Friday, November 19, 2010

Following me on race day

You can watch people cross the finish line at ironmanlive.com and you can follow my race there too. My bib number is 2731. When you see the splits for the run, you will know when I'm about a mile from the finish line and it's time to start watching the finish line video.

So when should you be on the lookout for me to cross that line? I have been working over my possible times for ages and finally thought I had things nailed down. But then the weather forecast changed and now everything is up in the air again!

My race will start at 7:00 am Arizona time (Mountain Time Zone) and I plan to swim the 2.4 miles in about 1.5 hours. My hope is that I'll be able to draft off someone and just get swept along and be able to finish in that time. The alternative -- and this does happen to people -- is that the amount of people in the water will slow me down. I won't know which it will be until it happens, but I think I should be out on the bike course by 8:45 am at the latest no matter what.

For the bike course, it's three loops and each loop is an out-and-back. The out is slightly uphill and the back is slightly downhill. So it will take me longer to go out than back. Well, unless there is a headwind coming back and a tailwind going out. It's usually the other way around but apparently the wind is going to be different on Sunday. There is also a 30% chance of rain. There also may be wind gusts up to 25 mph out on the Bee Line (which is the middle part of the loop).

All I can say is: it's a good thing I've been practicing biking in the wind and actually like biking in the rain. I don't think the conditions will demoralize me, but they will slow me down (but hopefully not as much as some) so my predicted times could be shot all to heck.

I was thinking the first loop would be 1:20 out, 1:05 back and then I'd try to get slightly faster on each subsequent loop. If I can do that, my finish time will be about 6:45. Therefore, accounting for some stops here and there, I figured I'd finish in under 7 hours; the question was just how much under.

But now... who knows? Hopefully I can finish in no more than 7. 5 hours even if conditions are bad. Or maybe it won't rain and maybe the wind won't be so bad. Again, I won't know until it happens.

For the run, the course loops all over the place. It's sort of a figure eight but there is another loop in there too. We do the entire thing three times. For this one, I'm going to run as slow as I can so I don't blow out my calf. I hope to average 12 minute miles, but I think a 13 minute pace is probably more likely. I also think I'll be slowing down as time goes on and I have to walk more and more to rest my leg. But I think I can do it in 5.5 hours even with my injury.

When you add it all together, I think I'll be finishing between 9:00 and 10:00 pm. But different possible scenarios have me finishing anywhere from 8:40 pm to 10:30 pm and, if the bike ends up being much slower because of wind and rain, then that will push the run out and also my finishing time.
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