Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Declaring my intentions

This Saturday is a little prelimary exam for me prior to Ironman Florida - Chesapeakeman Aqua Velo. All the swim, all the bike, none of the run, none of the crowds, none of the travel, none of the hype. Should be a great day! Weather forecast right now looks near-perfect: Low of 57*F, high of 67*F. Hopefully calm winds (knock on wood).

Bolder likes to talk about declaring one's intentions prior to race day. "Okay, Nancinator, what's it going to be?" I can almost hear him asking now. All right, I'll put it down in black and white here and make it real.

Let's go step by step. The best predictor of future performance is past performance, so I'm going to base my predictions on some of my recent race performances, and hope that I can put it all together on race day.

SWIM 2.4 miles. This is highly dependent upon winds and waves and currents in the Choptank River. They had a calm day and a tail-current last year, gifts from the tri-gods, and the slowest swim of the day was 1:29. This year the currents won't be nearly as favorable. My dream goal would be to swim happy and relaxed and come out of the water at double my watch time from Steelhead, or under 1:38:10. My baseline goal is to finish the swim within the 2:20 time limit and gain a PR for distance in open water.

Transition. I've gone through this transition area twice before, at two Eagleman half Ironman races. Once in 4:31, but I had a near-perfect bike spot at the exit gate. The previous time I came out of the water very tired and had a transition time of 7:34. I'm also planning on changing into dry bike shorts and cycling jersey in transition, which may add a bit of time. I'll call it closer to the latter time and set a transition goal of under 6:50.

BIKE 112 miles. This is a pancake-flat course, but the winds can wreak havoc on your time. Doubling my time on the Eagleman course in June, minus the time I spent filling the flat, would give me a time of 7:04:30. With about 1100 miles on the bike deposited in the Bank of Ironman since that day, I think I can do better - and my pace on a hilly 56-mile course in August (until I flatted) was better than that too. I'm going to call my dream goal a sub-7:00 bike leg, which works out very neatly to a 16.0 mph average pace. My baseline goal is to finish the bike within the 10:00 combined time limit, and gain a PR for race distance on the bike. Assuming I'm out of transition in 2 hours, this will allow me about 8 hours on the bike leg or a minimum pace of 14.0 mph.

Total finishing time:
  • Dream goal: under 8:45 (before 3:45 PM).
  • Baseline goal: finish under the 10:00 cutoff (before 5:00 PM).
But you know what? I'll tell you a secret. My deep-dark ultra-secret real goal is to have fun. It's just not a good race day unless I'm grinning like a fool half the time.

In the next day or two I'll write up and post my race plan, the method to my madness that is going to make the dream goal a few notches closer to reality.

18 comments:

jeanne said...

may all your dreams come true!

triathlonmom said...

Sounds great to me! Good luck, and have fun.

IMmike said...

this race should be fun. if you see a scrawny guy in an la tri club outfit come over and say hi.

Holly said...

Just Have Fun is a good goal! It sounds like a great "test run" leading into your "A" race ...

GO NANCY GO!

21st Century Mom said...

Goooooo Nancinator!

And do have fun - that's the really important goal.

Comm's said...

I was waiting for this one. I am interested in how you have calculated just what th mean swim time is for your AG the last few years and compare to your own times. Do that for me too why don't ya? 35-39AG.

I like your thinking.

Shelley said...

good luck Nancy..you know you can go hard on the swim and bike..you DON'T have to run a marathon after..:-D Can't wait to hear how you do!!!

nancytoby said...

This is only the 3rd year for this race, and the first year they had a strong head current, and last year a strong tail current. Plus it's been very small in the past - not many old ladies. So I can't really tell from past performances. I'm just going to have to swim hard!!!

I'll go hard on the last 20 miles of the bike with everything I have left!

dw said...

It's going to be a great day. Have fun and I will look for you in the swim--I'll be behind you!

TriFeist said...

Very reasonable plan. The experience will be worth it's weight in gold come IMFL.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Good luck. Your'e very inspiring in your writing. I am anxious to hear how it was. Is there any online tracking??

nancytoby said...

I don't think there will be online tracking, sorry! They do post results quickly, but I think I'll probably be able to manage a blog post probably the evening of the race and get there first.

nancytoby said...

DW -
Please say hi to any of the "older" ladies there - the blonde will be Ellie or Melissa, the brunette is me! And don't be too sure you'll be behind me, anything can happen on race day and I'm not a strong swimmer!!

Jeremy said...

Sounds like a great race. No doubt your hard work will pay off!

Habeela said...

Can't wait to hear how it goes. May you get everything you dream for and more!

Mr Steve said...

Good luck. Can you post what your fueling plan is for the race? I would be interested to know. I am hoping to do my Ironman in 2008.

Bolder said...

i was daydreaming zone'd out on my ride today...

my race was done, and one of my peoples was sighted coming down the finisher's chute.

sersly, i lost my mind i was SO happy for that person.

i was JUMPING UP AND DOWN and SCREAMING THEIR NAME.

it was the happiest i had ever been.

call this comment another Declaration of Intent.

nancytoby said...

Oh, heck, I'm hoping you're on your 2nd pizza and 3rd bottle of Dom Perignon by the time I finish!! :-)