The car is packed, the dogs are bouncing off the walls knowing we are going somewhere (I spent a lot of time ripping undercoat out of Stanley this morning - can't have him going to Beth's house looking like a wooly mammoth!), Jeff is showering and it's almost time to go.
So maybe this is a good time to talk about my expectations and goals for this race? Part of me feels like I shouldn't have any, it's my first HIM and I don't know what to expect. But still...it's good to try, right? A lot of my day/goals are riding on whether the swim ends up being wetsuit-legal or not. The river temperature has dropped back into legal range but I'm sure it will go down to the wire race day as to what happens. With that in mind, my hopes, dreams, plans, goals for Sunday are as follows:
1) Have fun. Remember that I'm doing this for fun and no matter how many times I get elbowed, kicked, passed or made to feel slow, I am out there doing a half-Ironman and gosh darn that kicks ass!
2) Complete the 1.2 mile swim in roughly an hour (yes, I'm really that slow). This may wobble one way or the other depending on whether I can wear the wetsuit or not. Enjoy the warm water and scenery.
3) Complete the 56 mile bike ride in roughly 3 hours, 30 minutes. That's an average of 16 mph. Doesn't sound so hard but it is a long ride, with some big hills, and we'll see how it goes. If I go faster than that, I will be thrilled and you can all do happy dances for me.
4) Complete the 13.1 mile run (half-marathon) in under 2 hours, 30 minutes. I actually think I can do it faster than this (my personal best for a half marathon is around 1 hour 55 minutes) but I have no idea how I'll hold up AFTER the swim and ride, in the heat on the hilly run course.
5) Transition smoothly at each stop. I'm generally quite good at transition in triathlon (hey, at least there's SOMETHING I'm fast at!) and I hope to avoid any significant complications here.
6) Finish overall in under 7.5 hours was my original goal at the onset of training. I have to admit I'd be overjoyed if I broke 7 hours, but no idea if it will happen. This is still really slow in the HIM world - the pros will be done in about 4 hours and most people finish in 5 or 6. I really should just be happy with finishing, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't try to set a stretch time goal as well.
7) HAVE FUN. That's why I'm doing this, isn't it?
Stan is whining at the door and the rest of the dogs are staring at Jeff so I guess this means we are leaving now.