Friday, August 14, 2009

Countdown to Hansen Dam

This is, literally, the race I have been training for all year. It was August 17 last year when I took the mountain bike I had been given by a neighbor down the driveway to start riding again. I saw traffic cones on the other side of the street and, when I got back from the ride (probably a whopping ten miles) I searched the net and found out than the cones were there for the Hansen Dam Triathlon. Right then I decided I was going to train for next year's race. Here we are, one year later, and it's time to HTFU.

Swim: The swim is in a man-made lake and the water is warm so no wetsuit. The start is down a somewhat narrow ramp so I expect things to be crowded at the start. My plan is to start near the front and go out fairly hard the first 50 yards so I can get away from the pack. The next 200 yards should be a cruise, and the last 200 yards I hope to pick up the pace. Sighting is going to be an issue just because it takes a bit out of me to do it. Still, I hope to come out towards the front of my age group. If I do the swim in ten minutes, I'll be happy.

T1: No wetsuit, shoes on the bike, no eating or drinking anything, and I want to actually run in T1 rather than just a jog so T1 should be fast.

Bike: This is my home course so I'd love to say that I am going to be lightning fast on the bike but I know I'm not a lightning fast rider yet. Still, I know where to shift, and know where to push, I know where to redline, I know where the bumps are, I know when to get out of the saddle, and I will be riding in front of my house with my children cheering and messages to me written in chalk on the road. I should know the course better than anyone else in the race so no excuses. Let's see if I can go under 30 minutes.

T2: Unfortunately, my Lock Laces arrived this week so I have not had time to break them in. I will be tying my shoes but I'm leaning towards no socks again. Also, I will be running while putting on my race belt, instead of my lame jogging in Oxnard, so this shouldn't be so bad.

Run: The big question here is: socks or no socks. If this was a regular road race there would be no question: no socks. However, this is a trail run and I am thinking that socks are going to help keep small rocks out of my shoes better than no socks. I am leaning towards no socks because T2 will be faster but I still don't know. In any event, the run is only 2.6 miles so I am going to run harder than usual. 25 minutes would be nice but I don't think I am capable of that yet. We'll see.

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