So as you all know, my goal is just to finish but I do have some goals within that, so I thought I'd share!
First, I feel really great about my training but I also haven't trained even close to what most do I feel like. I'm not questioning my training, but I just have had a rough last 3 weeks of like "Is this over yet?" I've never felt burn out...ever...but I haven't been able to get over that hump. I woke up this morning for my long weekend runs/swims/bikes and I feel great this morning so that's encouraging. haha! I think that if I can get through this last weekend then we go into the taper and then it's all smooth sailing from there. As Tanner keeps telling me, we are SO SO close so I can't back down now and so I've had a lot of days of just going through the motions. That's okay though. Motions are what get us there, and I know that on that day, it's going to be all worth it.
The blood, the sweat, the tears. All of those quite literal. haha!
So, as far as goals, I would like to keep a 2:00/100m split for the swim unless there is something going on in the water. That's what I always hit, and it's tricky in the open water to keep this time. Sometimes there are waves like last year and I was doing back stroke, and then who even cares about time at that point? I got out of the water at 39 minutes for the half, but I'd love to do around 1:20-1:25 for the full which as you can see is not double, but I have been swimming twice weekly for a year now and I feel that I've gained a little bit of speed. I find the swim very hard to gain speed in. The place to make up the most time is not the swim though so really, I don't care.
If I can get through this, then we are good to go, but this is the longest part of the day of course. I've done A LOT of biking to get where I am, so I'm confident in that. We had a century bike ride at my graduate school, and I never did it but tons would just up and do it one day without any training. I keep telling myself that if those people can do it, then I most certainly can. I just have to stay focused and aware because that's my biggest stumbling block. Last year, I took my focus off the road for 5 seconds and didn't see the cone that was left to center and ended up crashing. The bike course is completely flat, which I prefer. Some say they don't like completely flat because they get bored but I like it. I'm hoping to keep around 16mph because of the constant flat. If I can get my cadence going and just hold it then I'll be good to go. Again, I'm a much stronger cyclist than I was last year doing the half with no clip ins. HA!
At an average of 16mph for 112 miles, that's 7 hours even on the bike. I plan on stopping every hour to stretch out my arms (I still get really bad pains in my traps for those that have followed my entire cycling journey), and to eat. This helps me to clear my mind. I expect that all of that stopping will add up to about 30 minutes total (average 4 minutes per stop so maybe shorter). I don't plan on rushing these stops either. Slow and steady is my game plan.
I plan on going the speed that my body naturally falls into. If I'm only going 14mph the entire ride, that's fine by me. I just want to keep it consistent and easy. I do not want to burn my legs out on the bike, because obviously I have a marathon at the end. I just want to continuously keep pedaling.
If I complete this in 7.5 hours, then I'm at around 9 hours this point. I plan on running a sub 3 marathon, so I'll be done right at 12 hours. HAHAHA JK JK!
So many say that they walk the marathon, and I might be totally overestimating what I'm capable of, but I've trained so much that I would hate to walk the marathon. The way that the half marathon is set up is that there is an aid station at every mile. It's nice and in the shade, and there was a breeze going last year that I completed my half marathon at the end of the half ironman in 1:40. My goal is to get at least 4 hours because I just have no idea how my body will feel at the end of biking 112 miles. I plan on walking through every aid station just for a few seconds then picking it back up. I'm the type of person that when it nears the end of something, I'd rather shuffle my feet than stop. If I stop, I'm going to want to be done with the thing, so I'd rather just pretend I'm moving well.
If I finish the marathon in 4 hours (which I have no idea if this is aiming high or low to be honest with you), then that will put me at 13 hours. For some reason I want to break that 13 hour mark but I feel that's stretching it. If anything, I've realized with cycling and my stops that I take, it ends up taking way longer than I think so it'll probably be around 14 hours. haha!
The truth is... I have no clue. I don't ACTUALLY have time goals. I don't plan really to even look at my watch other than just curiosity. If the race starts at 7am and it takes me 13-14 hours, that means that I won't be done with the race until 8-9pm. HOW CRAZY IS THAT RIGHT?! haha!
I do know that my BIGGEST goal is to have fun and not to stress. I'm not stressed currently. I "respect" the race as so many tell me to do, but I'm confident in the shape that I'm in and the preparation that I've done. I know that if I keep my heart rate in zone 2 and the food and hydration going, then I'll make it to the end no problem. The one thing that I'm not looking forward to is how much my arms start to hurt at mile 70+ on the bike. Isn't that the silliest thing? The one thing I'm afraid of is my traps. RIDICULOUS. I wish I knew how to make that not happen, but I've tried about 100000 million things and nothing works. I try SO hard to relax. I do notice it's worse when I'm doing hills in my hometown so I'm hopeful with the flats, I won't be pushing on them as much. I've had my bike fit to me. And yes, I've tried different positioning.
So there you have it! I'm three weeks out as of tomorrow. I know these weeks will fly by especially with me going to Chicago Thursday through Monday this coming week for the marathon (not running but cheering for friends). And yes, I'm the crazy girl that plans a trip to Chicago two weeks out. I knew it wasn't the best idea I've ever had, but when have I ever been sane? ;)