It's that time of year again to head up to Cedarville, New Jersey on Sunday and race the first 1/2 Ironman triathlon of the season, The New Jersey Devilman. I did this race last year and know what to expect....a swampy (pretty murky) swim, a flat fast bike and a windy run. I wouldn't exactly call it a picturesque race course but it serves as a great warm-up/early season race to get an idea of fitness and status for races to come.
It should be a leg-ripper
Unlike last week where I raced off the back of a big four week training phase, I have had a recovery week these past few days and feel rested prior to Sunday. So what am I looking for at this race?
1) Give myself a good first test of the season. Compared to last year training has gone amazingly well this winter/spring.
2) Swim hard and post a swim PB. Dedication to swim more this winter should pay-off. It will either mean a faster swim time or at least feeling fresher out of the water.
3) Bike at a consistent pace. Build through the bike, don't go out too fast and blow. Start strong and get stronger......
4) Run to my potential....I feel that I have only ever run to my potential once in a race and that was in the North East Olympic race last year. With my stronger bike base this winter and a 2hr 40min marathon this spring, I should be running in the 1hr 25min range in the 1/2 Ironman. So guess what.....that is the main aim for this race, a solid PB run in the 1hr 25min range.
5) Post a sub-4hr 30min time. This race last year was 4hrs 32mins and in two other races I missed the 4hrs 30min barrier by less than 30secs. I know that to be competitive for a Hawaii roll-down slot at Eagleman I need to be in 4hr 20min area. This race will give a good idea of how close I am.
Fortunately there are some guys registered for Devilman that are always contenders at Eagleman and I will be able to gauge where I am in relation to their times. We only have 5 weeks to Eagleman so most of the hay is already in the barn, now it's all about execution.