My goals for the race are these:
- swim at a 2:00/100 yd pace for a 43 minute leg. Since it's a 2-loop swim, I need to be at 20 minutes at the first loop or better. I'm thinking it will be a wetsuit swim (lows in the 60's now in Miami for a while; last year temps were the same and it was wetsuit-legal), so a 2:00 pace is very reasonable. I did a 1000 meter swim in the pool yesterday with baggy swim shorts in 22 min, taking it really easy.
- bike at a 20.5 mph pace for a 2:44 leg. This course is 13 miles out to a 2-lap loop of 15 miles each and then 13 back in again. I plan on taking a gel at the start of each phase of the course, and one at the end, giving me 6 gels, plus I'll drink my aero-bottle empty before reaching the aid station where the beginning of the loop is. So that will be about 600 calories of gels and 4 water bottles full of fluids.....you know what, I'll go ahead and bring one more bottle to fill, probably on the first leg, to wash the swim out of my mouth and "pre-load" some fluids during that first 13 miles.
- Run at an 11:00/mile pace for a 2:25 leg. Now I'm not planning on negative splitting this bad boy. I've tried that concept and it just doesn't work for me, not in the water, not on the bike and certainly not on the run! From past 'long" bricks, I know I can ride at 20.5 mph and get off and start running under 10:00. I'll fight for 13 miles and do what I can to come in under 11:00.
- It's all going to be about HR. I'll do my best to keep my HR on the bike under 150. That's the ticket. If the wind is right, and I'm feeling really good, and stars all align, I can ride 21mph at that HR, and that will give me that much more buffer room on the run.
- First transition under 4:30 minutes - there's a long run from the water to the transition area. Last year I did T1 in 4:46. I'm better at this than I was last year. Last year I did T2 in 4:21 - shameful! Other than it being a really big transition area, there's no reason for me to have had such a long T2 - a 2:00 T2 is typical, so I'll put the goal at 2:30 since there must be a set of Lineman from the Dolphins there making T1 and T2 times so long.
So that puts me at 5:59:00 - cutting it close for my ultimate goal of coming in under 6 hrs. There's a million things that could go right and wrong, so I'll do everything I can to remember to have fun, stay positive, and keep fighting for the finish line!