Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Countdown to Merced

With my high school class's 30-year reunion happening the night before, obviously the Merced Gateway Triathlon isn't my big "A" race of the season. However, I'm not so elite that I'm hoping to podium in my "A" races so it all comes out in the wash. The weather forecast says it should be perfect racing weather Sunday morning and I'm looking forward to the race.

The Swim

800 meter swim in a 50-meter pool so I don't have to worry about wetsuits, freezing, or overheating. Ideally I'll be swimming at a 1:40/100 yd pace but, really, I'll be swimming at a 1:50/100 yd pace. Prediction: 15:00. Note that last year they didn't have timing chips so I'll be taking the Garmin along on the bike and run and derive my swim and T1 time from that and my overall time.

The Bike

24 miles of flat and rollers on country roads. I recall one significant roller but nothing steep. The race is also draft-legal so I hope I can do some wheel-sucking. Ideally I'd average 20mph but, really, I'd be happy to have a 19mph average. Drafting could really help this, though. Prediction: 1:15.

The Run

Six miles on a pretty flat course through neighborhoods and on a neighborhood jogging trail. Since the run is much flatter than San Dimas I am not going to save my legs so much on the bike. That could be a wise calculation or a disaster. Only one way to find out. Ideally I'd like to do this in under an hour but, really, I'll be happy to hit an hour. Prediction: 1:01.

The Race

Adding those times up plus throwing in two minutes for transitions and we end up with an overall race time prediction of 2:33. My race predictions tend to end up being really optimistic because I always neglect to take into account the cumulative effect of a triathlon so take them with a huge grain of salt...especially since that time would have won second place in my age group last year. I don't think so.

I do have two goals and one wish for the race:

Goal #1: Beat my friend Von. It's his second tri in ten years so this seriously needs to happen.

Goal #2: Beat my friend Lisa to the turnaround on the run. She can pass me after that. This might actually be do-able. I worry that I'll fry myself on the run trying to do it but sometimes you need to do that.

Wish: Come in 30 minutes faster than last year's time of 3:01:22. This one I'm really curious about. I doubt I'll hit that but my time should still be a huge improvement over last year.

It's good to have wishes. It's one of the things that separates us from chimps.

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