In 19 days, I’ll be racing in Kona. Last week was a tough week for me mentally, I didn’t feel the greatest in training, I had an urge to do lots of hard work to build my fitness because my race was rapidly approach and I need to get in better shape. Fortunately, cooler minds prevailed and I took some good rest last week. This coming week will be mostly "easy" workouts with a couple tough ones to try and push my fitness to the next level and to ironout the details of pacing and nutrition for Kona.
Speaking of pacing – last week I had a little something to say about pacing the bike in an Ironman and the implications good/bad pacing has for your ability to run well. I was thinking about this some more, and I came to the conclusion that sometimes it may be appropriate to make choices about pacing that appear to be "poor" choices in hindsight.
I did this a few times this year, at each of the half IMs that I did (Rockman, Appleton, Racine), in two of the races I got burned, and at Rockman it paid off. That’s all well and good when you’re talking a B race in June or July, but what about when it comes to your A+ race of your career thus far? Do you hold back and play your cards, or do you go all in?
Thinking back to my limited experience playing Texas Hold ’em, there were two times when I would feel comfortable going "All in" – if I knew that my hand was going to win, or if I knew that my hand didn’t stand a chance, but I knew my competitions didn’t either – in other words; I feel it is entirely appropriate to go "All in" when you have nothing to lose – in fact I almost think that when you have nothing to lose – it’s the only choice. So how does this relate back to Kona?
In some ways while Kona is my A+ race of my triathlon career (thus far), and it my just be the biggest race of my athletic career to date. However, the goal this season was not to have a kick ass race in Kona, but to simply qualify for Kona at IMAZ or at IMWI. I accomplished that, I qualified at Arizona, and accomplished my goal for the season. Racing in Kona this year is icing on the cake – sure if I had qualified at IMWI and was going to race Kona in 2008, I might look at it differently, but I accomplished my goal this year and can live happy with that – what have I got to lose in Kona?
Nothing. Seems to me like it’s a good time to go out and see what I’m made of.