Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pre-Race: Bridgeland Triathlon

[Note:  Due to injury, I may not get to race this event.  This post assumes I can!]

Bridgeland is probably my favorite local race.  On the surface, there's really nothing super special about it.  The course is your standard Houston sprint course:  murky lake swim and flat, short bike/run courses.  Oh, and heat and humidity!

But the folks at ONURMARK really know how to put on a race.  Bridgeland stands out to me for a few reasons:

  • Size: There are about 1500 participants.  That's HUGE for a local race!  It also means a lot of the folks I know are usually there and it's fun to socialize and toe the line against some of the same folks.
  • Competition: It's generally a fast and competitive field.  Even when I've raced well, it's been tough to finish on the podium, and that makes it a fun challenge.
  • Atmosphere:  Lots of spectators, lots of volunteers and a great atmosphere create a fun racing environment.
  • Extras:  Generally, the expo and post race "stuff" is much better than normal local races.  

This'll be my third time racing Bridgeland and my expectations were pretty high.  My first year (2011), I placed 3rd AG and 7th Amateur in a really good race for where I was at the time.  The next year, I took 3 minutes off my time, but finished 4th AG and 8th Amateur, which really shows how competitive the field was getting.  So from a 1:06 to a 1:03, I would expect an even faster time this year.

Comparing my training to last year is a bit tough.  I'm injured, and last year I was leading up to a peak for Timberman 70.3, whereas this year I'm in a bit of a down period.  That means I'm better rested, but haven't had the intense training from last year.

The chart shows that last year, I had a more gradual build, but my positive training score is higher this year at this point.  More importantly (for this race) my performance score is higher than it was for last year.  That's great for my expected performance at Bridgeland, but not so great for my expected fitness in 4-6 weeks!

We'll see how it shakes out.  Below is the breakdown for each leg/

I've missed a lot of swimming recently due to recovery, vacation and injury.  As a result, I'm not sharp, but still better off than I was last year at this time.  I should beat my 10:33 from last year, but not by much.  I think a 10:00 is reasonable.  
My 30:20 for last year was good for 2nd AG.  I'm not sure if I'm quite there this year, but I'm not far off.  I remember feeling great on the bike in August last year.  For now, I think I can match my time from last year if not better it, so let's figure a 30:30.  
Here's the big question.  I averaged 6:09s last year to finish the 5k in 19:04.  If my foot feels okay, I can match that.  If it hurts, I'll be walking or DNF, so it really is a wild card.  For the purposes of prediction, let's assume I can run and finish in 19:00.  

Overall that puts me at about the same time as last year.  I think a 1:03:00 should be the benchmark, with a top 10 Amateur finish and possible AG podium.  This has been an up and down week, so I could be really rested and fresh, or I could be rusty and in pain.  We'll see! 

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