Tuesday, April 2, 2013

And There It Was...

The other day I mentioned how I was nervous about a 5k race. What I didn't mention was that when I would think about the race, my heart would start racing and my anxiety level would skyrocket until started thinking about something else.  Since I my second triathlon (ever),  was the weekend following the 5k, I tried thinking about that race instead. Interestingly, the pending triathlon would not illicit the same response.  I felt no anxiety what so ever.

Well, the 5k is history and the next race is the Ice Breaker triathlon. This morning I started making a mental list of the things I needed to pack... and there it was... my heart started beating faster and I got that shaky feeling.  However, it was not as extreme as it was for the 5k.

I think that is why I like things like trail runs, duathlons, and triathlons.  Yes, many of the distances are the same, but so many other things are different. While I may have a predetermined "time to beat" in my head, the pressure to beat that time is much less because there are so many factors that could affect the race.

Making the Grade

Before the Bad Bass 1/2 Marathon trail run last summer, I saw a blog where the author assigned "grades" to her expected performance.  I decided to do the same. I don't remember what all my grades were, but an "F" was not finishing the race and an "A" was finishing in under two and a half hours.  I finished with a time of 2:22.27, which makes me think that I may have set the bar too low :-)

Here is my grading scale for Ice Breaker:

  •      A - 1:50 
  •      B - 2:00
  •      C - 2:10
  •      D - 2:20 or walking during the run
  •      F - Not finishing the race

I have no clue if these times are practical or not.  I talked to a teammate at practice last week and he said I should expected to spend 15-20 minutes on the swim.  The bike is a double loop of a course I have raced before.  My previous time for a single loop was 23 minutes.  And I'm using a 9 minute mile pace for the run (it is on trails).  Throw in 5 minutes of transition time and you get 20+46+36+5 = 1 hour and 47 minutes (I rounded up a bit just to be safe).  

At least with my grading system, if I don't beat the time I want, I still have a way to judge my performance.  Now I can relax and focus on more important things like which outfit will look best in the race photos!