My first Triathlon day is coming up fast... so fast!
Despite foot injuries that have held me back for a while, I have tried to keep my training going the best I could:
- I regularly swam twice a week. I have learned the Freestyle stroke a few months ago only and I thought I could use it for the race but I got completely paniqued the first time I put my head under those dark open waters, so I am going to go with the Breaststroke that doesn't require to look that much at the bottom. I might be faster at it than at Crawling anyway... My last time trial was 27:30 minutes for 2/3 mile, aka .62 mile, aka 1 Kilometer, which also translates in 41 lengths of the 25 meters swimming pool I have been training into - this time includes 40 turn-arounds at the end of each length which I am not sure adds time or not... Anyhow, it is slow but I have checked last year results on the Triathlon's website and that time wouldn't be the slowest....
For information, female #1 in my age group swam the distance in 18:48 minutes and the last one in 28:45 minutes. If I can do in the lake what I did in the pool last week, I shouldn't be the last one out of the water - yes, I really would dislike that... a lot! Of course swimming in a lake is harder and more stressful (to me) than swimming in the clear calm waters of a swimming pool... I guess we'll see but for the swim leg I have set my goal to 28 minutes but more realistically I would just like to "not be the last to get out of the water"... LOL
I was informed this morning that the surface water temperature of the lake has been predicted to be about 70 F on race day. The final decision will be made Saturday morning if wetsuits will have to be worn based on the USAT rules.
- I didn't ride my bike outdoors as often as I would have liked but I have intensively (and conveniently) trained on my stationary bike about three times a week minimum. However, this past Sunday I rode 34 miles on hilly roads and my time trial for 12 miles was 59:46 minutes (Garmin recording). Comparing to last year results doesn't mean much because the bike course was only 8.9 miles in 2008 vs. 11.6 miles this year. But I am optimistic that I can cover the distance at a bit faster pace than the once I had on Sunday because according to Google Maps and my Garmin that has recorded my bike ride the race course is flatter than my neighborhood. I will be happy with a 58 minutes.
- When it comes to running, well... this is the field I have actually trained the less because of long lasting foot injuries, but thanks to my new Chiropractor who has done true miracles with my feet (Active Release, Graston Technique, Kinesio Taping) while he never told me to stop running - actually he encouraged me to run barefoot twice a week in grass or sand, for 15 minutes at first, in order to strenghen my ankles and to prevent injuries to reoccur. I have replaced my high support/cushion running shoes for a pair of Vibrams and Neutral Performance shoes - to run on pavement in waiting for my feet to get strong enough for the Vibrams experience on the road - and for racing.
Right now, I feel brand new and able to run 9 miles on my weekend LSDs (Long Slow Distance run)! The run distance for the Triathlon is going to be 5K which is a distance I have already raced twice this year, even though I was much slower the both times than I was in 2008. My pace was 9:08 min/mile at the beginning of June on a hilly course. Now, I have no idea how I will feel after swimming and biking, but I am hoping I will be able to run that 5K in 28 minutes.
I have set my overall goal for this first Triathlon to be two hours but honestly I will be thrilled to finish at all and to "survive" the experience!
I still need to work on my Transitions. I have no idea how long it is going to take me to switch from swimming gear to biking gear, and from biking gear to running gear...That is certainly going to cost me some time. A good thing though - at least I imagine - is that I am going to bike wearing my running shoes since I have basket pedals on my bike and that is going to save me some time at Transiton #2, but on the other hand it might take me more time to put my socks on at Transition #1 than if I just have to slide my feet into biking shoes - that would already been installed on the bike. This technique allows Elite Triathlete to put their shoes on while biking.
Anyhow, the clock keeps ticking and each second that passes takes me closer and closer to the big day... The CHALLENGE IS ON, and I am going to do my best to deserve this badge!