12 hours of the best pain and suffering money can buy

Setting goals and tracking progress against them is important part of improving at anything. I have goals for getting faster in the water stronger on the bike and more consistent in the run, but before today I haven’t articulated my goal for the Ironman.

I’ve put a lot of thought into what I want to get out of my first Ironman. First and foremost, I want to finish ahead of the cutoff. 18 hours. With the right pacing, I could do that tomorrow, so that is achievable, but not challenging enough by a wide mark.

Having run a marathon at the start of the 2013 season, I know that there is nothing waiting for me on the other side of this goal. I don’t mean to say that it won’t be a huge accomplishment and something I will always carry with me. Instead, it’s more of an awareness that my life will not suddenly be dramatically different because I crossed under an arch 140.6 miles later. Still the goal is important to help me assess over the next 8.5 months and keep my training on track.

12 hours. Half a day. It’s not the fastest time I considered, but based on where I am today, I can see a path to get me there by increasing my consistency (this was a particularly bad week…) and sticking to the plan EK and I have discussed and we constantly tweak. It won’t be easy, but for someone relatively new to the sport, it will be a huge feat personally.

Here’s how I’m breaking it out:

  • Swim – 1:20
  • T1 – 0:05
  • Bike – 6:00
  • T2 – 0:05
  • Run – 4:00
  • Contingency – 0:30

There it is. It’s kind of hard to look at. The swim will make the day. Coming out of the water fresh will be the most important part of the swim and the key to ensuring I can go hard on the bike. During IM 70.3 Boulder, I finished he bike under 3hrs, but fell apart at the end. Several things played against me, at least one of which I’ve overcome with a proper bike fit and a tri bike. While I still love Bomber, my CAAD-10, riding it in the aero position was a recipe for disaster. Doubling it on a harder course that includes Carter lake will not be easy. I’ll then close off the day with an 18 min improvement on my marathon PR.

And with that, here we are: 12 hours to glory!

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