I'm getting mentally and physically prepared to race this weekend but there are many lingering questions that won't be answered until race day.
Which race will I race?
I asked to be switched to the Sprint and was told it was no problem. My name is still on the start list for the Olympic however. This could be an advantage I suppose :-) So we will see ... I'm not totally opposed to the Olympic but have some real concerns about running a hard 10k on this calf.
How will the calf hold up?
Running has been absolutely minimal this week. Only a 30 minute trail run. At the end of which I felt a very strange sensation in my calf ... a cramp ... high up below the back of the knee on the inside of the leg. I don't usually get cramps, even when racing in the heat. I have felt this before though when doing a hard push off in the pool after not having hydrated well before the workout. Only 3 times that I can remember and I used it as my cue to end the session and gets some electrolytes and calories in me. I was able to invoke the same cramp this morning on the bike by pointing my toe straight down and flexing my calf as I hard as I could. I rubbed it out and tried it a few more times, each time getting less severe until I couldn't get it to cramp anymore. Strange stuff going on down there. So my course of action is ice, rest, vitamin I, water running, stretching, and massaging the area.
The good news is that the tendonitis along the bone has pretty much disappeared on both legs as I knew it would with lower volume for a week or two. If I could just get this crazy cramping to go away I think I can pull off a decent 5k. 10k ... maybe not ... so hopefully I will get out of the Olympic and into the Sprint.
Will I have a good swim in the wetsuit?
Swimming in the suit has been an on-again, off-again problem for me in the past. Sometimes it doesn't bother me at all. Other times I feel like it's trying to suffocate me. The one thing I know is that it makes me fast! So hopefully that speed won't be negated by me stopping to tug on the neck to get more oxygen during a hyperventilation frenzy.
Okay, think positive ... I'm going to hammer the swim. Stay calm and controlled through the first 150 meters, asses where I'm at in relation of the lead, find some feet, pickup the pace, come out of the water within 1 minute of the leader. Quick transition, drop him like a bad habit on the bike, come into t2 with a minute to spare, pray my calf holds up the task, run the 5k in 18 flat.
I keep envisioning how it's going to play out. Everything goes just how I said above and I'm in the lead out of T2, but at the turnaround i see second place and I don't have but a 40 sec gap from my 1 min at the start of the run. By the second turnaround at the end of the levy he is really close. I put in a surge and hold him until we make the right turn into the park area and head for the chute. He comes alongside me. It's a sprint finish. I dig deep and cross the line just a fraction a second before him and collapse in the grass. My wife and kids run over to me and jump on me like a big dog pile, yelling and screaming! It's awesome.
Hey, a guy can dream right? We'll see how it really plays out. I'm hoping for this kind of drama!
My new jersey from Harrell's won't be back from the screen printer until early next week so it's debut race will be Lake Murray next weekend.
Best of luck to all racing this weekend!