Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Road to Kona; Chicago Edition #7

This past weekend I completed my first 'B' race of the season. I originally entered the Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 as my 'A' race, but then came the lottery and my entry to Kona. So my goals for the race where to not get injured and practice some key elements like pacing and nutrition. Of course, I wanted to do my best, but that day will come on October 10th. So overall, I feel like I accomplished my goals, but I have to say that I am a little disappointed with my times. So let's break down my race...

All last week (and this week!) I have been pretty busy at work, so going into the race my energy levels were a bit low, but overall I showed up at the swim start feeling good. The morning was nearly perfect. My perspective on swimming is to focus on long, even strokes. I exited the water in 41 minutes, 31 seconds. As I pulled out of transition, I was looking forward to an enjoyable ride, until the wind started to pick up. At first, a few gusts here and there, then a steady breeze right into my face. At this point, I started to monitor my power output and noticed that I was averaging 215 watts and going about 14 miles / hour. Not exactly a world record pace.. So I tried to minimize my drag and just kept on pedaling. I finished the bike at 3 hours, 1 minute, 28 seconds. After a not so short 5 minutes in T-2, I started my run feeling a little worn out from the bike, so I decided not to push too hard so I could pick up my training on Monday. Overall, the run was more challenging than I expected with a couple of challenging hills. In the end, I finished in 6 hours, 13 minutes.

So with 10 weeks to go until Kona, what have I learned?

Swim: While my swimming is still slow relative to my age group, I feel confident that I will have an enjoyable swim in Kona. To build some more open water experience, I signed up for Big Shoulders on September 12th.

Bike: Given the weather conditions I was pretty happy with my bike time. I now need to focus on 'going long' and building the Ironman specific skills.

Run: My biggest disappointment was my run time. My run time for a 1/2 IM time is around 1 hour, 50 minutes and I was hoping to get in under 2 hours. I think the hills on the course and cold rain had a bit to do with my slow time, but overall I need to focus on my transition runs start to add some long runs in as well.

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