I have been psyching myself up mentally by reading articles this morning about first time triathletes drowning in the swim leg of a Sprint Tri down in Philly. Sobering. This doesn't scare me too much because the locales are very different. I'll be in a pond not a river and the field size will be much smaller, but it is a great reminder that the water is not a good place to "push things to the limit". I will gladly take my 18min swim time and get out of the water with the 80 year olds if I have to.
Short of the threat of death I am actually feeling pretty confident about my chances to do fairly well in about two weeks. I am putting in my last few hard efforts this week to try and cap things off with next week planned as a recovery/taper week just to make sure I don't loose any cardio fitness. Lets cover where I'm at and recap a bit:
- Started in the pool in late March basically April (with a small break in late May early June while the pool was closed).
- My first session in the pool netted me a 18min and change for the quarter mile. This is hilariously slow.
- Over the next 10 weeks or so I have slowly hacked away at my time with a current personal best of 9:03
- In essence I am twice as fast as I was after 10 weeks with absolutely no instruction (minus youtube)...not bad
- I haven't really done much tri specific bike work
- Short of doing my MTB races and just riding as much as I usually do
- A test on the course got me a 47:20, good for a top 60 time from last years results
- I want to be top 50 on the bike this year and I'm pretty sure I can get there
- Started the experiment back in Nov of last year to see if my knees could carry me without exploding
- My initial 5K time was a bit over 24mins (with me being sore for 2 days after)
- I now consistently flirt with the 20min threshold for my 5K
- Not blazing but not a bad improvement over 7 months for a lifetime skier
With those performance indicators I think my goal of a top 50 finish overall might be a tad unrealistic but I think I could be in the neighborhood... The open water swim is a real X factor because I just don't have the race experience to know how to manage that. I know I can put down 9mins in a pool with a lane to myself with a line painted on the bottom of the pool to follow and nice clear water to see through. Not sure about sharing a murky pond with lots of other people all with the same goal...get there faster than you. If I can limit my losses and get out of the water in under 10mins I will be very pleased.
Only time will tell now but I think I can call this experiment a success whatever happens on race day. My fitness profile is much more rounded out and I feel great and really that was the point of all this, so I win. (but I still want top 50...)