Why am I so unsure?
If it is a typical hot (90+ degrees) and humid (80%) South East Texas day then my day is going to be longer. If the winds continue to blow out of the SSE like they have been all year then it is going to make for an even longer day.
If the winds are about 15mph sustained from the SSE these means the last 50 or so miles of the bike course will be into a direct headwind. I have rode into this headwind many a times during the last year of training and it is pretty soul-crushing.
But if the winds are out of the North or NW this means the humidity will be lower and the ride home will have the wind at our backs. This is what every racer on Saturday is praying for!
Taking all the above into consideration and the fact that this is a first year race and you can see how I really am not sure of what my finishing time will be?
Instead of a finishing goal time I will post a Finishing Goal RANGE:
Lake Woodlands - It is a mass start in a pretty narrow lake with one loop that finishes swimming down a canal which will be lined with spectators. I expect contact throughout the entire 2.4mi and figure it may slow me a little. It is probably going to be one of the best Ironman swim venues for spectators. The water temperature will be above the legal limit for wetsuits so I will instead be wearing my TYR Torque Swimskin with my Team Trakkers Kit underneath. The lack of wetsuits will also slow the field some as well.
My 70.3 swims have ranged in the 35-37 minute range and my swim fitness is a little above average right now.
Projected Swim Finish: 1hr 20m.
The course begins in the Woodlands and heads north through the rolling hills of Montgomery and Grimes Counties. The harder sections of the course begins once you cross over 105 and start North through the State Forest. This part is challenging but shielded from the wind. Once you get out of the woods you will past a little town called Richards and then make a left turn and start the ride back to the Woodlands. This section of the course is chip sealed (bumpy) and puts you directly into the winds from the South. You will remain in this headwind until a few mies from the finish.
If the winds are less then 10mph or from the North or NW then my bike split will be around 6hrs. If the winds are out of the South then my bike split will be 6.5hrs.
Projected Bike Split: 6-6.5hrs.
The marathon is a 3-loop course around the more plush areas of the Woodlands. We will run along the canals lined with restaurants and bars and then past some multi-million dollar mansions. Spectators will have an abundance of areas to view the run from and also a plethora of eating and drinking options. Makes me wish I was a spectator for this because they are going to have a blast!
My goal for the marathon is to go as hard as my legs and heart will allow. If the legs aren't cooked from the headwinds on the bike I'd like to do it in 4hrs. If it is hot & humid and I am really hurting the I'd be cool with 5hrs.
Projected Run Split: 4-5hrs.
Swim - 1h 20m
T1 - 10m
Bike - 6h - 6.5h
T2 - 10m
Run - 4h - 5h
Finishing Goal Range: 11h 40m - 13h 10m
Probably will fall someplace between this range!
Thanks for Reading,