On Thursday I will fly from Chicago to Trenton New Jersey where I will take a rental car to Atlantic City on Friday morning in preparation for a Sunday morning race. The race starts at 6:00 AM on Sunday!! I can hardly believe the 6:00 AM start. That will be the earliest I have ever started a race. New Jersey is 1 hour ahead of Central time so it will be 7:00 AM here in the midwest. Challenge Atlantic City has a race app that you can download for free and the app has athlete tracking. The link for the free race app can be found here. I will be staying with a local in Atlantic City from Friday evening to Monday morning. I'm thankful to have a gracious home stay and it was very nice of Challenge AC to offer up home stays for the pro athletes. There are 27 guys on the start list for the pro race. In my experience I would guess that there will be closer to 20 that start the race. They pay 10 deep which is one of my goals. My other big goal is to break 9 hours. I will be happy if I achieve either of these. I'm sure it will take sub-9 to be in the top 10 so if I place top 10 it will be a dream trip. I'd love to bring home a paycheck for the iHope Foundation.
This is the first race I will ever pace the bike portion using power as my guide. I will attempt to stay between 225 and 230 watts on this very fast course. I had a good week of training with some high intensity intervals on the bike and during my long ride Sunday did 1 hr. 15 minutes at my goal wattage and I felt stronger as I went. I continually felt like I was holding back. My worry is whether or not 225-230 is too conservative or not. I don't want to get done and feel like I should have pushed harder but I guess if the bike feels too easy I'll need to prove that in the run. The weather right now is looking pretty nice with projected highs in the upper 70's and lows in the upper 60's. Wind is estimated at 10 mph which should make the ride a bit more challenging but nothing out of the ordinary. The bike course is pancake flat. It seems even when I do rides of 30 miles my total feet of climbing is almost always more than the entire 112 mile ride in Atlantic City. The total elevation change is only 750 feet. The first half of the ride will mostly be into the wind if the wind is out of the north as projected so I'll need to make sure I stick to my power number and not worry so much about my speed. I'm very excited for this race and hope to come back with at least 1 of my lifetime triathlon goals checked off the list. Please pray for safe travels and no problems on race day. What I can control is my fitness and I'm very confident in that right now. The home page for the race is here. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!