Monday, September 6, 2010

Rest Day... 6 Days to Race Day!

Today marks the beginning of some serious tapering.  Last week was technically the first week of the taper, and as much as the volume decreased a bit it was still a good sized training week.  This one however is the real taper and where I'm going to have to be very disciplined.  Tomorrow calls for just a thirty minute ride with a few intervals in it.  Its going to be really hard to stop my ride after thirty minutes.  I'm still not even sure where I should ride for that short a period of time.  I may have to drive my bike over to the boulevard and do the intervals there.  If I ride out my front door I have to spend at least 15 minutes getting any place really safe to ride so I'm probably better off driving somewhere.  Maybe even the bike path early in the morning.  Anyway...   point is its going to be hard to keep to just 30 minutes but I'll do it. 

This morning I started my rest day off by sleeping in till 7:30.  Which doesn't sound like very late but considering I've been getting up at 5am in order to get ready for early workouts in Narragansett all weekend that is in fact sleeping in.  I'm also trying to stay on an early schedule so that the race's 7am start won't be such a shock to my system.  I won't say much more about today other than I did some work, and spent a lovely afternoon with a new friend, went for a long walk, and enjoyed some great conversation.  Great day.  I feel much better and very much recharged after a busy weekend of training.  I also feel really optimistic that good things are on the horizon... and not just on the race course.

So this is as good a time as any to put the race plan thats been forming in my head into writing.  And with that here it is....

I'll start by saying that I realize that my only goal should be to finish this race.  And that is in fact my primary goal.  But I am me.  Which is to say that there's no way thats going to be my only goal.  I'm way too focused and detail oriented to let it be that simple.  Don't worry though...  no matter what happens I'm going to be excstatic to cross that finish line.

Pre Race:

Eat 400 calories (2xbalance bar) at 3AM right after getting up.
Load up the car and hit the road by 4AM
Sip 20oz of water on the ride down.
Arrive at Transition at 5am.  Get marked, setup transition, sip 20oz of Gatorade
Go for very brief, very relaxed warmup swim as late as possible.
Remember the hard work I've put in, know that I've trained damn hard for this, and know I'm going to kick this races ass.  Today is just about execution, trust in my training and the rest will follow.

Swim: 40 Minutes

Enjoy the Swim!  Seriously...  I've come to love swimming in the ocean.  I know I can handle any conditions the race throws at me.  So I just need to enjoy the swim, relax into my pace, find my groove, sight well and often, and get out of the water.  Its that simple.  Don't race it, don't try and shave two minutes, just get out there and swim like its any other day with the gang in the water.

T1: 1 Minute

Put your socks on, sunglasses on, helmet on, (armwarmers on?) and GO!  1 Minute tops!

Bike:  19mph average / 2:56:00

Pedal out of transition and get my feet in the bike shoes at a nice easy temp.  No rushing here.  There's no point.  Grab a sip of fluids on the way up the slight rise to Old Boston Neck Road and make the turnaround nice and cleanly and with a relaxed demeanor.  As soon as I'm coasting down the hill try and take in a GU between then and the tennis courts.  Focus on warming up nice and easy between now and Route 1.  Once on Route 1 build slowly to a nice even pace in the 19s or wherever my legs want to naturally settle.  Try not to even look at the speedo.  Just ride and enjoy it.  Sip fluids.  Take in A GU at mile 15 just before the KFR loop.  Ride the KFR loop at a nice steady effort.  Don't be a hero.  Let people pass me on the hills if they want to and don't be afraid to coast the steeper descents and keep my legs fresh.  On the leg that exits KFR start to pick up the pace and take advantage of the slight descent.  Exit KFR and get back on route 1 and take in another GU and make sure I've finished at least one bottle and hopefully halfway through number 2.  Steady and stronger effort on the bike now towards the turnaround at mile 37.  Keep drinking fluids.  Just before hitting the turnaround do a fluids check.  Do I need to get a water bottle from the aid station?  Probably not but grab one if need be or its hotter than expected.  Miles 37 to 56 are a straight easy shot back into transition.  Go hard and fast but not beyond a steady concentrated effort.  I'll be nice and warmed up by now and its time to put the hammer down and crank away some miles.  Stay in the seat, stay nice and aero and have at it.  Get the last GU down between miles 40-50 and make sure I've consumed all my fluids on the bike.  However DO NOT chug fluids to catch up.  Steady consumption is the name of the game.  When I pull off the highway around mile 50 something be careful on the descent and watch out for the sewer grates.  Once through that section and on Narragansett ave switch gears mentally and start to prepare for the run.  Ease up on the bike but keep a high cadence.  Stretch my legs on the bike.  Get my feet out of the shoes with plenty of time before getting to transition and get ready to run!

T2: 1 Minute

Dismount cleanly leaving shoes on the bike.  Run into transition, rack your bike, take your helmet off, throw my shoes on, move Garmin over to wrist strap, grab pile of stuff and RUN.  On the run get my race belt on, fuel belt on, hat on.  Strip arm warmes off if need be.

Run:  Average Pace of 8 Minute Miles, 1:44

Get settled and let my legs find their groove.  I'll end up starting out the run as always at a 7:30 pace.  Its going to be a long haul so relax and catch your breath.  Were through transition and now its time to focus on completing the hard work that got us this far.  RELAX!  Get up the hill and through the turn and street crossing at Old Boston Neck and then try and take in another GU.  Keep the fluids coming from my fuel belt.  Take in water from the aid stations and don't be shy throwing water over your head earlier rather than later.  Don't let myself overheat.  Remember to enjoy the experience and welcome the suffering.  Sure it may hurt but I've prepared for this. Ignore your mind telling you to ease up and go for it.  Do my best to hold a pace between 730's and 8's.  Anything in that range is my goal pace.  Ideally we run the whole thing with an average of 7:45s to 8s, but anything sub 9 is more than acceptable.  If for any reason the pace climbs over 9's its time to re-evaluate my race plan and consider walking the aid stations if need be.  Remember that your only goal is to finish.  Grind out the miles and focus on looking for people I know on the race course.  Remember how many tri-newenglanders will be out there and how many out and back sections there are on the course.  I'll see people I know and that will help drive me harder to succeed!  Keep your fluids coming in and include water as well along the way.  At mile 7 I should have no more than two fuel belt bottles of gatorade left to go.  Get those both down by mile 12.  Fight your way up those last two hills after finishing the last out and back section.  Start to smile...   you're almost there.  At the mile 12 marker turn up the intensity some.  Even if only in my mind.  Fight for it.  Round that last corner that will bring the beach in view.  Get ready to run on some sand.  Enjoy the sights, sounds, and sensation.  This is your victory lap through the sand.  Smile your ass off, fight your way to the finish throw your arms in the air and CELEBRATE!  YOU"VE DONE IT!

Total Race Time Estimate 5:24:00

Race Goals...   just to finish!!!, Go Sub 5:30 if I'm feeling good, and throw it all out on the line and see what I can do if its going great!  Dream race finish is 5:15 but thats a LONG shot!  Either way I'm going to have an amazing day with great friends and I'm going to love it!

And that be that...    6 days to go.

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