We're a little less than a week out from my last race of the season, which I have considered my "A" race - the race I have trained for this season. It is strange to think of this as a primary race, when I still consider it a warm up to the full Ironman in Cabo San Lucas. It is also strange to think of this as the last race of the season when it is only three and a half months until my next "A" race. However, it helps me to think that there is a break between the two so I can catch my breath and get ready for some more intense training volume.
While these things are strange to me, it is also fitting that The HITS Palm Springs Half Iron Triathlon be an "A" race, as it is my first attempt at this distance (half a full Ironman, at 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a half marathon). It also happens at the beginning of December, right before Christmas, at which time I fully intend to briefly break away from my strict diet and indulge in the culinary delights of the holidays, including Christmas cookies, chocolate, and figgy pudding (whatever the heck that is, but I'm sure not leaving until I get some!). Moderation is key, of course, and as soon as Santa tucks himself in for his long Winter nap, I'll be back on course for my plan leading up to Cabo.
But back to this race. With less than one week to go, I am in full taper mode, and have been for about a week and a half now. I did a bit of a warm up at about the same distance on Thanksgiving day and felt really good. I can say at this point, barring any sickness or injury between now and then, that I am completely ready for this event.
The swim will take place in a reservoir, which will be a new experience for me since I've never swam in anyone's drinking water before. It's also quite possible that the water can be very cold. Last year it was in the high 50's. The bike and run will be very flat and at or below sea level, so it should be relatively easy to pace. The only challenges are that the weather and wind can be unpredictable. In the desert it could be very cold or very hot. I've planned for very hot, because I can always add layers if it gets cold. When the weather changes, so to does the wind, and it could be pretty brutal. We'll see how it shakes out.
It's amazing to think that after I finish this race, I am only a few short months away for the main event of this journey that I began almost a year ago. To think of where I came from and where I am now is amazing. I look forward to posting a race report next week, and beginning the next leg of this journey. Until then.