I am now less than one week away from my biggest race of the year, Rev 3 Cedar Point. I feel really good about where my fitness is at heading into this race, in fact this will be the first race of the entire 2011 season where I am genuinely pleased with my fitness heading in. There is no doubt that I am in my best fitness of the year, and I think I may be in the best shape of my life although I’ll wait until I see the results from this next block of races before I make that judgment. Within about ten days of racing Lake Placid I could feel that my cycling had reached another level and things have continued to progress from there.
Although this will be my third crack at the Ironman distance, this will be the first time I am giving myself permission to really get in and “race”. My Ironman debut, a year ago, was all about experiencing the distance and learning. In Lake Placid I went in knowing that I was not ideally fit and instead focused on executing a perfect race. Although I didn’t execute a perfect race I did execute a good race and the plan worked as I finished 5th on the day when I’m confident there were more than five people more fit than I was at the time. Those first two races, I raced very conservative and against myself. Come Sunday I plan to race the competition and will not be afraid to make some moves and make the race happen. Heading into Lake Placid I completed just two training rides of 100+ miles. Now I’ve completed five. I don’t have a specific race plan for this Sunday, but I know at some point the race will open up and there’ll be an opportunity to make something happen. I plan to take that opportunity.
My goals for this race are as follows:
1. Improve upon my 5th place finish in Lake Placid
1a. Put myself in a position where I have an opportunity to podium (top-3)
2. Run a sub-3 hour marathon
3. Set a new PR (8:52)
The one big thing I haven’t done well in either of my first two Ironmans has been marathon execution. In both my first two races I ran significantly slower than I know I was capable. This was due to both poor execution (running the first half too hard), as well as lack of mental toughness the second half. This will be one of my major focal points for Sunday, barring extreme weather there is no excuse for me not to run a sub-3 marathon. The one major change I’ve made from Lake Placid to now is a complete overhaul of my race nutrition. I’ve seen benefits from this in training and I’m excited to put it to the ultimate test on Sunday. Hopefully implementing caffeine into my nutritional plan will give me the extra boost I need to stay strong the last half of the marathon. That, plus being mentally stronger and making myself suffer like I’ve never suffered before, something I’m mentally preparing myself to do.
Follow me online Sunday www.rev3tri.com. Race begins at 6:50am, hopefully I’ll be finishing around 3:30pm. Wishing everyone racing this weekend a good, safe day.