PRE RACE DAY Saturday I woke up still feeling congested mostly in my chest but better with my nose. Unfortunately now David is feeling lousy. Cleaned up the apartment to prepare for an open house on Sunday. Had an Isalean shake around 9am and we were on the road by 10am.
Drove to a friends house in Manasquan NJ because it’s an hour closer to the race than Brooklyn. Figured spend the day in a beach town, chill and get up at 4:15 for a race was better than driving from Brooklyn. David was up for the adventure and we had Richard’s beach house to ourselves.
Once we got there we walked to a sports bar nearby where David could watch the Michigan/MSU football game. I read most of the time but caught some of the game while I ate. Had a blackened grouper sandwich (no top bun) and a green salad. Also, two pints of beer.
After all that excitement we both needed a nap so slept for an hour. Set out to find a Kmart so I could buy hankies. Tissues are not going to do the trick for the race tomorrow and must have something to blow my nose especially during the bike.
Took care of that business and set out for a good meal. Found a cute place, seafood and steaks. I ordered penne pasta with vodka sauce and shrimp. Penne ala vodka is my favorite pasta dish and I only eat it maybe once a year. I ate the 4 jumbo shrimp and half the pasta along with 2 glasses of wine. We split a brownie ala mode for dessert.
I already have my bike prepped and my goals on paper but need to set out my clothes for tomorrow. I wrote specific speed, time, and HR goals on masking tape and placed it on the bike aero bars. Also did the same for my run and attached that to a packet of gels. Set out my clothing and warm up clothes for tomorrow, took some more Robitussin and went to bed at 9pm as planned.
A note about water and fluids today. I’ve been carrying around a bottle of purified water throughout the day and sipping throughout. I drank at least 100 oz of water, which is what I would normally consume on a day that I trained at least an hour. Also the alcohol consumption is pretty normal for me. Although the beers during the day were not a good idea, nor is that normal, I just couldn’t sit at a sports bar, watch a football game and not drink beer. I have no idea when I last sat and watched a whole football game, never the less in a sports bar. The wine is typical for pre race evening. Either wine, beer or cocktails but limit them to two.
Gong to bed did not work well. David’s cold was effecting his breathing and I couldn’t sleep in the same room with him. My sinuses are a bit clearer, but chest is still congested so decided to try something new. I placed a drop or two of eucalyptus oil on a piece of tissue and placed it in one nostril. Moved to another bedroom and slept on my back all night with that tissue up my nose. I never sleep well before a race and last night was pretty typical. Kept getting up to look at my phone and make sure I didn’t miss the alarm. Got about 6 ½ hours of sleep and felt surprisingly good in the morning.
I really think the eucalyptus trick worked. My chest feels clearer, my nose is dry, and I don’t wheeze when I breathe. Yes my cold had gotten that bad that when I took a deep breath I could feel my lungs rattle. This makes me feel much better about the day ahead.
David didn’t want to wake up so I kept things moving. Made an Isalean shake and drank that right away and pulled everything together for the race. Took a bit to get the car packed as we are not coming back to the house after the race. Also pulled out my breakfast for later that I pre made yesterday. My traditional race morning meal that has worked well for every race in the last 2 years. 1/2 cup oatmeal, ½ cup yogurt and a little water soaked over night (rolled oats, uncooked) plus a smashed up banana.
By 5am David, Kramer and I were all in the car and ready. David is pretty grouchy but feeling better than yesterday. We stop for coffee, a must on race mornings. It’s the only thing I can consume that will guarantee that I eliminate before a race. It’s really foggy but very mild out. Pretty sure I’ll be able to race in shorts and sleeveless shirt, nothing additional will be needed.
The race is supposed to start at 8 and I want to be there not later than 6:15. I had my breakfast at 5am as I always plan for the last meal 2 hours before the race start. When we got off highway there was lots of race traffic leading to the park and knew at that point the race was not going to start on time.
These goals were set when I was healthy so since then I adapted the goals to allow some extra time since I’m feeling less than healthy today.
SWIM - 47 MIN AT BEST/52 AT WORST.
My last long easy swim was on 9/2 a whole month ago. That was 48:27. Some of my better days were as fast as 44 min for 1.2 miles. So am going down the middle and hoping the time off from working out my shoulder plus the benefit of the wetsuit will bring me to a pace of about 39 min/mile. With my congestion I must admit I’m not felling confident about this swim and should get in a practice on race morning to test out the breathing.
T1 2 MIN AT BEST/ 4 MIN AT WORST
The Transition is really close to the swim exit and if I don’t have to put on any additional clothing due to the cold I’m pretty sure I can get this done in 2 minutes. If I have to think about what to put on that will slow me down. If the AM temps are mid 60s then I will wear pull on sleeves and if it is colder than I will add a long sleeve top. For the bike transition remember to have time goals up to this point on the bike as well as av speed, av cadence, hr goal ranges taped to the bike. Also plan on 1 gel every 45 minutes and a half bar on each hour or so (put that on the bike as well). Put two bars opened in my bento box and 4 gels opened in the bento box. Fill up the water tank of the bike ¾ way and hope to not need any extra at the half way refill.
BIKE 2:54 MIN BEST/ 3 HRS AT WORST
I’m basing this mostly on the trial ride Richard and I did in august. We rode at 17mph the first lap and 18 the second lap and we really were not pushing it. HR ave was 142. Now I have new wheels, which should automatically increase my speed by about 1mph for such a flat course. So if I go 19 mph I will finish the 58 miles in 3 hours, and if I average 20mph I will finish at 2:54. My HR at NYC olympic distance tri this year was 167 (really high even for that race) and 159 the year before which felt really easy. Based on my training zones I should be safe if I start slower HR, build through the middle and then slow a bit before the run again. HR goals are 153-163 bpm with 155 being a good safe average goal. With my cold I will need to have two hankies. One in my hand at all times and a second in my shirt pocket as back up.
T2 1 MIN AT BEST/3 MIN AT WORST
Again the transition area is small so just need to change shoes and maybe take off a top or jacket. Make sure gels are in my shoes for the run. On one gel pack indicate your pace and HR goals because you don’t want to loose it here. This is what you’ve been waiting for. Will want 4 gels for the run to be safe. Start drinking electrolyte drink right away and assess how much water is left on the bike. Pray that you still don’t need to pee.
RUN 1:50 best/1:55 worst
Since my training going into this has been to focus on my bike and swim legs so I’ve not spent much time on the run as it’s always been my easiest leg. I have done about 5 runs at 13-15 miles as well as a lot of tempo and hill workouts. It seems logical that I should be able to hold a pace slightly faster than my marathon pace of 8:25 in which case I would finish in 1:50 if I run 8:20. If I slow to an 8:40 pace I will finish in 1:55. Work on an average hr of 169 (my HR at Rome marathon was 172) and progress to 172 after half way if think I’m behind and feel I can push it a bit. Start a bit slow and build. Make sure to have a gel or food every 30-40 min.
Final numbers are a best-case scenario of finishing at 5:34 and worst scenario of 5:54. If I finish in 5:54 I will have beat the best times from last years top 3 in my age group so looks like I could place well for this race.