I’m three weeks away from my big (for me) race, and am having to make some pretty major training changes. Realistically, I know anything that happens from here out is going to have very little affect on what happens race day, provided I’m rested. “10% under trained is better than 1% over trained”.

Oh, and injuries could make a difference too. That’s the reason for the training tweek.

I pulled up with a cramp in my calf at the end of my brick on Sunday. I’d dug a nutrition/hydration hole I couldn’t get out of, and I thought that was the main cause. It was still a little tender on Tuesday, so I bailed on the run scheduled for that day and gave it a shot again for a quality run on Thursday. Pain was almost instantaneous, so I guess it wasn’t just a cramp. I’m self-diagnosing as a Grade 1.5 strain. And I’m self-treating it by taking a solid week off of running. That means I’ll miss one long run. No biggie. I still will have one more. If I have problems on that run I’m not going to push it…I’ll stop running entirely until a day or two before the race, just to test it out.

That means last night’s swim, which is one I usually take very easy, was a hard one. I really pushed to see what I could handle for a race pace, and the good news is I’ll probably be about three minutes faster than I was last time I did this distance. Shooting for 35:45.

It also means I’ll be spending a lot more time on the bike. I think I can bike enough that I won’t lose any run fitness, even if I don’t get another long one in before the race.

If all goes well, I’ll be pain free going into the race and can just manage my pace on the run to keep this from cropping back up again. Even if it becomes an issue, once I’m in the race I’ll be able to fight through it.

If this persists, well, that’s when it will get fun. If I’m going to the start line with any kind of pain at all, the race strategy will change completely for me. I will push the swim a little harder, and I will bike like the race is 57.2 miles long. Drop the hammer. Empty the tank. I’ll assume my run is already bonked and go for broke on the bike, getting every second out of it I can.