This past weekend was my final weekend of training before my first half Ironman of the season! The training went really well, but throughout the weekend, and this morning, I’ve been thinking about where I am now versus where I was last year before my first half Ironman. Here’s what’s been going through my head…
1) Last year, my first half Ironman was my 4th race of the season. I’d had several experiences swimming with crowds, going through my transitions, and just being in the race environment. This year? My first half Ironman will be only my second race. Not a huge deal, but I’m wishing I’d had more opportunities to swim with crowds.
2) Garmin connect is evil sometimes…I checked my swim times/paces from this year and compared them to last year at this point in time and guess what I discovered? Last year, my paces were faster in open water! This has been particularly discouraging to me because I am SO MUCH faster in the pool this year than last year, and I am much more confident in the open water than I was last year even at this time. I can’t understand why my times (or at least most of them) are slower. I’m hoping that on race day, I’m able to put out a good fast swim still, but I’ll admit I have my doubts. I’m considering wearing my sleeveless wet suit even though Syracuse water will probably be cold. I have less motion in my shoulders when I’m in my full sleeve suit, so maybe that’s what’s holding me back.
3) If it’s hot in Syracuse on Sunday, I am going to die. Not literally die, but there is a HUGE difference for me between 70 degrees and cloudy and 85 degrees and sunny! My heart rate is so much higher, and it takes a lot more effort for me to hit my “race paces”. Yesterday, it was 85 and sunny and John and I did a 21 mile bike ride followed by a 20 minute run at race pace. I hit my times perfectly fine, but my body was working harder than it should have. Right now, the forecast for Sunday is 77 degrees and partly cloudy. I hope it stays that way!
4) Also on the topic of heat–I need to freeze my handheld running bottle the night before the race. Even yesterday with my bottle sitting in our truck bed during my bike ride made the water super hot. It was NOT refreshing to drink on my 20 minute run! I think if I start with a frozen bottle in the morning, by the time I pick it up in T2, it’ll have melted but not be hot.
5) I decided this weekend that I’m just going to have FUN in this race. I care less about qualifying for Worlds now-I’ve been very stressed about it the last two weeks, and it’s just not worth it to me anymore. If I do qualify, great. If not, I’ll finish my triathlon season with a few local triathlons with no pressure.
Any other triathletes out there racing Syracuse this weekend?
What thoughts go through your head the weekend before a big race?