Friday, August 12, 2011

Predictions, Predictions, Predictions

Friday, August 12, 2011  at 3:07 PM
I wish that I could tell you exactly what will happen on Sunday.  I wish that I could calculate for the possibility of rain.  I wish I could know if I'll have a flat out on the course.  I wish I would know if I was going to bonk on the run and walk the last half.  I wish, I wish, I wish...

But I can't, so all I can do is give a feeble prediction of what I think MAY happen.  The only thing I really KNOW will happen is that I'm going to have fun!  I haven't trained for 6 months to go out and have a bad attitude and be disappointed in anything.  It's all good...whatever happens.  I must say that I have learned so much from you all as I've started this journey, and you better believe that I will be thinking about all my blogger buddies as I'm cranking away the miles, ALL 70.3 of them!

The training is done, the body is rested, the date has basically arrived, so now it's just time to DO THIS!  This morning, Jenn wanted to go for an easy ride, so we enjoyed 17 miles of easy, EASY spinning.  It was nice to keep the legs moving.  Yesterday, Josh and I went to Lake Michigan and swam, tried to swim in the 2-3 foot waves from the previous days "Closed-Beaches" rip current.  The water temp was perfect at 75*, but it was pretty tough to swim with all that tossing and churning.  We did an out and back WITH the current, and then AGAINST the current.   It was actually a confidence booster because I doubt the water will be that crazy come Sunday, and I was able to hack it out in all the craziness.  So, I think I'm ready.  I would say I KNOW I'm ready, but I've never done this before.

Swim: 35-40 minutes
I really don't have much of a clue as to how long it will take me since I don't normally swim in a wetsuit or with a current.  I will say that I normally plod along at a minute/lap in the pool.  If that were the case for race day, and I don't think it will be anywhere close to that, it would take me 42 minutes or so.  What I really think will happen is that I'll be really surprised at how fast it goes.  That being said, Matty O swam it in 35:13, and Kevin Neumann swam it in 33:47, and there's no way I'm as fast as those speed demons!  At least I get to swim in my "Full-Body-Life-Jacket" a.k.a. wetsuit!  :)

T1: 5:00 minutes
The run from the beach to the bikes doesn't look too terrible, but I don't really know where my bike will be racked yet.  Getting the wetsuit off and putting on my sweet new Swiftwick socks (yes, I'm a pansy for wearing socks) will take some time, so I've allowed 5 minutes.  Think that's enough?

Bike: 3 hours
This is where strategy really comes into play.  I've ridden the Steelhead course 5 or 6 times, and it's no big deal.  I have no problem cranking out 19.5mph or so, and that's not even race pace.  I'm not at all worried about the biking section, but I do know that there is a half-marathon after it.  So, the plan is to cool it on the bike.  I know I can do it in 2:45 or less, but the goal is to average 18.5-19mph.  That way, I'll have something left in the gas tank AND the legs for the run.  Pray that I don't get a flat!!!

T2: 3:00 minutes
There's not too much to do in T2, so I've only allowed 3 minutes.  I think that slappin' my running shoes on, grabbing my hat, and yanking on my Garmin won't take more than 3 minutes including the running to and from the bike rack.  By the way, I promised you I'd show you my new shoes, so here they are:
Don't worry, I've run in them several times to "break them in."
Run: 2 hours and 11 minutes
Now here is where the mental toughness and strength comes into play.  I'm giving myself a TON of time to run it (10 minute miles), so that I don't have to stress about getting my goal.  The hardest brick I've done was a 20 miler with a 9 mile run following.  I ended up doing 9:05's for those running miles, so I think I'll be able to squeeze under 10 minute/miles.  If you ask me, I think it's a little bit of a sand bag goal, but who knows.

Overall Goal: UNDER 6 HOURS

I'm not worried about where I place in our age group.  I don't really care that my goal is fairly easy for many people.  I'm just happy to be doing a Half Ironman!  It's gonna be awesome!

Come Sunday, if you happen to be around, or just wonder what I'll be wearing, here's the "kit."

Hot tan lines, right?

 But for now, it's off to the Expo I go.  I think I'll meet Kevin today!  Hoorah!  Thanks for all the nice comments and emails  you guys have sent me.  They sure are encouraging!  I'll do my best to crank out a race report as soon as I can.


Jeff - DangleTheCarrot

God luck and have fun!


Rooting for ya!!!

The longer the ride, and especially if you pace it well, the more loose your legs will be when you start the run. You might surprise yourself!

Regardless, you are going to PR this distance, Mr. Future Half Ironman!

If it is sunny, DONT forget to wear sunscreen! 6 hours is plenty of time to get some nasty burns. Just ask Kevin and I. Those tan lines you have? Ha! That's nothing, my friend :)

Ms. Duffy

Good plan - have a great time!

tri like mary

Hey Matt, good luck and have fun out there! We're heading to Benton Harbour tomorrow and I'm really excited! I'm bib number 567 and will be wearing a black and pink singlet that says Bike Boutique and Cervelo on it. My wave goes off at 7:25 (very happy about the early start). Hopefully I'll see you out there!!! :-)


Really excited for you!!! You will kill it! Like Jon said DON'T FORGET SUNSCREEN! Will be anxiously awaiting a race report!

Ironman By Thirty

Great to finally meet you and an Jenn! I see that you referred to her as Jenn instead of Jennifer here so I'm going to have to stick with that as to keep all the Jennifers straight. haha

You aren't a pansy for wearing socks. I always wear socks for 70.3+ races. The comfort is worth the extra 10 seconds. I think your estimates are good all around. Transitions are a bit longer at this race because the transition area is so dang long but I'll think you'll be in and in less than 5 and 3 minutes respectively.

Stick to your goal on the bike course. Being in the last wave of the day is going to make it very tempting to crush it on the bike course as you catch up to the earlier waves.

And like everyone said... SUNSCREEN! With our late start we'll be out there during the worst of it. I usually reapply in T2 just in case.

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman

Best of luck Matty!! I don't doubt you'll be surprised at your bike pace come race day; that adrenaline adds a bit!

And yes, we love the tan lines! I think I've got at least three lines on my arms alone this year.


So excited for you! Have fun out there...


Getting excited!! Will try to find you tomorrow!!! GOOD LUCK!!!

Luke Powell

Good luck tomorrow! Take it easy for the first half of the run, then kick it up a notch for the next 3-4 miles. Empty the tank the last have all off-season to recover - leave it all on the course!!

Matty O

I always wear socks, even for sprints :) I want to walk during the next week :)

Hope you had fun out there regardless of the swim!

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