“So how’s the training for Kona going?” Each and every time I get this question, I pause, a bit unsure of how to craft an accurate response. Physically the training has been going as well as can be expected. My body has sent out a few warning signs that maybe it isn’t too keen on training for another ironman right now, but I’ve been able to take care of myself pretty well and stay healthy. In training, I’ve been feeling relatively strong on the bike and consistent on the run. My swimming is “ehh” as it has been for a while, but you can’t be feeling great in every discipline when training for an ironman. Something has got to give. So you would think the question posed at the outset of this post would evoke a positive response, as physically I feel like I’m in a good spot. My hesitation arises from my mindset. My mental game. This is the area where I feel a bit unsettled. A bit uncertain of where I’m at. This unsettled feeling stems from the fact that I’m not quite certain of what I’m trying to accomplish when I toe that starting line in Kailua Bay.
Heading into this race, I had a plan which culminated in a projected finish time. Based on training, I thought I could do the swim in 1:00, the bike in 5:45, and the run in 3:30. Add in some extra time for transitions and miscellaneous other miscues, so sure, maybe I could finish in 10:30. Did I expect the race to unfold this way? Absolutely not! I know that in ironman racing there are so many uncontrollable factors that can and often do interfere with your race plan. I expected this interference to come into play. I was prepared for it.