Soma Prep

So I have a little less than three weeks before my first 70.3. I've basically geared most of my training/pacing around this distance all year and I'm excited to finally see what I can do. I was late signing up for 2011 Ironman CA 70.3 this last year as well as Vineman 70.3 (I now know Ironmans sell out fast!), which I think was a good thing. Being so new to triathlon I'm glad I have a solid year under my belt now before I tackle my first which is the Soma Triathlon in Tempe, AZ. The race runs along the same course for the most part as Ironman Arizona. From what I hear (from past participants) is the swim seems a bit long, the bike ride is flat with lots of turns and the run is flat and fast. Now I'd much rather have a swim that runs short, a hilly bike ride and a tough run course, but I'll take it! I'm also pumped to take the family out for a little get-a-way weekend and stay/see some friends over there. Hopefully I won't be up till 3am drinking and dancing the night away 2 days before the race like last time I was there! I'm just stoked to ride my bike with some friends and then race!

I had a decent training week last week (besides the swim):

Swim: 1hrs 25 mins (3,500 yards)
Bike: 6hr 10 mins (116 miles)
Run: 3hr 25 mins (25.5 miles)
Total: 11hr 0 mins

The quantity wasn't there last week but the quality was. I'll break it down:

Monday: Easy run in the am, Open water swim at Vail lake in the pm. I can't tell you how much this open water swimming has already helped me and I've only gone twice! It's teaching me to swim straight, sight and how to swim with heavy currents.

A windy/choppy day at Vail lake
Tuesday: San Diego Track Club Workout. We met at the lake for the last time (we're moving back to the track). I put in a 2.5 mile warm up, then did a 1 mile time trial before doing 10xhill repeats. I really didn't know what to expect for the mile. David wanted us to predict what we thought we'd run and then run it without looking at your watch. I really wasn't in the mood to "go all out" so I just put down 4:50 thinking it would be a piece of cake. Everyone else was sandbagging it (cough..Sergio...) so I just took off and tried to put in a good effort solo. I felt pretty good for the most part. I decided to finish up strong the last 400 meters and got that all-so-familiar feeling of running this distance in high school and college. Miss it! I finished in 4:45 and was quite surprised with the time. I imagine with a little speed work and some competition I could go sub 4:20....Back to focusing on being a triathlete....After the mile we did some hill repeats and called it a day.

Some of the crew I meet with every Tuesday night
Wednesday: 2000 yard swim in the am, 35 miles and 3000ft of climbing in the pm, then a good beer. This is the 2nd time I've been impressed with Widmer Bro's IPA's. This one was their "Nelson Imperial IPA" and it hit the spot. Try it!

Packs an 8.6% punch!

Thursday: Day off. My sister and bro in law had their first baby. A boy! It was awesome visiting with them.

Baby Eli!
Friday: 6.5 mile steady state run in the am.

Saturday: I planned Saturday to be a big training day. With Soma about three weeks out, I knew this needed to be a big weekend to benefit from the workout. I really wanted to see what it would feel like to run right off the bike after a good solid bike effort. Matt and I hooked up for a ride that was flat as can be. We basically chilled all the way out to Lake Elsinore to warm up and then once we made the turn around it was on! We both took turns pulling each other and we were flying. At one point I looked down at my Garmin and we were going 32mph. We averaged about 25-30mph all the way home which only took about an hour. Granted it is easier to do this while drafting, but regardless we were putting in some work. I love going fast and as we came up on the 2:40 mark we were sitting at 54.5 miles for the day. This kind of got me thinking about a 2:35 goal on the bike for Soma. I understand I'll be a little wiped out from the swim, but this ride was definitely not a race pace effort (1st half of the ride). Coming in from the ride I knew my legs would give me a good 1/2 marathon at this point.
Our route
2nd half is where we put the work it
Brick run: Right after getting off the bike I treated it as a transistion: In and out. I also experimented a bit. I powered down a Cliff bar as I was heading out on the run. From what I read, I understand that it's pretty hard to digest solid foods when going 70.3 pace. Now, I normally wouldn't do this before the run (ideally about 10-20 mins before the run) but I just wanted to see how my body would handle it. I had no idea what my pace should be for the race, so I mapped out a 10k on half dirt/half concrete and went off of feel. I rarely do brick workouts I just seem to not have any problems running off of the bike. But in this case I really wanted to see what kind of legs I'd be dealing with after a solid 55 mile ride. Here's how it played out:

10k in 70.3 1/2 ironman race pace
After powering down that Cliff Bar and taking in some fluids I settled into my 1/2 marathon race pace. I kinda figured it would be around 6:45 pace so I did that for a few miles and my heart rate was right about what it would be in the beginning of a real half marathon (only about a minute faster pr mile). So I decided to pick it up a bit and dropped down to 6:20's/6:30's and heart rate went up about 10 beats. This also has to do with the heat too. At this point it was about 93-95 degrees. After finishing up I knew I had another 7 miles in me at that pace (even with the heat). Overall I was pleased with how I felt coming off of the bike and I know with better nutrition, race atmosphere and competition I'll shape up to have a nice 70.3 debut. However the work wasn't over! That night Amy and I went to my buddies wedding while our cool neighbors watched the kids. The wedding was a blast but combine my big workout day with drinks, dancing and a late night by Sunday I was pretty beat!

My phone takes crappy pics...Pictured is my hot wife!!
Sunday: pm bike ride - 25 miles chill. Then fun with the kids!

Went to the pumpkin patch!
So to hold myself accountable I've decided to post my race predictions (broken down):

1.2M Swim: 36:00 (1:51/100)
T1: 2:00 (standard for me)
56M Bike: 2:35 (21.6 mph)
T2: 1:15
13.1M Run: 1:27 (6:38 pr/mile)

Total Predicted time: 4:41
Goal Time: 4:30

I feel the swim time is pretty realistic since this is my first time racing that distance. The bike time is very calculated and I think even conservative when I compare it to the workouts I've been posting the past few months on the bike. The run is also conservative. I honestly think I could run sub 1:25 off of the bike, but I've never done it before so I'll shut up till I do!

Sorry for the geeked out numbers post, this probably bored my wife to death.

Thanks for reading...and...Get out and train!


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