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.
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!