What to expect when you’re expecting

One week out. Whoa. WHOA.

Since I started tapering a week ago (I consider my first “taper” week more of a normal recovery week than a taper), I found myself with some spare time on my hands. With this newfound freedom I actually started seeing humans again (*gasp*). I know, crazy, right?!

The problem here is seeing people leads to, “Hey, you love beer! Why did you only drink half a beer and now are drinking water?!” Which leads to the question, “So what’s your goal time?”

No. Just no. Stop it. Don’t ask me that.

Obviously I come back with the canned, “Well it’s my first one, so I want to finish (and not, like, die or anything).” Here, the astute conversationalist responds, “Yeah yeah yeah, but what’s your goal time?” Now we’re in complicated territory.

Yes, my goal is to finish. That’s what I’m expecting. But I’ve also had this posted on my monitor at work for the past 6 months:

You've pulled me out of some deep training ruts, dear friend.

36,000 seconds? I think I can count that high… You’ve pulled me out of some deep training ruts, dear friend.

Is that my goal for this race? Not necessarily. That’s just my first macro-scale goal for iron-distance racing. If I wanted that the first time out, I wouldn’t have signed up for a race with one of the toughest bike legs in North America. What does “not necessarily” mean? Well, I think I can come fairly close to it if I have an awesome day. And if I see 6:50 on the race clock coming out of T2, I don’t think you should be surprised if I’m ticking off 7 min/miles at the start of the marathon. Is it that best race plan for my first Ironman? Absolutely not. But sometimes you just gotta go for it. Especially if it takes almost 7 hours to get to the spot where you can go for it.

If I’m talking to a triathlete, the conversation starts going even further. Let’s take 8x iron-distance vet and recently post-Ironman Canada Carlos as the example:

Let me put this in prospective for you: Two summers ago, I competed in my first triathlon (Racine 70.3) and swam 43min for 1.2 miles (1:26 for 2.4mi). That’s a lovely 2:26/100 yards. Anytime I saw 1:5X while swimming 100s in the pool I thought I was have a very fast day. I was very slow two years ago.

Faster forward to now. I still haven’t put together a solid few months of high yardage swim training like I’d like to, but now I happily swim 100s consistently in the low 1:20s all day. I swam a 5×200 set leaving the wall on 3:00. I *almost* clipped 30min for a 2000yd swim a few weeks ago. I followed that up the next day with a 4200yd (2.39mi) swim in 1:06. In other words, I’m still slow, though much more happily slow. My best race-day swim to date is a 38min swim for 1.2mi (or a 1:16 for 2.4mi). A sub-1:10 would be a massive drop in my swim time. And it’d be awesome. But I’m not holding my breathe. [See what I did there??]. I’m happy with anything sub-1:16.

I’m not going to go through the other disciplines, but it’s similar stories. I think I’m capable of a solid time in each, but that requires me racing a new distance well my first time out. Actually given my running off the bike the past few weeks, I think I’m capable of a run time that’s a bit better than solid.

With that, I’ll leave you with some final random thoughts wrapping up my first Ironman training cycling:

She’s on a truck to Wisconsin as I type.

  • I would rate this training cycle at a 6 out of 10. Womp. I missed far too many days, traveled way too much, made too many excuses, and was sidelined with a sinus infection for 3 weeks. If I had nailed my training, I think I would be viewing my goals for this race quite differently.
  • Given the above, you have no idea how hungry I am for next season. Tentative plan is collegiate season right when I get back from Antarctica (Feb/March/April), Wildflower in May, Vineman 70.3 in July, Ironman Wisconsin 2014 in September. Barring significant setbacks, I’ll throw out my goals for next season right now. Wildflower: Goal 1: Sub 5; Goal 2: AG podium. IMWI: Goal 1: Sub 10; Goal 2: AG Podium; Goal 3: Kona 2015.
  • Send me this post anytime I complain about training next year.
  • I have to admit that after my 1:25 half marathon off the bike two weeks ago, I looked up the top 3 amateur run times at IMWI for the past two years. Since I looked them up, I might as well save you the time:

2011: 2:56, 3:07, 3:09 (none of whom were in my AG)
2012: 2:52, 2:58, 3:04 (none of whom were in my AG)

Also FYI: top run in my AG were 3:23 (2012) and 3:17 (2011).

  • I have to go swim now.

About siegfried

just a runner. kinda a triathlete. and a big couch sitter.
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