Race Week - Escape From Alcatraz & A Little Reflection
This will always be a special race to me. First off, it’s one of the great triathlons of any distance in the entire world. San Francisco is such a majestic city and this is organized in a first class manner. In 2010, two years ago, this was my first triathlon of any kind and I came in with a 2:43. Last year, with a little more seasoning under my belt, I dropped to a 2:33. This year, I want to go sub 2:20.
When I was planning my season and knew I would be taking this race on 7 days after Honu 70.3, I dreamed of having already qualified for Kona, and that I would be allowed low expectations on my return…because I expected a hangover from having just raced and taking on back to back weekends. The problem with that approach now is that I feel good. I feel loaded and hungry and want to have a great day. Vineman is right around the corner and extremely important and I feel I can’t miss the opportunity of hitting new depths.
I’m still glowing a bit from this last weekend. It’s difficult for me to put into words how special Honu was for me. Kona is a place that has been tattooed on my heart since I was very little, and to make it there for the Ironman WC’s on my own merit instead of lottery is one of the great accomplishments of my life. It sets up the rest of my season so perfectly. But more than anything, Honu has moved me out of the swamps and helped put down a foundation for me to build upon. It was the break through bike split I had been expecting. Now, after conquering my lacking technical bike skills - and with an upgraded standard crank moving forward, I don’t expect to ride well for the rest of the season, but to dominate the amateur fields. With my bike taken care of, I can maintain and move onto putting up a sub 1:20 run at Vineman or Steelhead, because it sure isn’t going to happen in Vegas.
This is as good a time as any to take a breath and be thankful. Yesterday, I had a conversation with my main sponsor, Hammer Nutrition, who basically erased for me the entire entry fee for the Kona WC’s. I keep on showing up in their magazines because I rely so massively on their products, but also because they know understand my 1000% belief I would not be where I am, or going where I am going without their support. When I applied at the beginning of the year, I made all these wild claims about how far I was going to progress in 2012. I will FOREVER continue to make wild claims: note the title of this blog. But they took a flier on me. I’ll always remember that.
One of my great propelling thoughts in Kona was that I HAD to make it back in October, because the island wasn’t the same without having my family there. Last year, we rented a place on Ali’i Drive and I think they had a good time and weren’t just humoring me. My brother wrote my name in white rocks against the lava field. After the race, my mom found me standing in pain on the shores and beneath the salt water and just held on to me (beauty in white in the above photo by dad). At midnight, me and my dad went back to the midnight finish line. They stood out there on the streets of Kailua ALL DAY. It honestly would have killed me to not bring us all back. So glad it’s happening. So grateful for such a first class and incredible crew.
Thanks for reading, and writing, and following. I’ve been spending most of my adult life writing blogs no one ever sees (oh, they’re out there). To have a crew of people on here that follow me, and I follow back is probably what has made this ridiculous little site a billion dollar venture. But I am very grateful to have you all, frequent or infrequent. Keep on.