I woke up this morning and realized I have two sleeps until my next half ironman distance triathlon, HITS Ocala. How did that happen? It's been two years since my first one and while I wish I hadn't waited so long to do a second, I had other fish to fry, or in my case, soggy marathons to run. I'm less nervous this go round because I know what to expect, but I'm wondering if I've trained enough. I think my fitness is about the same as it was for Augusta but this 70.3 is completely different terrain so it's going to be hard to compare a la apples to apples. I do sorta wish I had another month to prepare but it is what it is.
As you may be aware, Augusta 70.3 has one of, if not, THE fastest swim of 70.3's out there. It's a down river swim with a pretty strong current. I know that my HITS Ocala 70.3 swim is going to be at least 10-15 minutes slower. It's a one loop swim in a lake and I'm not quite sure if my swimming fitness is back to where it was for Augusta. I've been swimming with a different master's group, and while I like this group, it's not quite the same as the one I swam with before I moved across the bridge. I'd be happy with 38-39 minutes for this swim.
According to the website, the HITS course is less hilly than Augusta but the bike is always my weakness. I've been riding a bunch to overcome that and am happy to report I'm no longer mashing like a madwoman on those pedals. At Augusta I averaged 17.37 MPH and I'd love to get that to at least 18-19 MPH. I think that would put me at about 3:00 to 3:05 hours. If this course is hillier than I've been training for then that'll make a big difference in my time. I want to enjoy the ride and not have the standard, "WHEN CAN I RUN?" thoughts. Haha.
Augusta was probably my favorite race of all time. It helped that the sun never really came out and I benefited from an overcast day, especially during the run. I have been running too fast off the bike lately so I need to remind myself that as I start. I don't wanna blow up within the first three miles. That being said, I'd like to run a under sub nine minute miles for the average (maybe 8:45-8:50?). My goal here will be to not see a nine on the Garmin. I've heard the run is on a partial trail/unpaved road so that could play into it, but I'll again be keeping the "no-walking" goal as well.
I've been known to make sandwiches during transitions so I'm hopeful I can get my butt moving a teeny bit faster in both T1 and T2. I should probably practice this, but I haven't at all so far. Oops.
The weather looks a tad iffy for Saturday's race. It's going to rain, although, who knows when, and the temps are showing a low of 56 and a high of 79. With the exception of the rain, I'm A-Ok with that. Florida weather is so wacky that none of this really matters. I could wake up Saturday with a high of 85 and crystal clear skies. Yep, the weather here is as strange as some of our inhabitants.
The S.O. is racing the HITS Olympic distance on Sunday and I'm going to volunteer in the morning. Wish us luck! I'll catch up with you all next week.