The Magic Number Is…

TheMagicNumberIs.jpgYou have to get to the end of this post to get the meaning of the title. First… last night I swapped my aero set up one last time. Luckily I brought elbow pads out in anticipation of this moment. I switched the stem round the right way, mounted my under only face plate upside down so the aero bars are above the bars. Mounted the elbow pads direct on the aero bars. This brings my elbows up two inches and back two inches and seemed massively more comfortable and closer to my old position. The shame of it is that my home made elbow pads have moulded to my elbows beautifully but to make them practical I’d need about 3cm more left on the steerer tube but it had already been cut. I rode for 2.5 hours and did some decent sections at pace and aero. I now feel a lot happier with my position for the race … can’t say the same about the power readings I was seeing today.

The day started with a half course swim. Still feeling strong in the water and did the swim 15 minutes each way with about a 6 minute rest at the halfway buoy whilst I chatted with Douglas. Then it was out on the bike before a brief rest and my key session for the day.

This was running out on the Queen K in the heat of the day to check out the vibrams. Luckily my feelings on the matter were correct and not the scare mongering I’ve been getting about the tarmac being too hot. It felt no different from being in racing flats. I set off for my run and had the usual FiveFinger start – ie slow. I felt I was running OK but the Garmin was saying 6min / KM. I got through the first 2 miles in 16:50 and was thinking to myself how I knew that moving to Vibrams for running was going to be a bit of a “back myself” moment with an initial slowing of my pace which I’d accept for the long term improvements. I was reconciling myself to the idea of a 3:45 marathon split being a success when I hit the Queen K and decided to just start to pick the pace up. I slowly built the pace up and just kept feeling good. Next mile 7:36 then 7:25 … turn into the wind, lets see what’s going to happen… 7:03, 7:11, 7:27. Finished my 12k run in 56 minutes bang on. 4:45 / KM. Very pleased indeed. It felt great though I’ll admit the pace I was hurting for the final 6k was beyond what I could sustain in the race. However, the average 4:45 is perhaps sustainable and it made me feel that 5 min /k is perhaps a realistic goal. I was very happy indeed and just waiting for someone, anyone to ask me how my run went. Unfortunately no one did … so I had to tell you guys.

I went for a couple of coffees with Russell and for some reason I had a brain wave about the new Pro Points system. I’d been wondering how you could analyse the points to get some useful info in order to plan a season. The more you think about it the more complicated it becomes. There must be a number of points that guarantees top 30 and a Kona slot. So … here’s my logic and if you see a flaw in it then let me know.

There are 30 slots and 5 races can count. So the toughest qualification would be in those top 30 took all the top points. Therefore – place all the available points and put them in descending order. Look at the top 150 (30 places x 5 places to count) and take the final 5 points. Assuming my logic is correct if you get at least this many points then it’s impossible for 30 other women to get more. I’ve ignored the slight complicated that 20 get selected at the end of July. I was convinced by this but as a think about it my head goes in a spin. For instance – say Chrissie wins Kona – she gets 6,000 points. Say she wins one other Ironman (which she has to do in order to validate her place) and doesn’t race anymore. That means though she’s in the top 30 she’s only taken 2 of those top rank points out. That must mean that there’s more points available. ….

I think I’ve just had a Eureka moment live on a blog. The points that guarantees it is not the bottom 5 added together (that assumes the best people take all the best points and score 5) it’s the average of the top 150 points.

So ….

The Magic Number is ….

[… let me know if I’ve got this wrong]

[… remember this is to guarantee, the actual figure required will end up being well below this…]

is…

8,525

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