July 8, 2009

Little by Little

After sharing my feelings about this weekend's race and posting yesterdays blog, I got a lot of great advice and support from friends and fellow triathletes, then had a good conversation with my coach that helped re-ground me and shift my mindset to a better place. He reminded me that I was in the middle of doing something that many people would find impossible and how hard it is to manage with an already busy life. It's easy to get tired or lose focus.

So while I'm still not feeling the typical pre-race excitement, I'm feeling good about my choice to race and the opportunity to gain race experience before the Ironman. I'm also looking forward to relaxing a bit and clearing my mind. I've been moving at warp speed for a month and need a moment to breathe.

My fellow blogger James asked in a comment on my Race Planning post what my goals are for Sunday so I figured I'd share them. They may seem unusual to some because they aren't anchored in speed or finish times, but rather in the experience I hope to walk away with.
  1. Swim with confidence by positioning myself 2/3 of the way back in the pack, focusing on moving in a straight line rather than weaving to avoid others and draft when the opportunity is there.
  2. Stay on my nutrition plan regardless of course challenges/distractions and practice passing through the bottle exchanges without stopping or getting in the way of other riders.
  3. Don’t be afraid to push a bit harder on the run, focusing on not going out too fast, but also not falling into a slower pace than I’m capable of due to race day discomfort.
When I look at these goals, I'm reminded that I've only done four triathlons. I have so much to learn and now is the time. I have a secondary goal to do as well as I did in New Orleans but there are many factors in play. I'm not tapering so I'll be racing fatigued and this course is also more challenging, particularly the run, so I may be slower by default. On the flip side I have significant training and fitness gains on my side so who knows, I might get lucky and have a great day. As long as I achieve my experience goals I'll be happy.

I started today with an eight mile run in Prospect Park. I aimed to keep the RPE steady and low and maintain a consistent, moderate pace. It went well and felt comfortable, I'm hoping I can hit a similar pace on Sunday.

After work I did an anaerobic swim workout. I was kind of tired and decided to skip the warm up and go right into the first set. I had 600 x 3 in my mind, but due to bad math ended up stopping at 550. When I looked at my watch I thought something was off so checked my schedule and realized I was supposed to do 300 x 6, not 600 x 3. No wonder it was so hard! I hit my target pace on each interval and felt good. It sparked a glimmer of excitement for Sunday's swim. Little by little I'm hoping the excitement will continue to build and launch me into full race mode.

Distance - 8 miles
Time - 1:10:07

Distance - 1,750 yards
Time - 30:56


  1. Once you arrive on race morning, all the excitement will return - it always does. Good luck and have fun out there - that's the most important goal, right?

  2. Those are good goals. I got hung up on looking for a big improvement in times, and I think when I realized I wasn't going to even come close, it made things that much worse. Keep your head on what you're doing, do it right, and move on to the next thing, even if it seems like it takes longer. That will help prevent the wheels from falling off the wagon. Good luck with your race, and enjoy the day!



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