Friday, August 14, 2009


One month before Ironman Coeur d'Alene, I predicted I would finish in 14:45; my actual time was 14:45:39. Part of my accuracy was a self-fulfilling-prophecy; I was able to adjust my race to meet my time goals. But I definitely did a pretty good darn-tootin job of predicting the race. It is now one month before Ironman Wisconsin, so I figured I should run the numbers again.

First, the fantasy:

Joe the Trainer had me do a lot of swim-specific exercises so my back/shoulders should be strong this year. And the water temperature will be 5-10 degrees warmer than it was in AntarcticaIdaho. I swam a slow 1:40 in Coeur d'Alene, so I think I could knock 10 minutes off the swim and go 1:30.

Joe the Trainer had me do a lot of leg work and I've noticed I am stronger on bike climbs than I have been. But my secret weapon is my new bike; it's 4-5 pounds lighter than my old one, and is just all-around more efficient than my old one. I did Idaho in 6:56; it's possible I could do 6:30 in Wisconsin (which is only a 5% improvement.)

For years I've had this dream of running 10-minute miles during an entire marathon and I just need to give that up. If I hold back, conserve my energy and shoot for 11.5-minute miles, that puts me at a 5-hour finish time. I did Coeur d'Alene in 6 hours, so that would be a HUGE improvement. But my stomach got sick during the marathon and that killed my run. If I had eaten better, I'm sure I could have done 5:30. SOMETHING will go wrong so I think 5:00 is unlikely, but I still think 5:30 is doable.

Let's just say 20 minutes for transitions. That puts me at a 13:50 finish time, 55 minutes faster than last year.

Now, the reality:

I haven't been swimming much. Leading up to Coeur d'Alene, I did a lot of ocean swimming which was great training. This year, not so much. I still can't swim in a straight line. Any strength advantages will be eaten away by the lack of hours I spent in the pool, and I suspect I will actually have a slower swim this time. 1:45.

Wisconsin is a much hillier course than Coeur d'Alene. I did a fair amount of mountain climbing this year, but most of that was months ago. I'm not sure how much of that I still have in me. I also don't know how much the new bike can compensate for the tougher course. I think 7 hours in Wisconsin would actually be quite an improvement over 7 hours in Idaho. So let's say 7:00.

I would really, really like to improve my run this time. And I have been pretty good with keeping up with my running schedule. So I'll stick with a 5:30 run.

That comes out to 14:35, ten minutes faster than Coeur d'Alene.

Ah, but here's the big X-factor. And this is not sandbagging, nor making excuses... but I'm just not in "The Zone" for Wisconsin. It's just not clicking. I fear that if I'm the bike and I realize I'm slowing down to a 7:30 or 8:00 pace, I might be like "eh, whatever." And that's a dangerous attitude when doing an Ironman. I think I may psyche myself down a bit, and it will cost me another half-hour.

So I'm saying a 15:15 finish time for Wisconsin. That isn't a goal, nor really a prediction even... It's just what my gut tells me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is really good that your run training is on schedule. Problem is that it comes last so it doesn't matter as much as you think. With 5-6 hour predicted Marathon running I don't understand why you even are investing time in running. Your time would be better invested somewhere else.

6:14 PM  

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