Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Three days and a wake-up

Any of you with Navy experience may recognize the reference in the title. If so, a thousand apologies if it made you cringe, and/or scream. For the rest, "X" days and a wake-up is a coping technique used by sailors (and other branches?) to cope with deployments, enlistments, and other mind-numbing events.

And I am currently three days and a wake-up away from my first attempt at an official triathlon. Today is easy, as it is training, work, watch the kids, go to bed. Tomorrow is awesome because it is Christmas. Well, not really Christmas, but I should get my new bike, and that's close enough. Friday is probably going to be the tough day. I hope to take the bike out for a short training ride before working a half-day. After lunch, the entire Pol family will head to Waupaca for the race. For the kids, we are staying at a hotel with a waterpark. Both have been there, before, though Baby Pol was unborn the first time.

I still have to get everything for the race together. I have several different "what to pack" lists, and will probably go through the entire list several times. Week in Jamaica, thirty minutes to pack. Sprint triathlon 45 minutes from home, 4 hours to pack.

And then, Saturday will be here. It's been a long time training for what proves to be a fairly short race. Here now, for the first time, are my predictions for the race.

The swim, my biggest concern, should actually be over very quickly. It's 220 yards, and I usually average about 2m30s per 100 yards at the pool. Eliminating the turns should help offset some of the other issues, like swimming in the lake without lanes. Giving myself plenty of time for freaking out and slowing down, I hope to finish the swim in under 6 minutes.

The bike distance doesn't concern me. That I will be on the new bike will slow me down a bit. Slow, however, is relative. On the mountain bike (with 42/14 as fastest gearing), my normal pace is 15 MPH. Given the much better gearing (53/11), I'll be going much faster for the same cadence. Even so, I'm still giving myself an hour to allow for taking it easy and not crashing the new bike.

And a 5K run should take me about 25 minutes. It will depend a bit on temperatures and humidity, but I can generally run 8 minute pace for three miles in even the crummiest of weather.

The only true flyer in the whole mix is transitions. I have had no opportunity to test a real swim to bike transition. I've made the change, but not in real race conditions. I will also be getting into biking shoes, which will be new. Bike to run transitions are easy, though I will again be switching shoes, which adds a twist to past training. I hope that the total time for both is under 10 minutes (what is normal?).

So, all totaled, this should take well under 2 hours to complete. While I have no real goal other than to finish safely and gain experience, targets are something I like to have. So, for this first triathlon, the goals, in order, are to finish, to have fun and learn a lot, and to finish around 1 hour 45 minutes.

How does that sound? Realistic? Overzealous? Pokey?


a.maria said...

well my friend, i wish you much luck this weekend. as less than a newbie triathlete, i have nada advice, other than get out there and have fun, laugh at your mistakes, and remember you can never have another first!

treasure it!

i look forward to the race report!

Bolder said...

very realistic.

enjoy your first tri. i think it is a well honored tradition to be the last out of the water, and to feel like the dead upon finish.

you'll do fine.