Some of you may have noticed the new countdown over in my sidebar. That’s right. I’ve registered for my first 70.3 distance race.
(For you non-triathletes out there, a 70.3, sometimes called a half iron distance race, is a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run.)
I can’t decide if I’m terrified or excited. Mostly excited. A little terrified, but not of the race, just of the training I’m going to have to do to get there. I’m confident I can cover the distance. The 8.5 hour time limit? Well, it’s doable. But I want to be comfortable with that time limit. I want to be able to say “Yeah, I can totally do this within the time allotted, no worries.”
I played with a time calculator for a while. Based on my results at Giant Acorn, if I can keep up those paces at double the speed, I’ll have an hour for transitions in order to stay within the time limits. Of course, that was a stupidly fast run for me, and I’m not sure I can keep that up for a half marathon.
Then I put in my worst times for each segment (Colonial Beach swim, Fort Ritchie Bike, Williamsburg run). That put me at 8:37 before transition. Of course, that’s a terrible way to guess a pace because the Colonial Beach swim happened during a rainstorm, the Fort Ritchie bike got changed last minute and I had to walk a hill, plus the second half of the course is all uphill, and at Williamsburg, it was eleventy billion degrees so I walked so I didn’t pass out.
So then I just looked at my Williamsburg paces. After all, Augusta could be hot. So what happens if I have to walk a good chunk of the run? Victory! 40 minutes for transition.
Of course, these calculations are really meaningless, but what they tell me is that if I stick to my training, this is totally doable. I know I can cover the distance, it’s just that time limit that scares me. Which is my typical feeling about races.
I’m spending the winter really focusing on my bike skills, plus I have my shiny new bike which has yet to participate in a race. So my plan is to build up enough speed that whatever happens on the run, I will cross that finish line with time to spare.
And most importantly, I have a number of friends who are also racing and a few who have commented that they will come to cheer and/or sherpa, so either way, it’s going to be a great time.