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So...This whole decision to do (or not) a half Ironman is lurking before me. I've got one in Mid-Sept. that I can do and one a few weeks after that that I can also do (but not both). Both would require a drive and overnight stay. My delema [sp?] is that I'm 95% sure that I can do the distance, but I'm not so sure that I can do the distance well. If I'm going to drive some where and pay for an overnight stay, I want to come home knowing that I was 100% prepared for the race and was able to give it all AND be happy with my finish time. So, how do you decide if you're prepared for a race?

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The only way to get better at racing is to race. I would do the first one. That way, if anything goes wrong at home or work, you always have the second one to fall back on. You also decrease the chance of over training or picking up an injury. Nobody is ever 100% ready for a race. You do your training and prepare, but race day is a whole new world and you deal with it as you go along. The more you race, the more you learn how to deal with the many little things that come up. You can never expect to be 100% ready or expect to be happy with your finish time ( I don't know how many times I thought I sucked and set a PR and how many times I thought I rocked and finished 5 minutes slower than my most conservative of expectations). You only understand those two factors in hindsight. But you can always give it your all. That is probably the only factor you control. I vote for the 1st race. You have said that you don't race a lot, so I think you should get this IM quest under your belt ASAP. Just Do It.
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plus......if you feel you are 100%---you are no doubt overtrained. I like the 90% odds.....the days that you say...."hey, there's a chance I can pull something out"
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How are you going to know what "well" is until you have a baseline established during a race?

Time to saddle up.
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The only way to get better at racing is to race. I would do the first one. That way, if anything goes wrong at home or work, you always have the second one to fall back on. You also decrease the chance of over training or picking up an injury. Nobody is ever 100% ready for a race. You do your training and prepare, but race day is a whole new world and you deal with it as you go along. The more you race, the more you learn how to deal with the many little things that come up. You can never expect to be 100% ready or expect to be happy with your finish time ( I don't know how many times I thought I sucked and set a PR and how many times I thought I rocked and finished 5 minutes slower than my most conservative of expectations). You only understand those two factors in hindsight. But you can always give it your all. That is probably the only factor you control. I vote for the 1st race. You have said that you don't race a lot, so I think you should get this IM quest under your belt ASAP. Just Do It. SOOOOO GOOD!!!!! :thumbsup:
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Dittos on what X said...

Looking back at most of my PRs, they came on days I toed the line and wouldn't have predicted it. For unknown reasons, training, taper, diet and raceday come together and a peak performance transpires.
Of course you can be an 'engineer' about it and cross all the t's and dot all the i's making the outcome fairly predictable, but personally, I like to leave a little bit to irrationality and race even when I'm not ready.

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The first race should be one that you just race to experience. That way you can get a feel for what times, cravings, injuries, etc. to expect in future races. When you can plan for those things and know how to overcome them, then you can have a fast time. But I don't think you can have a fast time at a race of that kind of distance without a few practice races for preparation.

I'm along with everyone else.

NIKE!
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It is hard to define racing well for a sport you are new to and a distance your have never done before.

Pick the one that fits your schedule the best and go have fun. Like others, my best races are ones that I don't put pressure on myself. I race relaxed and usually lay down a pretty good time.
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Has a decision been reached??? Either way I say you win just by signing up and I am sure with your level of training be it the sooner or later you will do great. I have a feeling it may be one of those great race-type days that keep us training.............and perhaps before you know it you will be writing your own full ironman report!!

The 1/2 ironman is just so fun, the perfect distance, long enough to feel you really did something substantial but short enough that you don't feel like you are going to die out there, and short enough that a normal person can fit in the training time.

Let us know your decision.
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