So I'm sitting here at stupid o'clock in the morning and I thought I'd write a blog post, but I had no idea what to write. I wrote my thoughts on Twitter and Steve Spiers the creator or 100 Pushups suggested that I make some predictions. So here goes....
Heck, what is there to predict? Presuming I don't get too beaten up and the sea isn't too rough I should be out of the water somewhere around the hour no matter what I'm wearing. As a reasonably strong swimmer I've been looking forward to the swim, especially as all the old speedsuits (cheatsuits) have been outlawed and they were such an advantage to those not so strong. It appears that most of the swim companies have managed to find a way around the ban though and there appears to be plenty of new legal go-faster on the way to Kona which all the serious folks will snap up at $300 a pop. I certainly won't be 'splashing out' on something I'll only have the chance to use once so I guess it'll just mean some of those uber-bikers will be a bit further up the field.
Ah Heck! Who knows! I think I'm stronger on the bike and my new bike 'should' be faster than the old QR. I've still had limited time riding it though and although it feels very comfortable I haven't had anything even slightly resembling a bike fit on it so there's no way of knowing I will, or could be. Almost every bike ride I've done on it has been has been well in excess of 20mph so I'd hope that with the race day buzz, other competitors around me and less stop-starting than I have in day to day traffic I should at least match that speed. If I can ride at the same intensity as at Ironman Florida when I rode 5:00 with an average HR of 119bpm then I'll be very happy. The aim will be to ride 5:30 and any improvement on that will be a bonus......... Of course, if the wind is on form and batters us on the outward leg I'll probably be wasted by the turnaround and will just be happy to reach T2, whatever the time.
The only real aim for the bike is to get off and be able to run. If that's 5hrs then fantastic, if it's 6hrs then that's fine too.
Now of course the run depends sooo much on how I get through the bike. Although running is classed as one of my strengths I haven't yet 'nailed' an Ironman run course. I've every confidence that my run/walk routine can get me close to 3hrs 'if' I come off the bike feeling as good as I felt at Florida. The hard bit is not running too strong in the early miles when it all feels so easy. At Florida my HRM told me I was running like an idiot but I ignored it. In Kona my HRM will be the boss and I've dropped my run sections from last years 20mins to 10mins as used in Wolves Marathon. If my quads start cramping up then the run sections will be shorter in the hope that everything eases. The idea is to get round causing my body as little stress as possible. When I get into the last 10k, if everything is feeling good then I may opt to pick the pace up a little or miss the occasional walk break. I'll make that decision if and when the situation arises though.
So, overall I'm thinking an hour for the swim, possibly 5h30m for the bike with maybe 30mins either side depending on the conditions and then 'hopefully' between 3-4hrs for the run. So there goes, somewhere between the miracle 9hrs (yeah right) and hopefully the right side of 11hrs. I've set myself up to be shot down, let's see what happens.
The inspiring factor ----- It it's all going well the fact that my Age Group was won in 9:22 last year will be firmly lodged in my head.
The worrying factor ----- I know quite a few folks who've raced Kona, all of them will no doubt have approached the race in much better condition than me, totally amped for the race and not one of them will have left anything to chance. Every one of them have A-type personalities and will have been totally dedicated to this one race. NOT ONE of them has had a good race. NOT ONE of them has broken the 10hour barrier!!! That fact alone scares the hell out of me.
Let's just hope that my 'take it as it comes' attitude works a little better than the folks who try to 'race' the event.
Now that I've finished spouting all that bilge I've just thought that maybe he meant predictions for the winners, so here goes :-
1) Andreas Raelert
2) Rasmus Henning
3) Chris Lieto
1) Chrissie Wellington
2) Julie Dibens
3) Mirinda Carfrae
Tomorrow (Friday) is my last day at work, Sunday we fly 13hrs from Heathrow to San Fransisco and then 5hrs from San Fransisco to Kona. Then the fun starts ;-)
Quick Bike update
Ok, so the deal with the bike is that the rear ZIPP 808 has an issue!! There has at some point been a dink and the carbon is coming away from the Aluminium rim. It's hardly noticable unless you're looking for it and of course I'd done 500+miles by the time it was noticed. I contacted Wiggle who contacted ZIPP and they said "Don't ride it!", but Wiggle couldn't/wouldn't supply me with another wheel. I took the wheel to my local ZIPP dealer who said that ZIPP would (understandably) throw it out as a warranty claim because it had had a dink. Question is, was it before or after I recieved the bike? I'm confident that it hasn't happened, but Wiggle aren't going to admit anything and will just say I must have twatted it. So, I'm guessing that I'm stuck with it.
I've ridden it constantly and it seems fine but I'm just not brave enough to risk it in Hawaii, so I'll be using my old ZIPP 404's which I was having back so that I could use the front wheel if it's real windy. That's the story :-(