Sunday we both woke up feeling a little sore but ready to attack our run which would take place on the course of our race. I did this race last year so I already know the course but my training partner has never seen Oceanside or the course. I think it is a huge advantage to know the course ahead of time. Once you know what the course looks like you can picture yourself there during your training sessions. Using visualization is very powerful when it comes to success in you performance. "If your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve."
I pointed out the entrance for the run and we both took off running one loop of the course(6.5 miles about) The course starts by putting you on the beach running on the sand so that's where we headed not realizing it was high tide. As we turned the corner we realized the waves were hitting the rocks we were supposed to run around. So, the first part of the run became a climb. We both ran as the waves went down and then jumped on the rocks when the waves came crashing up. We both ended up with soaking wet shoes and I got wet up to my waist when one big wave crashed right up the rock I was standing on. Oh, well- keep running, we'll dry off... After getting around the rocks and off the beach we were on the boardwalk along the beach which is a really flat wide open run. The sun was beating down on us really hot. I had a Gu to give me a boost and ran as fast as I could. I remembered the course from last year and remembered the little hills that you felt especially the second loop around. For the most part it is a really flat course but there are a few inclines and a few declines(not really hills.) My training partner did awesome, she ran really fast and ended up doing a sub 7 min mile, I hit my 9 min mile pace. We were both burning up, really sweaty and feeling wiped when we finished. I told her she needed to picture herself running across the finish line when she wins!
We went straight to the car to down our Surge Post Workout drinks we had premade and then went to go and see the rest of the course. I showed her where the transition area would be and where the swim takes place. She didn't realize we were swimming in a harbor where there are no waves at all. She realized that she was going to have a very fast swim. The swim is a deep water start, you walk down a boat ramp and swim out to a buoy where you start the race.
You swim toward the opening of the harbor and then back to the boat ramp. She realized that without waves this was going to be an easy swim for her and she would have no problem. She'll come out of the water first, have a strong bike to hold her position in first and then a fast run to win the race! I guess I have visualized her race for her...as for me, I am hoping for a swim in about 38 minutes(43:37 last year), a bike in under 3 hours(3:06:25 last year), and a run in about 2 hours(2:13 last year). This would be a huge improvement for me. My transitions were pretty fast last year so if I kept my transitions the same this would give me a time of under 5:45(last year my time was 6:10). I would be extremely happy with this time. So I have visualized myself crossing the finish line in 5:45 from when I start!
I won't have the advantage of seeing the course at my Ironman until I get up there a few days before but you can bet I will do some visualization once I am there.