Saturday, July 18, 2009

Countdown to Oxnard

No training since Wednesday's commute to/from work, fatigue has left my legs, I'm getting ready to do final maintenance on the bike, and I just need to pack. Things are winding down before I head out to Oxnard for packet pick-up and to (slowly) preview the course before tomorrow's race. Here are my plans:

Swim: My first ocean race and first mass start. First thing to do will be to go out into the ocean well before the start and get covered by the cold water until I get used to it and my breathing returns to normal. Then I'll be ready for the race. As for the start, it depends on how many people are in my wave. On the one hand I don't particularly want to get pummelled by all the bodies but on the other hand I will likely be faster than most of them. I suspect I'll take it easy at the start but then speed it up once I've convinced myself that I'm okay. I'm hoping those years of high school water polo will come in handy.

T1: I practiced getting in and out of my shoes yesterday and that's all still good. I have practiced getting out of my wetsuit so that should not be a problem. The shoes will be on the bike so it's just a matter of getting out of the wetsuit (halfway done as soon as I get out of the water), putting on my helmet, and going. I'll bring my sunglasses but I don't think I'll wear them. Should be fast. I'll have a water bottle handy in case I need to rinse my feet after the beach run.

Bike: The course is supposed to be "pancake flat", which is good news for a clydesdale like me. I will have the Garmin waiting for me on the bike so I can use that to gauge my speed. I'll find a speed that I want to be at and make sure I at least stay above that. Flat and only 7 or 8 turns (including one that's 180 degrees), I'm hoping to keep it somewhere above 20 mph. No holding back for the run.

T2: Make sure I'm out of my shoes well before T2. Then it's rack bike, helmet in backpack, put shoes on (no socks), grab race belt and go (putting belt on as I'm heading towards the exit).

Run: Ideally I'd leave T2 in first place in my division to balance out the run :-). My 5k at UCLA was just under 35 minutes so I do want to shave a few minutes off that. The plan here is just to find a hard pace, stick with it, and leave it all on the course. I won't be taking the Garmin with me from the bike so my pace will be based on pain. Sounds like fun!

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