Friday, 10 July 2009

Another 48 hours...

Relaxing in our hotel room with 20 minutes before we pop into town for some dinner I thought I'd steal the chance to scribble down a few pre-Ironman thoughts...

For some reason, probably the taper, I never feel that sharp going into an Ironman event and for number five it's business as usual... my legs are aching, my belly feels a little large and my head is suffering from a severe inferiority complex compared to the huge amount of bike bling and ripped athletes it's surrounded by. However, with 12 marathons and four Ironman triathlons under my belt, experience is telling me that come 7am on Sunday morning the flag will drop and everything will be great.

We've swum, biked and run most of the course over the last week and there's certainly nothing to be scared of. The swim's been changed to a deep water start which although will probably make it more physical over the first 400 metres or so it's nothing either of us haven't dealt with before. There's also an 'Aussie exit' after about 1800m where we have to run over a timing mat on an island which provides a great opportunity to re-adjust wonky goggles and will give those tracking online the first idea of how their athlete is doing... 13 slots in my age-group so top 15 will probably do it. The bike has changed since I rode 5.11 in 2007 and is now two laps instead of three, the amount of climbing has reduced slightly so hopefully it's slightly faster now? What climbs there are a easy enough to sit down and 'spin' up allowing those of us capable of sticking to a pacing strategy a significant advantage over those who aren't ;) Finally the run, a little complicated but pretty much pancake flat except for the odd underpass and one that I enjoyed greatly two years ago.

So with less than 48 hours to go it's about time I finalised my goals....

Obviously the key goal is to qualify for Kona and with 13 slots available in my age group (35-39) 'plan A' is rather simple - top 13 and the celebrations can begin on Sunday afternoon! In terms of time 13th place last year went to 9:41:09 but with the standard seemingly rising by around ten minutes per year at the moment, I'm guessing that a sub 9.30 will be required. So, remembering that it's actually about position not time here are my individual split targets...

The transition is very small here and with a swim pb of 54 minutes my first target is probably my most conservative. 

Swim + T1 - 60 minutes

Having ridden 5.11 on a slower course in 2007 and 5.09 on a slightly long (2km due to road works) German course last year (despite blowing at around 130k) combined with a significant increase in bike fitness over the last six months my second target what I think I can do yet still be in a position to run well.

Bike + T2 - 5 hours 5 minutes

Finally, my run target is my most ambitious but the weather is set to be the coolest of any Ironman I've done, I ran 3.31 in Lanza on a tougher course despite running on empty for a good 15km and I've run this pace or faster off at least five 100 mile training rides in 2009.

Run - 3 hours 20 minutes

Total 9:25:00

So, there we are - in 48 hours we'll know all the answers!

Speak soon and thanks for all the support,


p.s. A few recent occurrences have underlined the fact that as serious as I take all this it really, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't matter. So whether I come first, last or DNF I can assure you that a) I'll have given my best and b) will be celebrating that fact in style with a large smile and an even larger ice-cream!


Khara Mills said...

As with H I've already said it, but best of luck for Sunday Tom, just go go go. Will be following you and can't wait to hear all about it. Let us know if someone else is twittering for you!

runtilyoudrop said...

Tom you know you have the guns for the job. Go out there and take your slot.

Anonymous said...

Hawaii is calling. We'll be watching you both all the way. Have a fantastic day and enjoy every painful step. It's supposed to hurt. Really hurt. Go kill it!