How To Do It All Wrong
I have a sprint triathlon this weekend and, yet again, I am a bit under trained for it. I haven’t done any of the “brick” workouts (back to back workouts swim/bike or bike/run) that I planned to and I haven’t been swimming in weeks and weeks. I feel a low level nervousness about it, but probably not as nervous as I should feel given the paltriness of my recent training.
I think my feelings of misplaced semi-confidence come from the fact that I did a sprint triathlon last September and I did just about everything wrong that I could possibly have done wrong, so this year’s tri can’t possibly be as hard as last years.
I just have to avoid doing the following things and I will almost certainly PR:
- choosing the hardest damn sprint tri in the state. The tri last year was ridiculous: frigid water, incredibly steep hills on the bike course, steep hills on the running course, and three flights of wooden stairs (!) on the running course. The course for Sunday is advertised as flat and fast. I like flat. Flat is good.
- avoid breakfast. Who needs to eat before doing 2.5 hours worth of racing? Not me, apparently. I had maybe half a bagel before the race last year. This was stupid.
- racing like hell on the swim leg. Swimming is my strong suit and last year I got caught up in the swim and raced as hard as I could on that leg. The first wave of swimmers were the elites. I was in the second wave (Athenas and Clydesdales) and we started 4 minutes back. One of my favorite pictures is me exiting the water, red faced and cap askew in my size 20 bright blue swim suit. Next to me is a male elite in a sleek black wetsuit. I had swam down at least three of the elites. I was pumped. And then I started running for the transition and realized I was about to hurl. This year I am going hold back on the swim and go about 50% as fast as I think I should.
- Drinking only 3 sips of water. I was so nervous on the bike part last year (see:incredibly steep hills) that I refused to let go of the handlebars of my bike in order to grab my water bottle. I was on the bike for over an hour. I drank maybe an inch worth of water and totally ignored my stash of gels and energy chews. As you can imagine, this didn’t leave me bursting with energy for the run.
My plan for this weekend is simple: don’t be dumb, swim slower than I think I should, drink more than I think I should, and eat the damn gels.
I’m hoping to be done in less than two and a half hours and, as always, to not finish last. Wish me luck!