Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Beach2Battleship Race Preview

I have completed 29 of 30 weeks of training.  This last week, while it does have specific training, is going to be more of a shake out than training but I'll be increasing the intensity for the lower volume to keep the body fresh.

I decided to breakdown the last 29 weeks of training a little different:

Swimming: 138,864 strokes of the arms
Cycling: 1,235,704 rotations of the legs
Running: 1,019,970 pavement pounding steps
Weights: 42 hours of iron pumping
Elevation Gain: 130,664 feet
Calories Used: 162,605 (equivalent of 46.5 pounds  of body fat lost)

Those numbers are averages based on a sampling of my data.

Another, more typical, look:
Swimming: 46.5 hours / 82.19 miles
Cycling: 124.07 hours / 2,217.93 miles
Running: 94.44 hours / 673.54 miles

Total: 306.78 hours / 2,973 miles

Wicked.  Now I feel it necessary to get 27 more miles to cross that 3,000 mile mark before the race!

Training has gone pretty well.  During the base and build periods (first 20 weeks), I pretty well nailed my training.  The peak period (last 10 weeks) were definitely tough and cut out a few swims due to the desire to sleep in. My running is feeling awesome, even after 5 and 6 hour bike rides.

Many people have asked me if I'm nervous.  I would definitely say that the excitement of this race is overshadowing the nervousness.  If anything, my biggest concern is the weather.  Each day the forecast is getting colder.

Morning Low: 37 degrees
Mid-day High: 63 degrees

It calls for partly cloudy with 10 mph winds but zero percentage of rain.  As long as we get some sunshine during the day, I'm going to be completely happy.  The first few hours of the bike will be rather chilly but I think I've got that covered pretty well.

So what are my goals?  I've been toying with these for quite a while.  Here is what I'm thinking:

1.  Finish.  Naturally the first time you do something, the main goal is to finish.  So 17 hours.

2.  Realistic Goal
Now I struggle with this because every time I look at this it seems way too aggressive but I said that for Pigman and I ended up slaughtering my realistic goal time.  So here we go:

Swim: 2.4 miles = 1 hour, 20 minutes
I've been annoyingly telling people that this race has a downhill swim with a super fast current but then I started doing some research:

This is the tidal chart for Saturday.  When is high tide?  1:03 AM.  Low Tide?  6:51AM.  That's right.  This will be a run-of-the-mill swim.  No real help from the current.  Crap.

So the 80 minutes is what I think it would take me to traverse the 2.4 miles.

T1: 6 minutes.  This could be 3 minutes or 10 minutes.  No clue.  When I did B2B 70.3, this was 6 minutes, 17 seconds.  It has a long run from beach to the transition area.

Bike: 112 miles = 6 hours, 15 minutes or 17.92 mph
This seems about right.  The course is flat, which is good and bad.  As long as the wind isn't too bad and the sun is out, this is going to be a fun ride.

T2: 6 minutes.  Again. No clue.  In 2011 I did 4:34 with a bathroom break.  T2 is at a different location, so not sure what obstacles I'll deal with.  T2 is technically inside the expo center.  They rack your bike inside the convention center and I believe the changing area is as well.

Run: 26.2 miles = 4 hours
This is the wild card.  If I pace myself and eat correctly on the bike, I think I'll have an awesome run.

Finish: 11 hours, 45 minutes.  This puts me 118 seconds faster than the very first Ironman champion.  Sounds reasonable.

What I am not incorporating here is time for special needs bags.  I plan to bring all the nutrition with me out of T1 but I plan to pack extra nutrition and hydration in case I need it.  Same thing for the run.  I plan to start with everything I need but will pack items in my bag in case I want to change socks or put on a shirt.

FYI.. special needs bags are given to athletes halfway through the bike and halfway through the run.

3.  Planets Aligned... Unobtainable Goal
I think I may be capable of these but for me to reach these I'd be redlining the entire day.  I'm not sure that's wise for my first.  It all just depends on many different variables:

Swim: 70 minutes (-10 minutes)
T1: 6 Minutes
Bike: 5 hours, 30 minutes (-45 minutes)
T2 6 Minutes
Run: 3 hours, 30 minutes (-30 minutes)

Finish: 10:22
This number is laughable.

My secret but now not so secret goal:
Based on how well my training runs are going (including those after my 5+ hour bike rides), I may try to PR the marathon.  I am 100% confident I could do that today without requiring a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride, so if I feel good about it, I may just go for it.  My marathon personal record is 3:29:16.

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