechanical issues, but, frankly, this is my biggest fear. In my brain, it breaks down like this... If I finish poorly or well beyond the timeframe I know I can achieve because of weather or physical issues or whatever, that's ok. I will have finished and thus I will own the decision about my future. If, however, I fail to finish because of some mechanical issue, any decision about my future will have already been made. I can't "not finish" after everything I've done and after all of the sacrifices that have been made. So with that in mind, I'm taking my bike to the shop (again) and I'm further refining my plan for dealing with flat tubular tires.

Enough whining already, this post was supposed to be about goals - so here they are, by sport and in race order.

Hurt and finish.
I'm a slow swimmer, we all know this, there is no surprise. That said, I've learned that I'm also a lazy swimmer, so my "hurt" goal is intended to address this.  I don't want to go crazy or anything, but I do want to get out of the water knowing that I'm in a race and that the first event is over.  The "finish" part is just a reminder that the swim is my weak event and that once I'm out of the water, I can start to shine.

Eat, drink, pee, repeat.
I'm not a slow biker, we all know this, there is no surprise. My bike goals are targeted specifically at the weather, the length of the ride and the fact that my race will be made or broken during the run. I have some pace targets in mind, but they are much less important than eating, drinking and peeing.  If I can manage those three things, then the speed will come. And, I'll have set myself up well for the run.

Run, don't walk, manage the heat, negative split, have a kick left for the final 10K.
Lots of run goals, since the run will, more than anything, determine my finishing time. Everything else that I do on race day is intended to setup a strong run. Run, don't walk is obvious, your run splits will suck if you're walking. Manage the heat ties back to that whole weather thing (that I can't control). Negative split is to help drive execution. It's a three lap race and my intention is to negative split each lap. This shortens my focus and helps to make sure that I have something left at the end. The "kick" thing would really be the icing on the cake. If everything has gone to plan, I will hit the 20 mile marker well nourished and hydrated and a kick will be possible. That's the plan anyway.

Right now it's 23 days and a wake-up until race day.  The base miles are in, the big weeks are behind me and I'm feeling healthy and inspired.  Now to maintain that feeling for the next three weeks!

How about you, are you ready for the Texas heat?  Is your training coming along as you expect?


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