Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nation’s Tri predictions & calf injury

I am doing the Nation’s Tri again this year.  It was my most fun race from last year – see my race report for details.

Not only was it a fun race last year, it was my first Olympic distance Triathlon, and I finished with a time that far exceeded my expectations – 2:28:11.  So what about this year, do I think I can beat that?  Until 2 days ago, I was pretty sure I could post a great PR this year after some solid training for the last few months, but then on Sunday I was at the pool with the kids and while diving off a 1meter diving board I felt a pop in my left calf.  I could barely walk after getting out of the water.  Since then I have been applying plenty of rest, ice and compression.  It is starting to feel a little better, but is still very sore.  I can’t push at all, but I can walk.  I don’t think I will be running at all next Sunday during the race.  I do have an appointment at a Sports Doctor for Thursday to get a better idea of the extent of the problem and what the recovery time is likely to be.

My first thought was that my race was done, however after some reflection I realized how lucky I am to be able to race at all.  Less than 3 years ago I would never have thought I’d be competing in an Olympic distance triathlon, especially with a 1.5km swim.  I remember seeing some forum posts recently that a DFL > DNF > DNS.  So with that in mind, or unless the doctor tells me otherwise, I am going to start the race and walk through T1, T2  and the run.  So instead of getting down about missing my original goal, I can set a completely new goal.

I hope the swim will be wetsuit legal again this year, if not I’ll be around 2-3 minutes slower than last year.  Anywhere around 28-30 minutes will be great.  If the water is warm, I think I will be in the 30-32 minute range.  This year they have switched to a time trial start, instead of mass waves of 200+.  This should be interesting.  It means that we can’t get in the water before the start for a warm-up.  My swimming is not as strong as it was last year, having spent a whole lot less time at the pool.  I have been working hard for the last few weeks, so I am hoping that I can come close to last years great time of 27:37.

I am stronger on the bike this year.  With the new bike fitness/power and the new bike, I am still hoping for a strong performance.  The course is a little different, so I am not sure how that might change the final time. Last years time was 1:08:27, far exceeding my expectation of a 1:15.  This was the first race that I was able to average over 20mph.  I’d really like to finish in the 1:05-1:06 range this year. 

Last year’s run leg was a great one for me – 46:39, this was a real breakthrough. I felt strong and really pushed for the last 3 miles. Before the calf injury I was hoping to get close to that again  So now I am going to try to walk in a sub 15:00 mile pace.

Time Predictions:

 

2010

2011 (fit)

2011 walking
Swim

27:37

28:00

   28:00
T1

3:40

3:40

     5:00 (walking)
Bike

1:08:27

1:06

1:06:00
T2

1:50

1:50

     3:00 (walking)
Run

46:39

46:00

1:28:00 (walking)
Total

2:28:11

2:25:30

3:10:00

The time is always hard to predict, I think a 2:25 was possible before the injury.  Usually I can walk much faster than 15:00/mile so I’ll walk as fast as I can without pain.  If I can walk a little faster, I might go close to the 3:00 mark.

So my priorities and goals have changed.  #1 is to make sure I don’t do any damage to my calf.  If I can have a good swim/bike I’ll be happy with whatever comes after that.  I am trying to keep things in perspective.  I will be happy being out there giving it a go, and if I do happen to be dead last, then I will celebrate that I could finish and didn’t give up.

Wish me luck!

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