One week to go!
This will be my second year at the Rev3 Quassy Half. Last year was my first time racing Quassy and was not the best of experiences. But after some focused recon this time around and a vastly superior base training, I am determined to improve my previous weaknesses.
Those weaknesses include sub-par bike nutrition due to my slippery fingers, faulty course knowledge, and simple inexperience on such a technical and demanding course. While I am going into this years race with an improved plan, we all know that race day could turn out a million different ways.
Looking Back at 2012
- The bike was my downfall.
- I dropped nutrition
- I had quad cramps as of mile 30
- I felt drained in the last 8 miles of the bike which ate away at my mental game
- In 2012, I fell apart at mile 7 and severely at mile 11 of the run, but otherwise am proud of my performance.
Looking Back at 2013
- My swimming is stronger this year despite one month less total time in the water
- I have been swimming an average of 3000 more yards per week than this point in 2012
- I have been swimming faster intervals than 2012
- I have been swimming faster distance tests (500, 1000, 1750) than 2012
- I have a better cycling base and specific race recon to rely on
- I have logged nearly double the number of miles so far this year than 2012
- I only had 1 ride over 40 miles at this point in 2012; I've done 6 in 2013
- I've ridden the entire Quassy bike course three times in the last month.
- My running has a massively larger base, but a questionable current status due to injury
- I have close to twice the number of miles on my legs this year than 2012
- I took 4 weeks off of running due to a calf injury in early April
- I have a lot more experience and base to rely on, but it could be undermined by the injury and physical limitations.
- I've run the entire Quassy run course once so that I will not be surprised or misled on race day concerning how far it is to the next turn, how far I have left, or when/where to push or hold back.
The following are my goals for next week's race in order of biggest dream to final default.
A) Finish the race in 4:50
B) Finish in under 5:00
C) Finish the bike in under 2:55 feeling energetic, having followed my nutrition plan to a T, and have a solid sub 8:00 pace run.
D) Feeling the bike with an energetic, non-drained feeling and have a consistent run without digging until the final 4 miles.
E) Finish without any calf issues or other injuries
- Take one gel 15 minutes before the swim
- Take another gel just after starting the bike.
- On the bike, finish one full bottle of 2.5 scoop Hammer Perpetum and a Clif gel every 30 minutes. Additional water consumption will depend upon weather and perceived exertion.
- On the run, take Gatorade at every station whether it's a sip or gulp and take a gel at mile 3, 6, and 9, taking a full mile or more to consume it
I will admit up front that the initial goal of 4:50 will require an amazing day with all the right twists of fate. I'm not saying it's impossible, but that my data doesn't exactly support it happening. However, I had a surprise performance at the Hyannis Marathon this past February, so there's always the possibility that it could happen here too.
My B Goal is what I've calculated as a well within reach time given an ability to roll with the day's punches. Below are my predictions for the B Goal.
LEG 2012 2013
SWIM: 0:32:45 (1:33/100 yd) 0:32:00 (1:31/100 yd)
T1: 0:01:44 0:01:00
BIKE: 2:57:27 (18.95 mph) 2:48:00 (20 mph)
T2: 0:01:16 0:01:00
RUN: 1:48:31 (8:17 pace) 1:38:15 (7:30 pace)
FINISH: 5:21:44 5:00:15
And since I've spent so much time mapping my performance on the bike course, I will be keeping track of my performance by the sections I previously created. Below are the goals I have for the various sections of the bike course according to my B Goal.
BIKE Recon Goal
Section 1: 0:53:49 0:51:00
Section 2: 0:17:22 0:17:00
Section 3: 0:29:09 0:28:00
Section 4: 0:33:51 0:31:00
Section 5: 0:43:12 0:41:00
TOTAL: 2:57:23 2:48:00
If come race day I find myself out of the water and to the end of Section #1 faster than expected, it will come down to how I feel. I don't want to over extend myself early in the race as it seems I did in 2012 and blow up. However, if I feel good and my pace doesn't feels comfortable, I will not hesitate to take advantage of the adrenaline rush and shoot for Goal A.
It all comes down to perceived exertion!
If I feel good on the bike or through the first half of the run, I'll hold pace.
If I feel bad, I'll back off.
If I feel good on the back half of the run, I'll push it.
If I feel bad, I'll do whatever I can to hold pace.
Beyond Goal B, I would simply like to see my bike time come down due to the recon trips that I've done. Every scientist would like to know that their data come to mean something and to know what that meaning and significance is. And I would like to go into the rest of the season with the confidence that my calf injury is behind me.
My ultimate fear is that my calf gets re-injured or I figure out that it's not fully healed. If that happens, I have a poor history or pulling back out of self-preservation which could risk a lot of upcoming races. But there's no use in negativity; I'm going into this with optimism and as much of a coach's mentality as possible; hence the extremely detailed race day goals.
1. How detailed do your race day goals get? Does the detail increase or decrease based on whether a race is an A, B, or C priority?
I don't get detailed at all. =P Ok, I'm a bit OCD about numbers. But it's helped me improve, so I'm not hard on myself for it.
2. Do you use numbers in your training/racing? HR, power, cadence, GPS pace, etc.
I have a bike computer and a wrist watch for splits. No extra data for me though I'd love to have a GPS watch!!
3. How do you feel your race day performance compares to the immediately prior training level?
Are you able to accurately predict a race performance based on your training time/pace?
Dream. Believe. Achieve.