So I'm headed to IMAZ in 4 wks. I learned this year that you cannot train for an Ironman a whole year (go figure), and if you put yourself in that mindset you risk injury, deep fatigue, and more importantly the magnitude/importance of your goal is dispersed and consequently minimized through time. All year this particular Kona race was soo huge for me that in some ways I think when the day came it suddenly felt, I don't want to say insignificant, but just rather plain. That may not have any correlation with how the day played out, but it's definitely food for thought.
I do know that I worked very hard to get to that race as fit as possible and would like to think through the taper, and recovery from the race I've still held on to quite a bit of fitness. That, coupled with the mental fortitude that I gained by finishing what for me was an emotional battlefield of a marathon, I feel can be of great use in Arizona.
Having raced and qualified there last November, I'm in good spirits with that race, and love the spectator friendly course. As well, I have plenty of friends racing.
Defeats often precede victories, and the fire inside me is lit more than ever to finish the year with a race that reflects my hard work and potential. Plus, if I manage to get my slot there again, I will undoubtedly take a looong off season, enjoy some other sports, and use the first half of the year to just race frequently for fun but dedicate the bulk of my time to the work side of things.