Friday, September 20, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe 2013 thoughts and preview

So it's almost here, Ironman Lake Tahoe... queue intimidating music.

My bike was shipped out with TBT along with a loaded gear bag, check.
Dogs set up with boarding, check.
Kids set up while we are gone, check.
Now, to pack and get ready to hit the friendly skies.

I've been collecting a list for the past two months on Google drive of all the things I think I will need for the race.  When traveling for a destination race, better to over pack than scrambling to find stuff at the race location. It's a long list and hopefully I have been squirlling it away in a spot and don't have to perform much hunting to get everything.

With the weather forecast going from 30 degrees at race start to maybe 65 for a high on race day, it's going to be a logistical challenge to figure out what clothing to put in what bag.  My best bet is to go with layers on the bike in T2.

Tri kit
Thick socks
Shoe covers - not sure if I will use them, but at least I will have them there.
Sleeveless vest
Arm warmers
Light jacket
Thick riding gloves

I figure with that, I will stay comfortable until the temps get up a little to shed the throw-away gear I got from Ebay.  Score.

Word has it that WTC will erect a clothing drop at an aid station that if you mark your gear, you can recover it after the race.  I'll mark my gear, but won't count on it.

Running isn't as much of an issue.  Just some fresh socks, anti-chafing cream in the socks and special spots, tri kit, visor and run run run.  There might be a cooling issue when the sun sets, if I'm still on the course.  I'm not too concerned with cold on the run.  I might keep the arm warmers from the bike.

So, that all goes into a STUFFED bag for check-in on the flight.  In addition to a few nutritional items I want to bring that I don't think I can get at the site, I won't be able to stuff it all in a carry on.  Sad.  Hopefully no lost luggage.  I think I'm ok to fly.

Do I have any realistic time goals?

I've mulled it over several times.  I THINK there are goals I could reach, but there are so many factors that could change the entire race, I don't want to cling to a time and get upset out there if I'm not going to meet it.


I think it will go ok as long as the wind is down.  Some pictures of 2-3 foot waves are not a happy site, but forecast is for calm winds.  We shall see.  But, assuming calm waters, I'm going full suit with a neoprene cap to keep body heat and hope that keeps me close to 1:10 out there.


This is the wild card.  There appears to be some great downhills for speed and some long grinding climbs.  My plan is to stay within 130 to 150 BPM heart rate.  Ya, seems low, but I'll have 26.2 miles to invest any leftover energy I felt I left on the bike.  Plus, being at altitude, I don't want to get too deep into energy debt without realizing it.

Keeping that in mind, from my long ride training days, I could get 112 miles from 6.5 to 7 hours, pending what types of drills I was doing.  So, I'm allowing a 6 to 7 hour time frame.  I'm hoping more on the 6 hour side, but the reality is that this is a whole new distance for me and I want to run, not walk the marathon.  Less is more.


I have trained horribly for past stand alone marathons.  Not enough volume and time to get to a comfortable level.  That being said, I can usually get 26.2 miles in under 4 hours.  I have by far spent more time running for training in this triathlon than any running only race training.  I think my legs are ready.  Now, what will they be like after 112 miles riding?  Not sure.  I've done my brick runs, but until you ride 112 miles at altitude and run 26.2 miles, you really don't know.

Hoping for the best.

But, the goal is to stay 140 BPM in the first 5 to 6 miles, getting 7 miles in per hour, and staying under 160 BPM for the remainder.  I suspect my legs and joints will be the limiting factors rather than my heart rate.  Just will boil down to how much I can HTFU.

I want to run the run, not shuffle or walk.  I'll walk aid stations, but run all else.

Final time?

Who knows.  Could be 12 hours or could be 14.  My first HIM was under 6 without really knowing what I was doing for training, nutrition and recovery.  I just went out and swam, biked and ran.  Now I'm a lot smarter with my training time and getting more out of my workouts.  I hope that's enough for a great race day.

Like I said, I don't really have a time goal.  I just want to get to the finish line and be aware and functional and have a good time.  This first Ironman is purely educational and experimental.  I figure I will incoroprate lessons learned at Ironman Chattanooga last year.

Speaking of, don't forget about the Ride to Give and Mended Little Hearts fundraiser for Ironman Chattanooga 2014!

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