The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Wheel of MoJo, and a Race Prediction.

We have a race coming up in a few days. A half-ironman. The Challenge St. Andrews. 113 km.  My mojo has been on a roller coaster since Challenge Cedar Point. Four years of consecutive ironman training has taken it's toll and I'm tired. The last three weeks has had me almost riding rock-bottom. The year has been lackluster so far, highlighted by gluttony and nagging niggles (pulled left shoulder, weird right knee thing, and aching left ankle). I had resigned to just experiencing the event instead of racing it - in fact, I was "this-close" to not bringing my tri-bike due to several mechanical gremlins ...riding up to last night's club duathlon, the constant ping-ping-ping of my bottom bracket all but confirmed my non-race strategy... except...

Except, once we started the du, I got that little streak of excitement back. My first run felt okay, and for a change, the wind this week was only moderately strong in our face for the bike instead of insanely strong. I was first out of transition, and despite the ping-ping-ping of my wonky bottom bracket, it still took over 4 km for the speedsters to catch me, and once they did, they didn't leave me too far behind. I got back to transition with 36.6 kph average, (later to find out my second fastest bike split at the duathlon of all-time), a glance at the watch, and I knew I could call it in for a sub-53 - or I could turn it on for a near personal best.

200 meters into the run, and my legs were so heavy from a long weekend of cycling that I decided to split the difference and picked a pace somewhere between fast and furious such that I ran okay, but didn't unnecessarily burn up too many running fibers. I just missed sub-51 by 5 seconds. My best result so far this year - and back to peak-ish form from last year... maybe time to rethink the Challenge St. Andrews strategy.

On the way home, I diagnosed all my bike's mechanical issues, and planned how to fix them.  A short time later, I had the bike up on the stand -- rubber mallet in hand, whacking away at it. With the cranks off, I found the faulty bearing and re-packed it; I took apart the front brake cable, and re-set the lever - a quick spin around the block, and I was good to go. In fact, I was anxious for the morning so I could give it a real test ride.

As the morning broke, I suited up and went Strava hunting. There are two segments close by that I have a top-10 on... could I improve on them.... yes. The ride was great, and I climbed up to 2nd on "Tyotown-Summerstown", and 3rd on the "Devil's back".

And just like that, I feel like my mojo is rising again... can it peak on July 10th? I'm officially psyching myself up now for this race, and going out on a limb and predicting a 5:23 finish time:

Swim 33:00; T1 5:00 (long Transition); 2:53 bike (@ 31.2kph); 2:00 T2 and 1:50 run (@ 5:13 -- the run is my big weakness lately).

It won't be a half-ironman PB, but it will be pretty good for me.