Today Kona training started. Part of me is really excited, the other part (tiny, but it exists) is scared to the point of wanting to puke. Not scared of the training, that's the easy part- I lack no motivation. Rather, I'm scared of the sinking feeling you get at the point of the race where you've realized you've failed. I've faced this once- last year, coming off the bike, nearly coming to terms with the chance of having to hold glow sticks if I don't pull out a decent run. Thankfully I ran my PR (3:32), & climbed from dead last to 2nd. Still, I wanted to throw my bike into the ocean. I told my mom, "be happy, I'll never do triathlon again". Of course that was my shattered ego talking. It was only a couple hours of broken sleep later that yielded a desperate attempt at signing up for IMAZ just a month later.
To a lot of people it sounded stupid. I had gotten second at the World Champs, it's not my job, a lot of people would kill to just participate there...and even when it was my first IM in 2007, over and over I was told to have fun, to not expect anything.
But, I'm sorry, that's just not how I function. I like to win. If it's a race, I'm racing. I do not line up, or slap on a bib number to "participate". I may go into some races tired from training/not tapered, whatever. However, I still want to win, try to win, and go my hardest. It's called a competitive nature. I grew up chasing boys, & taking the hardest challenges- even if they were something completely out of my reach.
I digress but bear with me...Recently I read Agassi's autobiography and he talked about playing down to players that were worse than him, and playing up to the level of thhose that were better. Ah, thankfully I'm not the only one that had that issue!! I absolutely hated random matches because I could potentially lose to a 4yr old beginner hitting lobs and accidental drop shots. Yet, pair me with a world class player, and I have the match of my life.
Anyways, back to the present. I'm proud on how I've handled this year. Those around me can attest to the fact that I've mellowed out a bit. It's the end of July & I'm fit, healthy, and injury free. So my build to Kona will at least start on a completely different note than last year.
I have so many great training partners, an excellent coach whose training I've responded to quite well, and amazing travel/training opportunities. It's promising.
There are so many great athletes every year in Kona. All I can do is have my best race. But I know that if I give myself a time goal I can disregard all of them on race day. Why? Because if I hit that goal of breaking 10hrs, I will undoubtedly be top 5 amateur.
For USAT triathlon I have to be top 10 Amateur in Kona to get my Pro Card. Yes, I go through the Mexican Federation so I could get by with a more relaxed criteria. However, I don't want a shortcut.
Third trip to Kona, third attempt to WIN my AG, second attempt to crack 10hrs....I want to get my Pro card so Cozumel can be my first Ironman as a pro. It just would be really special given that it's in Mexico and a lot of my family members & friends will be there.
Roughly 10wks until I land on the Big Island.