Friday, September 25, 2009

Not According To Plan

My plan for this morning was to get up and go for a quick run. Nothing too fast or serious, just one more stretch of the legs before the race. However, after having gotten up before 5 AM yesterday and staying up until about 1 AM last night, it just wasn't happening. I tried to get up. I snoozed once, twice, five times ... okay, I'll be honest, I snoozed for an hour and 15 minutes. At that point, Drew was poking me saying that I should get out of bed. But I just couldn't do it. I was still so exhausted that the thought of getting up was just excruciating. I have justified this to myself for the following reasons: (1) I have already spent enough hours working out this week according to my overall plan and (2) being well rested going into the race is the whole point of the taper week.

I won't have a chance to squeeze in a workout this evening and it's unlikely that I'll do anything tomorrow, so I guess now the only thing left to do is to lay out my race plan. At this point, the weather is looking pretty dismal. It's supposed to start raining Saturday evening and rain right on through Sunday morning until the late afternoon. Oh, and it will most likely only be in the mid-50s in the morning during the race. We just got an e-mail from the race this morning that said: "Sunday's weather forecast is calling for a chance of showers. In the event there is inclement weather and we do get rain, the race will go on. We will take into consideration your safety first and that of the volunteers. If the weather does get too severe, we have the right to modify the race. These changes, if any, will only be altered on race morning. We are looking forward to a safe and dry race for you all!"

I am trying to be a good sport about this. I want to say that it doesn't impact me at all. Except that I know that it does. I am hoping against hope that these weather predictors are getting it wrong this time and that it'll stop raining Saturday night and won't be raining Sunday morning. But, since I know it will be cold and most likely rainy, all I can do is try to alter my plan a little bit to fit the conditions.

I want to try to get to the race on the earlier side. Transition opens at 5 and I think I'd be happy arriving around that time. I would rather set everything up and try to get out my nervous jitters at the race site. I'm also hoping that by getting there early, I can sneak into the water before-hand to get acclimated to the water temperature. Clearly, nothing about the day will be warm, so maybe it won't be such a shock in the water!

For the swim, what I want to do is just settle into a relaxed rhythm. I know that it is likely to have a lot of elbows flying, but I'm hoping that I can not pay attention to that and just keep a nice easy pace on the swim. I want to make sure I don't let the adrenaline get the best of me from the start, so I think it's going to be really important to just take it easy.

In T1, I plan on putting on a long-sleeved shirt and my biking vest in order to cut down on some of the windchill on the bike in 56 degree weather. This will actually be useful as my biking vest has bigger pockets than my tri top and this way I can carry my stuff with me more easily (nutrition, sunglasses, etc.).

For the bike, I'm hoping I can remember to drink often and make sure I'm eating. It's going to be harder for me to remember to drink if it's not hot, so I'm really going to have to make a conscious effort to do so. I also need to remember to try to hold back a little bit as I need to save something in my legs for the run. I really felt like I was holding back on Thursday at the brick, so I'm hoping to remember that and carry over some of that.

In T2, I may or may not take off the biking vest and long-sleeved shirt depending on how I'm feeling temperature wise and what the weather is currently like. If it's raining, I think I'll definitely wear a running hat to try to keep some of the rain out of my eyes.

For the run, I'm going to just take it easy and remember that while this is a race, I'm just there to do my personal best. I know that at some point during the run, probably 2-3 miles in, I'll be exhausted from the effort of the day. But I think if I can run through that, I'll be able to finish the race running. I know that I will stop and walk through the aid stations, as I think at that point I'll really need the water and I'd prefer to make sure I'm actually drinking the water instead of spilling it down my shirt (which is what would happen if I ran). I am actually thinking of trying to incorporate some pick-ups into the run, because it seems to be easier for me to go further when I can keep myself busy with the speeding up and slowing down.

All in all, I think anything under 4 hours will make me extremely happy and proud of all that I've accomplished in the past seven months. It's still crazy to me to think that I've put in all this effort and now the day is almost here. I'm sure I'll be nervous and worried until that morning when they tell us that we can either do the full triathlon or the plans will be adjusted, but I'm going to just keep hoping that I can do the race that I've been training for.

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