Tomorrow I’ll embark on a new race: The Lake Logan Half, which is just outside of Asheville, NC.
I stayed in Knoxville last night at my Rev3 headquarters and will soon be heading to fine city of Canton, NC, which is conveniently 30 minutes away from the race site, and let me tell you there’s nothing I like more than waking up 30 minutes away from a race site!
Not really, I hate it. I’m a huge fan of rolling out of bed and walking over to transition. But my bitching will get me nowhere and at least it forces me to wake up earlier and get blood pumping before the race.
From what I can tell about Lake Logan, we have a cold-ish wetsuit swim that goes clockwise (which is good for a right breather like me). Then we get on the bike for a hilly 56 mile ride, the first 20 miles of which appear to be downhill, then hit the toughest climb around mile 40 just when we’re getting warmed up. The run is a two loop course where the first 3 mile are uphill, then we return on a downhill slant and do it again.
My strategy is undetermined. With Ironman Wisconsin 5 weeks away, the last thing I want to do is crush myself to the point where I need a week off. On the other hand, it is a race. The way I see it, I have 3 options.
Option 1: Create an organized training day and race at my desired Ironman pace. This will give me some confidence going to Madison, but in reality, training is supposed to make you stronger and faster. What sense does it make to race at a pace I think I can already do?
Option 2: Start each segment at Ironman pace, then pick up the effort for the second half of the swim, bike, and run. This will force me to be patient, loosen up, then test my limits.
Option 3: Go after it like I want to win my age group. This means taking what I get when I can get it and the first half of the bike seems to be in a giving mood. As much as I want to stay under control, there’s no chance of winning my age group if I don’t take advantage of what appears to be mostly downhill out of the gate.
The reality is, it usually comes down to how I swim. If it’s a crappy swim I typically go crush the bike to redeem myself (if I can). If I swim well I feel like I can be a little more patient, but I typically go out and try to crush the bike.
So, I guess I’m gonna swim as well as I can, try to crush the bike, then run as hard as I can. Which is option 4, and usually how I race.