2017 was a great learning experience for me. I had a solid build up to Ironman Coeur d’Alene which was the A race of the year. I executed well on that race from start to finish and didn’t make too many large mistakes. It taught me a lot about how I want to have a lead up go to be mentally and physically ready for an Ironman. I capped off the year qualifying of Kona!! What?! This was just a dream and it became a reality after only my second full IM… But Kona did not go very well. I think I was a bit weak mentally going into that one and wasn’t fully recovered from Coeur d’Alene just 6 weeks previous.
So, after some time away from the sport (I took 2 weeks off from anything to do with swim, bike, or run). The triathlon itch returned, it returned quickly, and I knew what I wanted to do. I want to get back to Kona and race it! Last year I showed up to Kona to finish it, but just finishing is what I like to do. Just finishing Kona was similar to my first IM Coeur d’Alene in 2016, I went there to experience it, not really knowing what to expect. The second year I knew what to expect and raced it! With the experience of Kona in 2017 I want to go back this year and see what I can do. I believe I have the chance to race for the top spots in my age group and that’s exactly what I want to do… But wait!!!! To be able to race Kona I need to qualify first which is no easy feat.
The plan was to race Ironman Boulder in June. I had gotten out to the course multiple times and thought I had a good chance of racing well there. But since I am not a full-time athlete I must work for a living and work has moved me to Busan South Korea for 3 months, having me return to the states at the end of June so that made Boulder impossible. This was a damper on my plans to get back to Kona this year as I just didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to train properly in Busan. But after some thinking and talking with my coach and fiancée the possibility of getting back to Kona was still possible if I raced Ironman Whistler in Canada. So, I will be racing IM Canada at the end of July! This is going to be a very competitive field as fast people like to show up for that race. It also gives a nice 10-week window between that race and Kona which is a much better turnaround compared to Coeur d’Alene in 2017.
I hope to get in one race before Whistler to get the race experience that is needed to get the rust out of the system, but this may just be an Olympic race as there won’t be much time to race when I am back in the states before Whistler.
Now all that is left is to do the training. Much of my training will be spent indoors on the bike trainer and treadmill. But this will build up a new level of mental toughness which I believe will be beneficial come race day... now it’s off to the Treadmill (dreadmill) for me.