This race is so small that there is currently only 5 people in my age group. So when you hear me brag about being in the top 5 you'll know it's a bit of tongue in cheek. I'm actually fairly confident I'll be the last in my age group given that most people in the 30-34 range are much faster than me. I usually like to hide in the middle of a large pack but there's no chance here. There's no other females from my training group in my age range so I won't really know who I'm competing against while I'm out on the field. But in the overall picture I think I'll be somewhere in the middle (at least based on last year's results).
So I thought I'd get some pre-race thoughts down since I have some down time this afternoon to think about it.
SWIM - I will survive the swim. I might have to stop for a few seconds to breathe or walk along the lanes (depending on depth) but I will get through it. I've had increasing problems with calf cramps while swimming but I think it's from pointing my foot too much as I kick so I'll watch that in the pool tomorrow. Once I get through the swim I think I'll relax more for the rest of the race. I'm still planning on my goal of 4:30-5:00 m:ss. This time will put me towards the back of the group time wise but I shouldn't be the slowest one there overall.
BIKE - I love biking now. It is my favorite part of training. I truly wish I had a road bike instead of a mountain bike because I do have to work much harder on the mountain bike to keep up. But I've gotten used to my bike and will do fine. Goal is still 55-60 minutes for the bike with a hope of going faster. I'll just use my watch to keep an eye on things since I don't have a computer/GPS on the bike. However, I don't want to kill my heart rate by going too fast and then crashing for the run. So it is a matter of balance.
RUN - The run has been reduced from 5k to 2.6 miles (due to construction on the regular route). This means I can push myself a bit harder. I'm not entirely sure I'll be faster than 11 min/miles but my hope is race day adrenaline helps me go a bit faster. Unfortunately for me, for most people the run is their best part so the reduced distance helps them too.
Accessories - I have tri shorts and a top that I'll be swimming in. I have not yet tried them out for swimming but I have biked and ran in them at least a couple of times. Given that it will still be very warm on Saturday morning I think the wet clothes while on the bike won't be a problem. All I'll have to do in transition is put on socks and shoes (and helmet of course) which I've practiced for during bricks so that's not a problem either (except I'll be more nervous than I have been at practice).
Nutrition - I will use GU Chomps during the bike and run (if I feel I still need it at that point). I've gotten used to getting my water bottle out of the holster and drinking while on the bike so I'll rehydrate with Nuun on the bike. I'll have a smaller bottle with just water in it for the run. I'm more worried about eating breakfast in the morning since I get race day jitters and hate eating that early in the morning. I've done fairly well with Eggo waffles with PB and honey in the past so that's my plan. Maybe some type of breakfast shake as well.
Most of all I want to have fun at this race while pushing myself to do more than I think I can. There will be some moments of misery but I want to remember the fun parts more. After this my training will go back to mostly runs so that I can prepare for the half marathon. A part of me is not looking forward to it but I know I need to get more comfortable with my runs again so this will also be a good thing.