Woohoo! I love racing! I have been looking forward to this race this whole month! Me and my snazzy new Pearl Izumi Tri Shorts are going Toccoa, Georgia to swim, bike, run and sweat my spandex-clad butt off!
Going into my second Olympic Distance triathlon, I have a little more confidence about what to expect and how to approach this distance. The course at Assault on Cherokee (AOC) was TOUGH and while I think Toccoa will be no cake walk, the ride and run courses should be much more manageable. I did the sprint at Toccoa last year and I remember the first half of the course being all downhill with a few tough climbs on the backside of the loop. But then again, I was also racing on a mountain bike so every incline was a doozie back then!
The course for the Olympic distance is pretty much the same as the sprint from last year, with one out and back about halfway through the loop to add the 10 extra miles. This should make it fun to pick off some of the slower sprint racers on the way in. I know, I know that sounds extremely competitive and mean, but I rarely pass anyone on the bike so it is kinda fun when I get the chance 🙂
My overall goal is to race well, have fun and beat my time from my first Olympic Race (and since the bike is 2 miles shorter, I hope this isn’t a problem!!), but I also have some more specific time goals in mind so let’s get down to numbers:
1500 m Swim: I usually aim to be under 1:30/100 meters. At Cherokee, my time was 20:16 and if the distance was correct, I was 1:21/100 meters on the swim. There is still some debate as to whether the swim was 1300 m or 1500 m (the race website says one thing, the race t-shirt says another) so it is hard to use that as a benchmark. Regardless, with all the swimming I have been doing, I would like to be under 22:00.
T1: I distinctly remember a nice little uphill run to get from the lake back to transition. Thankfully nothing like AOC’s killer T1! Last year my T1 at Toccoa was 2:17, so I would like to beat that.
24 Mile Bike: Since I did the short course in 17.8 mph on a mountain bike last year and rode 17.8 at the extremely challenging Cherokee course, I would be disappointed with a pace under 18.5 mph. If I can achieve this pace, my bike time would come in under 1:16:30.
T2: No reason this transition shouldn’t be under 50 seconds!
6.2 Mile Run: I hope to be fully hydrated (unlike AOC) and feeling strong after the bike. If so, the goal pace is under 8:00 min/mile, which puts the 10K just under 50 min.
Overall Goal Time: If everything goes smoothly and according to plan, the goals from each area above puts the finish time at roughly 2:31:00. Wow! That seems fast! And I might even secretly have some “stretch” goals that I would like to achieve 😉
Also, based on the typical group of competitors in this series of races, I have a podium goal in mind that I will keep to myself! I am still in 1st place in the series by 10 points, so I hope to hold on to that as this is my last chance to race in the series this year!