Well, it’s just under 12 hours till the start of the race. Damn I’ve been nervous these last few days! It would’ve been nice to have the kids here just to distract me…maybe…
The weather forecast is for a high of 20C, heavy rain and gusty northerlies so it will be a bit of a change from the 30C+ sunny skies I’m used to on the Gold Coast. I thought I was well prepared with some arm warmers, an IM talk jersey and a gillet in my cycle bag until one of the race volunteers started talking about polypros! Didn’t even bring one of those to NZ with me!
It’s going to be a tough day anyway and I’m not sure the weather will make much of a difference. I do feel a bit for the spectators and volunteers though. Four of my sisters plus a few nieces have come down to watch me race and hopefully they don’t get forced to stay indoors and sit in the mineral spa!
I headed down to the lake this morning for a swim on the course. It’s been almost a month since my last successful swim. With the wetsuit on and a panadol inside, I swam at a gentle pace for 20 mins without any chest/pec pain at all! Yippee! I’m confident I can make it through the swim now.
So my race goals are:
1. FINISH! (this is not a foregone conclusion!)
2. The swim will be a gentle warmup. I’ll go very easy to the turnaround breathing 3 every side. If I am still feeling good I might up the effort to 3-2-3 breathing. Normally I’d race at 3-2-2-3. I expect a time from 1:30-1:45, but it doesn’t matter as long as I FINISH. I think I’ll stick with the panadol before the swim but that’s it for pain relief. I’ve packed panadol in my bike and run bags in case the chest gets too sore.
3. The bike. Recent hamstring and glute problems mean that I can’t ride on the aerobars without serious pain. With a Northerly wind predicted I’ll try to stay as low as I comfortably can on the two outward 45km legs. My target power is 160W with a max of 260W or 80% Max HR. I won’t be surprised if the power drops to 140-150 by the end of the ride but who knows? But I will FINISH! Time will be from 6:30 to 7:00 I suspect.
4. The run. This is the big unknown but it should be my best leg (relatively). I’m not sure how the hammie/glute problem will affect the run but I haven’t noticed it on recent short runs so fingers crossed! My original aim was sub 4hrs but after really hitting the wall in my two (three?) 30km+ runs I realise this will be quite difficult to achieve. FINISHing will be hard enough! I’ll stick with my 5:30min/km target pace which is 5:15-5:20 with me walking 40sec or so every aid station. The last 10km will be, shall we say, interesting? Gotta FINISH, gotta FINISH, gotta FINISH! Time could be 3:55-4:30 unless the wheels fall off.
It’s 7:51pm now. With a 7am start, hopefully I’ll be finishing about this time tomorrow night. Crikey – what a day!