Friday, April 27, 2012

Race Day Strategy

That's right folks, tomorrow is race day.  Months of preparation and work, with tomorrow's performance as the sole focus, will be put to use. 

I am ready.

I am pumped.

I have a goal.

I have a plan.

The plan is to forget about the goal during the race.  The thing with time-related goals is that circumstances have to be perfect, and I cannot control or even influence those circumstances.  Will there be wind, will I get a flat tire, will there be accidents, what about the temperature?

It's best just to focus on my charges.

The race course is a loop, 73 miles.  It begins in the town of Marana, AZ, just north of Tucson, and heads south.  The first 10 miles or so are relatively flat, but the road surfaces are less than friendly.  Then there's a small climb and about 15 miles of slightly uphill with, generally speaking, terribly riding surfaces.

From there the route turns west and climbs for a few more miles.  Up until this point I'll hope to have fallen in with a decent group where I can conserve my energy and cruise along with my heart rate around 135 or lower.

On Ajo Highway the course peaks and then shoots down hill for about 15 miles.  That's where I'll open up a bit.   Eventually the course turns back north and is quite fast for a good 10 miles stretch before hitting very mild rolling hills. 

Once through those small hills I'll go all out over the last 8 miles or so.  The course lends itself to a negative-split because the first half is rough roads and slightly uphill.  The second half is much smoother roads and, generally, downhill, if not flat.

I've been taking electrolytes for a week and have eaten carbs like crazy the past two days.  I've slept as much as I can.  I'm packed.  The bike is tuned but needs a little washing.  Need to look good on race day, eh?

My wife is riding in the 27 mile event.  I'm excited for her and hope she has a good ride!

Unfortunately for both of us, today isn't really going to be restful.  I took the day off, but she could not.  Even so, I had to run errands this morning and will be driving 60 miles this afternoon to pick up the race packets.  Then I will drive 60 miles home, volunteer and watch my daughter's final track meet, then we'll drive to Marana, 75 miles north, to stay the night at my in-laws' home.  It'll be a trick to maintain proper hydration for sure!

Either way, tomorrow is going to be awesome.  I can't wait!

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