The Final Week

Posted by on May 19, 2008 in Training

My apologies to anyone who has looked for recent updates. With all the final details coming together, and with the past weekend spent in Newport, RI officiating the wedding my close friends Brad and Karen, life has been nothing short of busy, even by my standards. In any event, I’m going to just lay it all out there with just a brief description of things.

The wedding weekend was fantastic. Debauchery was abundant. I drank a lot (probably shouldn’t have, but oh well), almost got kicked off a golf course for driving the cart like an idiot, had fun with a great group of friends, and officiated the wedding of two fantastic people. I was told by literally everyone I encountered that I did a good job and to be honest, I kinda feel like I hit one out of the park. It was an honor of the highest order, so I’m relieved to have lived up to collective expectations.

I haven’t biked in a week, but will do an hour or so today. In Florianopolis, I’ll cycle a couple of times but only a short distance to get the cobwebs out of the legs. I ran in Newport for about 43 minutes along the coastline and it was both stunning and easy. The heart rate was a bit higher than normal but I attribute that to having alcohol in the system.

Last time I biked, I had a problem with the left crank. The week previous, it actually fell off while on a long ride! Turns out that my bike mechanic described it as a defective part. He ordered a new part and said that it would probably arrive today. Today? I leave for Brazil tomorrow morning!! He promised me that one way or another, he’ll have my bike in tip-top condition. I’ll have to disassemble it as soon as I get it back which at once is necessary (to get it into the shipping bike box) and somewhat defeating since it will be in perfect condition.

We have to take a car service to the airport. I’m normally much more thrifty and would have otherwise opted for mass transit, but heck, this is an epic trip.

We have been warned by everyone under the sun to avoid bringing anything of significant value to Rio. My silver bracelet, no. Deborah’s earrings, no. A digital camera, no. Even $20 bills, no. It’s going to be a bit of a challenge to be so conservative, but that’s life. I’ll have the iPod hidden on my person somewhere for the beach though. And, I’m actually looking forward to finally reading a book. Been a while since I’ve had the time to dedicate my energy and attention. I’ll also have about a half dozen crossword puzzles from New York magazine (they’re easy and long). Lastly, I bought a portable backgammon set. Deborah doesn’t know how to play, so I’ll teach her and hopefully she’ll get into it. I’m admittedly a major addict.

Finally, the race itself is on Sunday, six days from today. The following are my goals:

  • The swim: Based on training times in the pool, my split time for 1.2 miles is 39 minutes. That time includes stopping at the wall every 25 yards. My expectation is that the actual time on race day will be less thanks to the “sweep”, an effect similar to what drafting is on a bike. The second 1.2 miles likely won’t be as fast as the first, but in the aggregate, I expect to be between 1:15 and 1:20.
  • The bike: It’s hard to say how well I’ll do since I have no idea how flat or windy the course is, or how well my energy reserves will be spread out over the 112 miles. The goal is to have my speed exceed 18.67 miles per hour which, if attained, would net a 6 hour time. If I can keep my speed at 20+ mph, I’ll offset those times that I slow down to get water or gatorade. Ultimately, I expect to be between 6:00 and 6:15.
  • The run: This is the ultimate x factor. I have to remember to load up on nutrition in the latter half of the bike leg and hope that it takes me through the first half of the run. My goal is to run the first loop of 10 miles without stopping. I think it’s realistic to maintain 9 minute miles. Thereafter, my current goal is to run to every other aid station, which means doing 2.4 mile clips. If I can do that and only walk or stop at the aid stations to get more nutrition, I should be able to put together a total average of under 10 minute miles. That translates to a bit faster than 4:20 for the 26.2 miles but I’m okay with anything under 5 hours.
  • Total time: When adding the above along with about 10 minutes in total transition times (swim to bike, bike to run), the overall goal is 11:45 with an expectation to be anywhere in the 12 hour range. Just breaking 13 hours will be tremendous. Naturally, just finishing is the primary goal but with one Ironman under my belt already, I’m now shooting for time. If I break 12 hours, anyone reading this should be prepared for what will likely be a lifetime seeing the toothiest smile I can muster!

I had hoped to find a website that would enable folks to track athletes while they are on the course, but it’s been to no avail so far. If I find one, I’ll post it here. My plan is to write a post-race summary here but that’s contingent on internet cafe logistics.

That’s it for now. I’m feeling a bit frantic to hit all of the items on my pre-trip to-do list, but I will get it all done. Ultimately, I am so excited about finally doing this. I feel so positive and optimistic about the experience to come. If you believe in it, send me more positive energy and your well-wishes. I’ll be thinking about everyone close to me while I’m out there on the course and by that virtue, you will be with me and help me accomplish this feat. I suppose I should say thanks in advance! See you on the course!

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