Feeling underprepared for my first 70.3...
... in 3 days!
I'm doing the Calgary half Ironman on Sunday and I'm feeling undertrained and unprepared. I haven't done much in the way of practising nutrition, I haven't done any bike rides over 60 km, and I've only done a handful of long runs. Sigh.
I've done 3 olympic distance events, with the most recent one being this past June. I finished last in my age group at 3:09, with a 40 minute swim, 81 minute bike, 62 minute run, and 6 minutes of transition. Accounting for a slower pace over the longer distance, I anticipate the following:
~1 hour swim (I recently did 2k in a pool in 55 minutes)
~3:30 bike (typically my strongest category, so 26 km/hr is fairly conservative)
~2:30 half (I did 2:20 a few weeks ago at a casual pace, and my PR is 2:06)
= 7 hours and change with transition.
The cutoff for this race is 8 hours, so if all goes well I should make it. However, I'm still nervous that something will go wrong... stomach upset, bonking, foot problems, etc. The "good" news is, due to Calgary's recent flooding the usual lake is currently unswimmable, so the swim has moved to a much smaller, warmer, and cleaner neighbourhood lake. This also shifted the bike ride to a slightly shorter (though equally hilly) course. Additionally, the forecast is currently for cool weather - a low of 8 and a high of 18 (C) - it will likely rain, but I figure that's preferable to hot and sunny! I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to heat, and I definitely perform better below 20 degrees.
My main concerns at this point (since I can't do anything about my lack of training) are eating and sleeping. I'm kind of insomniac at the best of times, and having been in 3 different time zones in the past two weeks doesn't help anything. I'll probably only sleep about 3-4 hours on Saturday night, but I'm hoping to get a couple of good nights sleep before that. I can't decide if it'll be better to sleep in on Saturday and stock up on sleep, or get up early in the hopes that I'll be tired come 10 pm.
Anyhow... there's no real point to this post, I just wanted to share my apprehensions. My friends are probably sick of hearing my whining by now, so I may as well whine to the internets!
Just Try to come Last and you will be ok.
Don't sweat things, seriously.
Had my first IM 70.3 in May. Did 2 Sprints last year then in November the Rev3 70.3 with swim cancelled and a MAJOR bike crash and one other shortened 70.3 in March. Went into the IM 70.3 also undertrained and not in too good of a physical condition but the event was so well handled that all nerves disappeared.
Just go with the flow in the swim, enjoy the bike and the run will be so well supported it should be a smorgasbord of food and drinks to keep you going. I took things slow and had a BLAST.
I survived! And just like OldTryGuy, I also took it slow and had an awesome time (though I didn't get a "good time" ;))!
The worst part of the day was forgetting my Garmin in the car, so I had no concept of pace. I managed to borrow a watch from someone, so I at least knew the time. Every 10 km on the bike and 1 km on the run they posted a sign, so I spent a few minutes calculating the pace in my head. It was actually kind of entertaining, and occupied my thoughts every now and then.
Despite this, I actually did it almost exactly as anticipated, and came in just under 7 hours :)
I might have gone a little too easy on the bike - I didn't pass people up hills like I usually do because I was focused on getting food into me and saving energy for the run. The course was pretty much uphill for the first half (750 m elevation gain), then downhill in the second half. This was great for getting a rest before the run, but a bit of a headwind and some light rain started. This made my hands so cold that I couldn't shift my front derailleur anymore! Fortunately, I was stuck in the small ring, which I tend to use anyway, but I probably could have used the big ring on the gentle downhills.
The run might have been my favourite part. I just went nice and slow, particularly during the first 5-6 km where I couldn't feel my feet. I walked through aid stations to drink water, and I walked the steepest bits of the hills. The last big hill is right before the 5 km remaining mark, and at the top of the hill I realized I could make it in under 7 hours if I pushed... so I did!
All in all, I probably could have pushed more, but I doubt I would have felt as good or had such a good time.
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