The week has finally come, N.O. 70.3 is upon us. I feel so ill prepared. My running has not come along with the heel issue and it has gotten only slightly better. Still hurts pretty bad after a long run or any kind of reasonably fast speed work. We'll see if it can hold up for 13.1 miles.
Last Wednesday we took a trip to New Orleans to swim the course. Forecast had thunderstorms and 25 mph winds, but we went anyway. The only saving grace was that the wind was out of the south. Got down there and it was perfect. The wind was blowing about 20, but since it was from the south the water just had a slight ripple. We ended up swimming 0.5 mile to the start and then swimming the 1.2 mile course. The water was actually too warm and my full sleeved wetsuit had me extremely warm. Every 5 minutes I would pull the neck down to let water in to cool me off. I could feel it coming out by my feet very warm. Ended up swimming around 38 minutes, which would be great come race day. Will be a little more crowded though, so I will be happy with 40 although not excited. Bad news is that some peeps from BR Tri went down Saturday and the wind was out of the north at about 20 mph and the waves were crashing to the top of the sea wall (3'-4'). A north wind or east wind will not be fun. The forecast for now has SW wind, which will be perfect for the swim.
Friday, I did my last longer brick before the race. Rode 40 miles in north Baton Rouge and then ran 5 miles. Went 19.2 on the bike and managed 8:50 pace on the run. That is not going to cut it for my goal. I need to hit around 19 on the bike and 9:00 pace on the run to have a chance at 5:45. The run is going to be the tough part...
Sunday, we loaded up Boggs' truck and 6 of us headed to Lake Charles for a quick "warm-up" race. It was a super short sprint of 500 meters/10 miles/2 miles. My buddy Jeremy was doing his first tri, which is the only reason I committed. The air temp was 40 at race time and the water temp was 66 due to the recent rain showers. Left my wetsuit at home so I wouldn't be tempted to swim in it. The swim was miserable and I only managed to go 9:11, which is only 1:50/100 m. Couldn't get my legs going on the bike and missed the 20 mph standard. Went 19.7. The one shining moment was my T2, 37 seconds. Second fastest T2 in the race. Executed the flying dismount perfectly, hustled in and racked my bike flawlessly, slipped on my shoes with my Yanks laces and hit the run course. Was happy with my run, especially considering my lack of speed work over the last 2 months. Managed 7:42's. Best of all, a fellow age grouper, Br Tri friend and caravan member got beat by my excellent transitions. We had the same swim time and run time, but he beat me on the bike by a full minute. However, my transitions were 2 minutes faster total. He passed me on the bike at mile 6, but I caught and passed him in T2 and never looked back. I knew he was lurking on the run, but I saved a little for the last 1/4 mile and kept him at bay. Got 5th in age group and 37 overall out of 119.
Doing low volume, speed work for this week. Swam 1,000 yds this afternoon and going to do a short 5k tomorrow at 8:00 pace. Going to swim another 1,000 yds on Wednesday with a short run and then bike about 15 miles on Thursday. Short run on Friday and then rest Saturday. Race day early on Sunday. Good luck to others doing the race and to my buddy from Houston doing the Lonestar 1/2 this weekend in Galveston. Wish they weren't the same weekend because I enjoyed Lonestar and was looking to do it again. Maybe next year.