Thursday, June 27, 2013

KIC Triathlon Race Preview

Sunday is my 2nd triathlon of the season.  As we move on to prepare for the Half-Iron in August, I’m moving up to the Olympic distance race this weekend.   I was really looking forward to this race especially after having my last race get messed up and having to bike the Olympic distance instead of the sprint distance.  I knew that I was going to be prepared for this race and had an outside shot at placing.  Based on last year’s times, I would have to have a lot of things go right for me in order for that to happen.  But, I was going to do everything I could to make this happen and really push the pace at the race.  The race is also in Stamford, CT which is only about 20 minutes away from where I grew up so this would allow my family and possibly even the wife’s family to come watch me.  That’s a lot of support which would only help my cause.
That all changed last week when I had a really bad crash while on my bike.  The crash happened on Saturday and I still have not even come close to any type of full recovery.  I don’t expect to be at 100% for the race, but I would like to be somewhere around 90%.  I can deal with scrapes, scratches, blood, etc but I cant deal with bruises and pain.  Since the accident, I have had to limit my training this week.  I have yet to get back on my bike and ride outside.  Part of that was due to it being at the shop getting looked at, fixed, and a full workup so the bike was out of commission for 3 days.  I plan on riding Friday for the first time but it might rain and I don’t know if I want to chance biking in the rain.  I'm a little gun shy about getting on the bike again.  I know the chances of me crashing again are slim, but it's still fresh in my mind and hard to get over the fear.  But the only way to get over it is to get back on that horse, or in this case the bike.  I also haven’t been in the pool all week.  For 4 days, my arms and wrists were still open and trying to heal.  So getting any type of water on them would sting and prevent healing.  Let alone jumping into a pool filled with chlorine.  I would be screaming from pain in less than 30 seconds being in the pool.  I’m looking to get back in the pool for some distance work both today and Friday but there are no guarantees for that.  What also scares me is my wrist.  I didn’t break anything but it definitely hurts when I use it and swimming might aggravate it so I’ll have to gauge how I feel in the pool.
Some other things that worry me about the race are little things that affect race times and performance.  Things like pulling off my wetsuit.  If my entire arms are scraped up, will pulling a wetsuit off open up some wounds or even hurt when I get out of the water?  What about trying to take my bike off the rack?  I don’t have 100% strength in my wrist so I’m going to have to be careful when I do this and reracking my bike in T2.  Then there is the every so scary flying mount that I keep trying.  If I can’t push off the handle bars without getting hurt, then how am I going to jump off my bike without hurting myself?  These are little things that add up.  Could all of that add a minute or more to my race?  If so, does that take me out of contention for a spot on the podium or age-group podium?  I’m really thankful I’m running in my Skora’s since they are so easy to slip on and off for the run that this wont cause me pain.  Every time I have tried to put on other shoes this week, I have been in pain.  Trying to put on black suit shoes with a bum wrist isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is.  So thankfully, I can slip on my Base’s and get out of T2 pretty quickly and pain free.
So with all being said, here are some things I’m looking forward to for the actual race.
-This will be my first race using HoneyMaxx as my nutrition on the bike.  I’ve been added to the HoneyMaxx team and really excited about working with the product so I want to be able to have a good race.  I’ve been training with HoneyMaxx for a while now and only have good things to say about the product so I can’t wait to load up my bike with HoneyMaxx.  Having to set up my transition early and then ahving to go to the swim will also allow a lot of the HoneyMaxx to dissolve in my water bottle before I get to my bike, so it would be perfect timing when I reached my bike and can have the great taste of HoneyMaxx on my bike for my ride. 
-The race course is a really nice course which has some really fast sections but also some challenging hills.  I’ve always said one of my strengths is my ability to climb so if I can out climb some people on this course, I’ll have a good showing.  The course takes us through downtown Stamford as well as the surrounding areas which are very scenic so it’ll be nice to have a nice course and not just closed streets.  The run course is extremely flat so I want to push the pace hard.  It’s a 2 lap run loop so I want my first 3 miles to be around the 6:20 mile pace and then assess to see how the course is and possibly pick up the pace and finish with miles around 6:10-6:15.  Having a 2 lap run course is exciting to me because it gives you the ability to learn the course and then attack it the second time you go through it.  It also gives the athletes 2 times of running through race spectators which is always a nice adrenaline surge.
-After this race, I can finally put the Red Bank Triathlon to bed.  Good race or bad race, this is the most recent race so I can’t continue to think about that race debacle and reference it.  It’s over. That race isn’t coming back so I can use the KIC Triathlon as my gauge for the Half Iron race in August and plan that way.

With all that being said, here’s how I would like my splits to look when all is said and done:
Swim: somewhere around 25-27 minutes or so.  I don’t know the currents of the water or how hard this swim course is so I’m just going off some average times from the last few years.  I also don’t want to freak out on the swim like I did stupidly in my last race
Bike: Hard to predict but I’ll take a split around 1:08 for the course.  The first 7 miles are pretty flat with some rolling hills, the bulk of the hills are between mile 10-16 and then a good descent from miles 17-21.  I’ll be happy with a 1:08 split
Run: I want to go under 39 minutes for the run.  Based on the flat course and how I've been running on my brick workouts, I think this should be easily attainable.
The transition is also a 2 area transition.  This is a first for me so I can't accurately predict my transition time but it's safe to say that I want my transitions to be as fast as possible.
All in all, I would like to finish this race anywhere between 2:15-2:20.  If that puts me on the podium for anything that would be great.  At the end of the time, I can only do the best I can do and stick to my game plan.  If someone is better than me than so be it.  I'll accept that since I can't control other people.  I'll just run my race and let the chips fall where they may.
But it's race week again and I'm looking forward to it.  It's ready to go all out and hit this course hard.

Wish me luck.

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