Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Philadelphia Triathlon this Sunday

Sunday, June 24, the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon will take over Martin Luther King and Kelly Drives. The Olympic distance tri is:

  • 1.5 kilometer swim in the Schuylkill River (yes, really),

  • 40 kilometer bike along the drives, with four climbs, including my favorite, a technical climb up Lemon Hill, near Boat House Row, and

  • 10 kilometer run along Martin Luther King Drive

Last year's Philly tri was my first Olympic distance (and only my second try at tri). I finished in 2:49:49. My goal is to shave 20 minutes to finish under two hours, 30 minutes. I think I can. I think I can.

How do you cut time? First, of course, is more and better training, which leads to better fitness. Read: go faster. My pace in the run last year was just over 10 minutes per mile. I walked about five minutes of the run. Now, my race pace for a 10K run is closer to 8:30 - not fast, but faster. There's a nine-minute savings! And I don't need to walk any more. That's a combination of training and determination. During the 13.1 mile run of my first Half Ironman, last fall, I thought about walking a few times, but held my pace after recalling the defeated feeling of walking in Philly.

Second, cut time in "transition," the area where you change from the swim to the bike (that's T1), and from the bike to the run (T2). Last year, my T1 time was 2 minutes, 37 seconds: that's a slovenly pace for getting on my bike shoes and heading out to the road. T2 was 2:31. This season, at the New Jersey Devilman Half Ironman, my transitions were each around 1:30. There's two more minutes shaved!

Finally, with a few more races behind me, I'm learning how much I can push myself in a race. Last year was all about getting to the finish line. This year I can be a little more aggressive.

Come on out, Sunday morning, to see the event! You may not see or recognize me, but you'll see some very impressive efforts by everyone on the course. (If you make it out there, I'll be in the same yellow and outfit I'm wearing at the top of this page. Plus a yellow hat. And a yellow bike.)

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