Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pre Shawnigan Half Ironman

So, I just finished packing up all my stuff in preparation to leave for Vancouver Island tomorrow morning on the 11AM Ferry.

I'm feeling quite well prepared for a half this early in the season. The bike provided I keep it slow but steady (tentatively I want to ride at 33-34kph) I will finish that leg in 2:35-2:40( 88km) leaving me 1:50 for my Half marathon assuming I have a half descent swim. My tactic for this race, you may say is ridiculously stupid, however, that is just because I'm using this for a training race. I plan on being conservative for the swim and bike and just giving it my all for the run and see if it all comes crashing down on me. I will start the run at 4:30 pace (1:34:57), well below the 1:50 I'm leaving myself, but this way if I slow down, I can still break 5 hours. I'll let you know if I make it, or if this ends up being another race like the montreal half three years ago where it took me an hour to run the last 8k.

My main concern at this point about the run isn't even my legs, rather, its my feet, I haven't done a run over 16 km without developing blisters. I hope that I can make it at least this far without blisters in my flats, because if I do, then I know I can run the last 5k with medium pained feet, but if the blisters show up freakishly early like they did at the UBC tri, then I could be in for some trouble. I had no blisters at the 10k for the Sun Run, so lets keep our fingers crossed.

I'm trying two new things for this race nutrition wise. First, I will be staying away from as much Gatorade as I typically drink, trying to keep my H2O:Gatorate at 1:1, I think Gatorade after many hours may upset my stomach. I will be supplementing carbs using Power Gels instead, and the second thing I will try, which I have been doing on a few long rides lately, is having a chocolate bar. Not fancy, however, I find that I am able to consume a Mars bar, much easier than I can a gel or cliff bar. Not as good for me, but from what I've learned from all these seminars I've gone to is that, Cliff bars are great, but if you can't eat enough of them or keep them down, then they aren't doing you any good. I've seen pros eat Mars bars a few times, and I've practiced with them once or twice, so I'm confident it will go well. You never know, I may chicken out though.

Muscle wise, I'm feeling fantastic, knock on wood that no knee pain springs up, but all my joints are on track, at this point I have no excuses.

 A brief recap of my week, I mentioned Monday that I didn't believe I would do the crit on Tuesday night, well I decided, weather held off and was nice, so I might as well, get one good short speed workout in before the race. I actually felt much better this week despite having stiff legs from the stairs up from the beach, ooooh how I hate stairs (all 467 of them), however, I ran into some bad luck during the race. Three times the wheel I was following lost touch with the pack resulting in me having to chase down a quickly accelerating mini peloton. I was able to catch back up the first two times, but then the third, the gap was just to much to chase, and I got no help from the jerks sitting on my wheel. So, so far I'm 0/2 in finishing, but there were large increases in performance from my end this week, so I'm positive they will go much better in the future. Right now, they aren't the focus, so I'm not too worried.

 The rest of my week had a few easy rides and runs, I only managed to go swimming once because of pool schedules, the olympic team is doing a training camp and taking up all the great pool time. I did swim in a lane next to the current 100 Meter Freestyle World Champ though, I was almost able to keep up with him on what I overheard was an easy lap, then upon completion realized her was only doing kick... Oh well.

Anyways, wish me luck, I'm getting to bed. And I'll update when I get back.

Oh, and depending on how I enjoy this long distance stuff this year, I may do the Victoria Marathon in October. Its an idea.

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