Thursday, April 21, 2011

A hint of bitter, and oh SO SWEET

Times like this make me wish cliches weren't... well.. cliches.  It's so common for people to use the phrase "it feels like a dream", and I'm not saying it's always fake or misplaced when people use it... but sometimes, and this time included, I wish I came up with the phrase myself because it captures exactly how I've been thinking and feeling since this past Friday.

Short story time (for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, this should help clear it up). So this past Friday, after finishing up the last class of the week I was taking my daily ~1.5mi walk back to my car... checking my email on my phone I see something that starts with "Congratulations Ford Ironman World...".  After a thousandth of a second worth of excitement, I get over it and realize that it's probably an announcement of who won this year's highly coveted Kona lottery spots.  But wait... they didn't send out a similar email last year... <big smile> hmmmm.  Still walking, I press to open the email while controlling every ounce of me to just wait a couple seconds before going crazy... I mean, there's no reason for me to torture myself over suspicion.  I swear it took minutes for my phone to open the email (realistically, a couple seconds)...  sure enough, the rest of the email subject  "Conrgatulations Ford Ironman World Championship Lottery Winner!".  Stopping in the middle of the walkway, I'm still skeptical... I have to read every word of the email before giving in to this surge of excitement... after seeing my registration password and some more intricate details, I gave in!  Immediately, I start calling the people closest to me to tell them this truly unbelievable news... first on the list was my double Iron crew  :)  Most of my crew didn't even know that I submitted for the lottery... you can call it superstition or whatever, but mostly, I knew the probability of getting a lottery slot on my first try was miniscule to next-to-nothing... so I didn't want anyone to deal with the hope of getting this outcome, except me.  Also... I simply didn't want to jinx it (call me crazy, but whatever... it worked)!  I'm still not entirely sure what was going through my head when I submitted for the lottery because I had previously decided not to waste the money ($40 I think)... it was really a spur of the moment thing, where I saw an Ironman email and simply decided to buy the lottery "ticket" a few days before the deadline.

Since that afternoon, I've been feeling like I'm in a dream... I'm literally waiting for this agonizingly teasing dream to end.  One of the first things I did when reading that email was pinch myself and count my fingers on each hand (I've read that if you do this in a dream you'll count something other than 10... and I still have 10!).  I cannot get over this amazing stroke of luck that I've had, and I plan to take full advantage of it.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that thousands of others would give anything for, and I am not going to take that for granted!!  I may not have earned this spot with a top-3 performance (i.e. traditionally qualify), but I am going to train as if I did!!  Here's to what will hopefully be a perfect training season!

The double?  Well... you do the math.  With the double Iron starting on the same morning as Ironman Hawaii, I simply cannot do both races... for this sole reason, the Ironman Hawaii news does come with the slightest, minute hint of bitterness.  I'm trading off a once-in-a-lifetime feat for a once-in-a-lifetime dream... for every (or, nearly every) triathlete, the ultimate success is lining up in Kailua Bay and getting your swim on at the sound of a cannon.  Even for non-triathletes, this is a huge deal... it is THE Ironman race about which everyone knows!   This said... it sucks to have to cancel my double Iron registration, but I didn't have to think twice about this decision.... I'm Kona-bound!!  (wondering what will happen with the blog now... we'll see)

Oddly enough, I'm more intimidated by Ironman Hawaii than the double Iron in Virginia... speaking with a good friend (a while back) who has podium finished in Hawaii, he said that this race is the ultimate Ironman challenge.  Every race has it's unique challenges, but very few (if any) contain the brutal combination of challenges that only Kona provides.  There's a reason why it is the championship race for the best of the best.  It's going to be a day of ultimate pain that I'll thoroughly enjoy and never forget... I'll simply cross my fingers for an injury-free season!!

This changes my training plans, but not in a devastating way... training for a double is not entirely different than training for an Ironman.  The most notable difference is the long weekend workouts are longer for a double, and there are less tempo (anaerobic) workouts for a double.  This said, no major changes there... but there are always unique challenges with every training season, so we'll see how that goes.

I'm not entirely sure how this blog will change... this was initially set up to share my unique training experience for my first double Ironman.  Since there are a good amount of regulars for my blog and a bunch more sporadic readers, I'll continue the usual updates with a change in destination  :)

One more thing, my brother found a quick description from Ironman about typical weather on race day...
"What is the weather typically like on race day? 
Temperatures on race day range from 82 to 95 degrees, with the humidity hovering around 90 percent. Crosswinds on portions of the bike course sometimes get as high as 60 mph."

And more course descriptions... definitely a good read, in my opinion!!
Ironman Hawaii Course Description 

Till next time... Stay healthy & be happy!!!

1 comment: