After picking ourselves up off of the canvas this weekend from a nasty viral infection, we are staring race week dead in the eye. All things considered, last week was not a total loss as we still were able to get in 30 miles on the bike late Friday, a 3,000 meter swim on Saturday morning before our 40-mile bike ride and a half-marathon on Sunday at just a tick over 7:30 pace.
For someone who had a hard time getting out of bed as late as Thursday morning, that really isn’t too bad a weekend. We missed about 70 miles of “work” during the week, but it really isn’t anything we are going to miss. We are going to stick to the plan this week, run easy, swim smooth and after we pick up our bike from the shop after a race-week tune-up on Wednesday, go for a short ride. Then it will be all about packing everything we need and getting mentally ready for the toughest race of our life.
If things go perfectly, we will race more than an hour and a half longer than we did at is past springs’ steamy Boston Marathon. Two hours longer than our epic battle at the New York City Marathon 11 months ago. We are in for a long day on Sunday – of that there is no question, but instead of stressing out or worrying about all the things that can go wrong on race day, instead I am focusing on the things I can control. Namely, my attitude.
We are fit, trained, healthy and confident.
That makes us one other thing when it comes to racing.
We have the luxury of being a nobody in Kerrville. In only our 5th ever triathlon, only a handful of athletes know who we are. Very similar to the morning where we showed up in Pittsburgh in 2009 with a high bib number and nobody paying us any attention in the corral. It was our 2nd marathon, and out of nowhere we ran with great heart and determination, gobbled up the bridges and hills on our way to a Boston time by more than 2 minutes in our second attempt at the distance.
On Sunday we are looking for a similar performance.
A solid swim somewhere around 45 minutes for 1.2 miles.
A fierce bike leg where we average between 20 and 21 mph for 56 miles.
And when we hit transition 2, switch out of our bike shoes into our race flats, more than 3.5 hours after the starting horn, our race will begin.
The swimmers and cyclists who hold an edge on us to this point better be ready to hurt if they hope to hold us off.
We are going to settle in over the first loop of the run course and download every detail. Every flat section, every turn, the off-road area with the smoothest track and the portions where we can push things.
Then it will be time to go to work.
We are going to run the second loop faster than the first and the third loop faster than the second. Constantly pushing pace, lengthening our stride and gobbling up runners in front of us.
When we start the fourth and final loop of 3.28 miles we are going to run it in under 21 minutes. The final mile sub 6:30.
As Steve Prefontaine once said, “somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”
Exactly Pre. Bring it on I say.