In less than one week I will make my 2nd attempt at the 70.3 distance. Last year Augusta 70.3 was my "A" race. I trained for about 9 months and had a very specific race plan with very specific goals. The race was executed about as perfectly as I could've planned. Eagleman 70.3 next weekend is my "B" race this year. I've really not put a ton of thought into this race, but I'm pretty excited to give this distance another go. I'm in better shape than September of last year and hope to have a pretty good day.
Ashley's always wanted to race Eagleman and I wanted to do another big 70.3 during my Ironman training, so when Ashley decided to sign up I figured I would too. This will be the first time that we are both participating in the same big race. I'm pretty excited about our trip to Maryland for the race and a few days off of work, but I'm possibly more excited about this week's taper. My legs are begging me for some rest and I sincerely hope that this taper will do the trick. Last week I spent 9.5 hours on my bike, more than any other week this year. The majority of that time was by myself. It was tough mentally and tough on my already very tired legs. My quads need a break. My bike and I need a break. We are not friends right now, so a little time apart this week will hopefully allow us to play nicely on Sunday.
Last year I felt like I realistically knew what to expect out of my race, but this year I really have no idea. Ironman training forces you to train on tired legs All. The. Time. So with a good taper I really don't know what I'm capable of. Maybe The Pro will have some special insight as the end of the week approaches, but at this point I have a plan based off of effort level and it will be a big surprise to see what kind of time that will earn me.
Two words: Choptank River. Sounds like a nice calm place, right? The swim could be choppy, could be wetsuit legal, could be non-wetsuit swim, could be swimming with jelly fish. Who knows! I'm hoping for a wetsuit swim, but either way I'll give it my all. Some friends have been doing some temperature stalking and it sounds like we have a good chance of a wetsuit swim. I think the wetsuit allows me to push my effort a little more without expending much more energy. One thing's for sure, I certainly won't have a 25 minute swim like the down river 1.2 miles in Augusta! But on the other hand, compared to the 2.4 mile swim in Chattanooga a few weeks ago this will fly by.
....ahh the bike...my favorite. I hear it's flat as a pancake. I'm not typically a fan of flat bike rides because where there is flatland there is usually wind. I hate wind. Athlete Guide says: "winds have been clocked up to 30mph." Awesome. I never ride flat so i really don't know what kind of result my watts will get me here. We opted against the race wheels, but I will definitely splurge for race wheels at CHOO. I am however pretty excited about my new aero helmet! Hopefully it will give me a little free speed. I will take the bike relatively easy with hopes to hop off the bike and be ready to run my heart out!
Run description says: "The run is flat out and back on a 13.1 mile loop on mostly rural, hot unshaded roads". Sounds lovely. Who picked this race? Typically, the heat doesn't bother me too much, so as long as I stay hydrated I'm hoping for a good run. How good of a run? I honestly have no idea.
I am pumped about my race, but I am really excited about everyone else racing too. Hope Dunlap is making her 70.3 debut. While I did not technically coach her for this race, I feel like I was her secondary coach and I'm so excited to see her hard work put to the test. One of my biggest training buddies, Tristan is also ready for his 70.3 comeback race. I will likely pass him in the water, he'll quickly pass me on the bike and then we'll duke it out on the run. Actually he's been training hard, is well rested and should have a really fantastic day.
Johane Hirschfield is also making her 70.3 debut. After qualifying for Boston in March, this race is icing on the cake! Marc Hirschfield is also racing. How he finds time to race a marathon a month and train for 70.3's we'll never know! After Malibu Melissa Bell's incredible Boston Marathon I can't wait to see her tear up the run course. New friends from Cozumel Duran Greene and Laura Gersten are also racing. Laura has stepped up her training to an entirely new level and is prepared to crush dreams. Duran is always super strong in all 3 sports and is going to have a fantastic day.
And finally, last but not least. My all time favorite triathlete, The Honey Badger, my hubby. He has been battling a hamstring strain for the better part of this year. When he signed up we both had high hopes that he could defend his Charleston 4:04 time. I don't think we know what to expect on race day, but I know he'll give it his best shot. I just hope the hamstring can hang on for the 13.1 run. Regardless, the best part of my day will be seeing him on the out and back on the run course.
I won't have any spectators on the course, but all of these familiar faces will make the run a lot of fun!
4 days and counting! Then IMCHOO Countdown begins! 4 months!!