19 Days until the TRI …. oh, and turning 44.

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Training
Tags: , , ,

Is it really July 12th today?  I can’t believe how fast this summer is flying by.  Selfishly, I have to admit that I am looking forward to the Fall.  This has been one of the hottest summers in Austin with the lowest rainfall since 1942.

We have been over 100 degrees more than two dozen times already and we still have a long, long, LONG way to go.

As the calendar continues to move forward there are 8 races approaching over the next 16 weeks, no two of them are the same.

July 19 – Splash and Dash (750 M swim, 3K run)

July 31 – Jack’s Generic Tri (500 M swim, 13.8 bike, 3.1 run)

August 13 – Jaylie.org 5K

Sept. 5 – Capital of TX Tri (10K relay leg)

October 2 – IBM Uptown Classic 10K

October 9 – Denver Rock N’ Roll Half-Marathon

November 6 – New York City Marathon

Obviously NYC is going to be the “A” race this Fall, along with October’s IBM Uptown Classic.  Two feature events where I hope to prepare my best, show up focused and determined and hopefully post PR’s at each race.

If I can pull that off I would achieve my most pie in the sky goal for 2011 which was to PR at every distance from the 1-mile to the Marathon. 

But there is something about doing something for the first time that takes on extra meaning.  Jack’s Generic Tri on my 44th birthday will be my first ever Triathlon.

There are not too many things that you can do for the first time at age 44 that you are still excited about, especially athletically.  I know that I am poised to make just about every rookie triathlon mistake in the book on July 31st.

No matter how much I train for the event, practice my transitions from swim to bike and bike to run, something is bound to go wrong.  That is just the nature of the beast.  It is a complicated race that tests many different disciplines and muscle groups all at the same time, and all at some level of fatigue after the swim.

I have really been hitting the swim hard trying to cram a lot of learning and improvement into the last 16 weeks.  My swim coach Claudia continues to push me and make small technical changes to my form to help me get faster.

Just this past week she changed the way that my hands enter the water at the top of my stroke and the way I catch and pull the water through and past my body as I glide.

The result yesterday was a 4 minute 15 second improvement during a 1.4 mile Open Water Swim on the lake.

Now, just the fact that I am now swimming 2,250 Meters or 1.4 miles continuously without a pause or break at this point is pretty remarkable.  4 months ago I honestly could not swim the length of our pool one time without stopping.

But to drop my time at that distance to 55:57 has me very encouraged with just a little less than 3 weeks to go before Jack’s.

I continue to work hard on my bike days and practice pushing through the low gears and staying in the aero position down over my bars on the Tri bike.

Yesterday a new aero helmet arrived just in time for me to get a few rides in it to get comfortable prior to race day.

Aero Helmet

The helmet will reduce drag and improve efficiency as I race over the course, reducing my “profile” and making me more aero.  Over a SPRINT TRI I may only pick up 30 or 40 seconds.  At the half-ironman distance, that type of reduction in drag can mean as much as 3 or 4 minutes.

In the end, it will be all about the run for me at Jack’s.  No matter how my first two events go, the run is where I am looking to make my mark.  I am going to go out with the intention of posting the fastest run time in my Age Group.

If I can swim the 500 Meters in 11 minutes, bike in 42 minutes and run in 2o:30, I’ll be looking at a total time with 3 1/2 minutes added in transitions of 1:17:00.

My stretch goal is to be somewhere below 1:16:00 on race day.

Will I get there?  Tough to tell.  I think I will know a whole lot more after next Tuesday night’s splash and dash where I get my first taste of swimming “in a crowd” with arms and legs going in every direction.

Exciting times – first birthday I can say I’ve been looking forward to in a long, long time.

  1. Cortney says:

    I am so excited that you are doing the Splash and Dash! It’s such a fun race! See you there!

  2. Jodi says:

    Can’t wait to hear how all of these races go Joe! You will be great I am certain of that!

    • Joseph Marruchella says:

      Hi Jodi! Keep up with your great training, you are looking perfect!

      Not sure all those events will go exactly the way I want, but we will do our best!


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