It's Friday and a few days from my first 70.3 half ironman. I guess I have a lot of mixed feelings about this race. Much like last years Olympic distance, but this seems different for some reason. The others seemed personal and my goals were easy and simple. Survival seemed at a better ratio I guess.
Sunday feels a bit like the day could run away and just trying to hold on is going to be the focus of the day. Seafair was fun and training showed to pay off in many many ways, but pacing and holding back wasn't anything that needed to be applied like it will on Sunday.
Holding back in the water: 40+ minutes can be a long time in the water not to start feeling like you need to start sprinting because you're taking too long. - Have to fight the urge to spend large amounts of energy in the water.
Holding back on the bike: The hill getting out of transition will stomp you right out of the gate, " right here is where you know if you wasted too much in the water!" Is what I yelled to a training partner the last time out. Nasty hill about 2 miles into the bike, can't rush there. The loops of the bike don't start until about mile 4-5, you could loose your legs just getting out there.
Once on the course you hit a set of rollers until about 8-9 then get some flats that lead to the first smaller hills of the day. You have to know the course well enough to use the downs to recover the next hills. The back flat at about mile 15 is where refueling will happen, after a set of 3 tough hills. At the end of that small flat you'll see some clear cut to the left. That is the green lite for the first big down hill leading to the next set of hills.
The bike is a monster of sorts, fun, but hard to say that race pace will be above 15 miles per hour. The hardest hill is the one that comes around mile 52 leading back into the transition zone. With those big effort climbs spread so far around the course you have to have a steady plan in place and follow it. Even if it seems everyone is passing you on the first loop.
Holding back on the run: If I can hit the run feeling the same or better than I would at mile 13 of a marathon I should be in good shape. I have a tendency to run a bit too fast until about mile 2 so I'll have to make sure I keep it at marathon pace, which is around 8:15-8:25 minute miles. Mostly if if I stay around 8 minute mile + or - 15 seconds I should be good. I can't feel good early and run in the 6:50-7:15 area because that wouldn't last to the end.
Too much to think about, but that's some of the fun part.
I am looking forward to all the support and friends and family that are going to be out on course to cheer me and my friends on. That totally rocks! You never know how much that helps to get someone to the finish line.