*disclaimer- tomorrow is not on bike-=- tomorrow is on SELF TALK when I arrive at race and see fit people and think that I've never worked out in my LIFE!!!!! BUT for today:
MORE ON BIKE: Some strategies that I’ve used on bike before that I need to remember and keep focused on are: the first 3 miles are as important as the middle 3 as are the final 3. So, while I want to be measured and calm and smart on the transition into the bike, it is not a 3 mile “warm up”---- I want to get into the bike without blowing my legs up too fast, BUT… I need to remember that those miles are still important.
One of my best bike split years, I made a list the week before the race of 10 ways to cut off 30 seconds, reminding myseslf that if each of those changes really did make 30 seconds of a difference, that is a 5 minutes faster bike! That is AMAZING! And it made a difference.
Some of those things are:
*first mile of bike- get UP TO SPEED before putting my shoes on. (don’t put them on at 10 mph, try to get up to a nice long stretch where I am going strong at 18-20 at least to put them on.
*first few miles being aggressive (still smart)—but getting into a good gear/ giving some good power and getting the legs to work.
*be aggressive on passing: meaning, go for multiple passes at once so you’re not going zig zagging back to the lane line/outside of road each time.
*AT WATER PICKUPS: this year I am planning on picking up water, YIKES>…… I have to do this well and need to practice. I am trying to not carry a 2nd water holder behind saddle, so will need a refill at some point, need to be ready to grab bottle without dropping. Then get UP TO SPEED while I refill my between the bars water holder.
* When the road turns rough and a bit of wind is at my face, take that as an OPPORTUNITY to gear UP INTO IT. WELCOME IT, even if my pace declines, KEEP MY SAME INTENSITY, OR GREATER. Be ready for it and work WITH IT as a motivational tool rather than even momentarily being demoralized by it!
*STAY AERO. DO NOTE COME OUT OF AEROBARS UNLESS it is to STRETCH/ get out of saddle and power/ etc. STAY LOW/ keep neck relaxed also.
*no time for chat. (sorry Koen if you are reading this—I think last year we spoke a few sentences.. not this year. Gotta go).
*miles 35-50 is the tough section/ rough/ doesn’t feel as fast—BUT this doesn’t mean it is ME struggling, so do not READ IT THIS WAY and start trash talking myself. Continue effort and all is well. Think nothing of this. You are doing a half Ironman. Noone said it would be easy. Ride on.
*sorry if you are reading this and offended but… *if you need to pee on the bike for crying out loud, relax quickly and get it done. It is weird and unnatural, but don’t waste time and if you can’t, you don’t need to go enough so ride on.
*be prepared with food and anything in your bento box- no struggling with ziplocks/getting no-doz pills out, etc.
*don’t waste words or energy on others who are annoying you/ doing wrong things/blocking/not letting me pass appropriately. Annoying, but I’ve learned from so many races that it just is, and there is nothing I can do to EDUCATE people here, so carry on.
BREAKING THE RACE UP into manageable segments:
First 5 miles: set the stage and transition strong. (as well as staying safe in those first miles when things haven’t spread out).
5-26 miles: First HALF: push 8.5/10 effort, except a bit less- 8.35ish… yes, this makes sense to me as a gymnast.
26-41: 15 mile segment to STAY STRONG: this is a nice time to use my mantra of, “IS THIS YOUR BEST”. I have always asked my kids this and then it makes me use it on myself also. When I ask myself this, I often find that I respond with an awareness of, “hmmm I actually have MORE!”
41-56: DIG it out here with an element of being gentle from 50-56 miles. “DIG” has been a mantra I’ve been using. I feel sometimes like I need to SCRAPE the insides of me with my effort- like digging every last bit of a pumpkin strands when carving a pumpkin. It makes sense to me and I find myself noticing that I do have a bit more when I say this word.
*55-56 miles: remember- mentally reserve energy and get yourself to a place of calm and “poker face”.. yes you’ll be getting on the run but it is NOT OVER when the run begins- LONG WAY LEFT- feel no excitement yet. Do not be excited- it takes too much of your energy. Stay calm and keep working. Have FUN, but “this is a workday, Sharon”!!!!
REMEMBER and DO NOT DOUBT that YOUR BIKE IS YOUR STRENGTH!
YOUR BIKE IS NEW THIS YEAR_ you have BLACK LIGHTENING with you ALL THE WAY!!!