It seems after looking at both the calendar and my training calendar, that I have seven weeks until race day, tomorrow. I will admit that I have been slacking a bit for the last three weeks, due to holidays and other special events. However, I do not think it is to my detriment. I am going to pick up the pace this weekend, scheduling of course around Sunday (important day for me).
The Peachtree City Triathlon is a Sprint-distance event, and it has been getting more and more popular. It actually sold out this year for the first time, and the race director has decided to let 100 more people in due to demand. I have not checked to see if I am on the race list yet, but I received my Active.com registration about a week before the inital cut off.
Where I think I will gain the most ground, as a percentage of time last year, would be in the swim, T1, and T2. Running I will probably shave off 2-3 minutes, and on the bike I am hoping to shave about 5 minutes. This would put me at about 1hr 9min, which is not quite good enough for 1st place last year (3rd place I think). Hence the reason I need to pick up the pace.
The swim portion I have improved a lot since last year. I was doing ok in the pool last year, but had never done any open water swimming. So my 8:00 pool turned into a 12:48 lake swim for the same distance. Now I actually have the swim down to about 8:00 in open water for the sprint distance (~400M). I also feel that I will do well on the bike, due to the fact there are many rolling hills throughout the course. I do AT LEAST one ride per week on a hilly course, so that (1) I get a different workout in, and (2) I will make it easier on courses that actually do have hills. When I competed in the event last year, I passed so many people that said, "Man, there are too many hills out here that are killing me!" I never had to gear down once on any of these hills, I just pedaled harder up them. It was kind of like doing my once a week power intervals on the bike. I still do not have aerobars on my road bike (I do not have a tri bike yet, money seems to be the issue on that one), and I think that might affect me by 1-2 minutes, which could get me into 1st.
The last thing I feel I need to focus on are my brick workouts. I never seem to do enough of them, or I do not do a large enough brick workout for it to really help my cause. At this time last year, it was my first triathlon, and I had just decided to begin competing in triathlons 8 weeks before hand. 1 year later, and just a bit wiser, I know the value of a brick workout, although I do not always do them for one reason or another.
I think that 1hr 5 min will win 1st place for my age group this year. That is an improvement of 19 minutes from last year's time. Is this possible, I think so, seeing as I feel I can improve my time to at least 15 minutes from last year's time. We shall see in 7 weeks from tomorrow. I will keep you posted on my progress.