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At this Point, it’s about Surviving.

20 July 2016

I keep hoping the prevailing winds will change. I don’t think they will. I keep hoping that “showers” will show up on the forecast. Or at least, “clouds”. Hope seems futile. Sunday, July 24th, 2016, in Princeton, New Jersey is going to be one of the hottest days of the year, under a brutal, glaring sun. My sole saving grace appears to be that it will not be humid.

It will be about 80 degrees when I hit the water. 85 when I mount my bike. And tipping 90 or 92 by the time I head off on my run. It is going to be dangerously hot for me, on my first triathlon, attempting to cover 27.1 miles of ground in a little less than four and a half hours.

I don’t really know what to do. I’ve trained for heat, some, but there’s no way for me to teach my body to endure this kind of heat for a long time. I am just going to have to do the best I can, recognize my limitations, and accept that crossing the finish line alive – however slowly I go, is my victory.

That probably means walking a great deal of the run. Which means going very slowly and flirting with the time cutoffs. Which means I need to make up some time on the bike and the swim. I don’t know if I can do anything about the swim. A smooth steady pace is the safest and strongest for me.

Which means the bike. The nice thing about riding a bike is you get a breeze. So I think I’ll be able to push a little on the bike, pick up a few minutes, and leave myself plenty of time to walk/jog the 10 km. If I can average a 3:30 mile, the ride will take me 70 minutes. Throw in an hour for the swim and two transitions, and I have almost two and a half hours for the run.

I will wear my GPS watch, and try to capture my race with it. But I might forget or it might not sync up rapidly enough to use during the race. That’s risk. I don’t have a GPS track of my marathon, because I was using my phone at the time and its battery died. I like having them, but it’s not crucial. The real value of my watch is that I can use it to monitor my heart rate. If I’m pushing past 185, I need to slow down until I cool down.

We have a hotel. I have my bike. I have my suit and my shoes. I know how to swim. I know how to ride. I know how to run. I know how it feels when I can’t keep pushing. I know how to push through pain, and recognize injury. I can make it. I’m gonna make it. Right?


5 Comments leave one →
  1. 20 July 2016 10:09

    Absolutely, you are going to make it. Have you ever taken salt tablets? You are really going to need some salt. Some pretzels for a snack on the run?

    You will also be wet, which will help. Unless you’re wearing a speedo, of course 😀

    • 20 July 2016 10:15

      SALT STICK! I’m going to take 2 after the swim, 2 after the ride. Plus I will have gatorade on the bike.

  2. pyrope permalink
    20 July 2016 12:31

    Best wishes for cool breezes your way! You will make it.

  3. 20 July 2016 18:39

    Best of luck, sounds like you are ready for the challenge!

  4. Aimee permalink
    21 July 2016 10:47

    I hope so. But heatstroke is a true medical emergency; please don’t fuck with it. As one of your closest relatives, I know very well that for whatever reason, our big old European bodies don’t like heat and don’t cope with it well.

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