I’m on a flight at the moment to Hawaii. I’m heading back to the Big Island for the Ironman, although I won’t be racing this year. I’m going over to assist John Brennan in the launch of his MyAthlete business. Yes, this will be a tough business trip, but hey, I’m willing to make the sacrifice – I’m that kind of guy.
It will be strange though, being over there during race week and not being a participant in the race. This is my eighth trip to Kona, and my first as a spectator. I was much more relaxed packing for this trip than in the past when racing. I won’t feel any of that usual pre-race pressure over the next 5 days either. I won’t overanalyze every little cough, twitch, ache, or sniffle, like I usually do in the week leading up to Ironman. I won’t think about every nutrient I place in my mouth this week. I know Brennan likes to down a few beers so I’m looking forward to that! I won’t awake each morning thinking about how well I did or didn’t sleep. I won’t second guess my training and my taper and wonder if my dead legs will come around for race day. I won’t worry about being in the sun too much, or about staying off my feet, or expending too much energy body-surfing in the pacific.
Writing this, it’s almost easy to question why I race in the first place. And then I think about the last ½ mile. The few minutes where I want time to stand still. Where my emotions are so raw and uncontrolled, and all the training and effort put towards this Ironman goal become minute. I can picture it clear as day now – the right hand turn to the slight downhill where at the base is the hot corner onto Alii Drive. Running down that hill, all the pain from the day goes away. All the questions of doubt are erased. Spectators are cheering you on and at the hot corner; you can hear Mike Reilly calling your name. Then you turn right onto Alii and you see the green carpet soon enough. Spectators hold their hands out wishing you congratulations and grabbing a small piece of your overwhelming energy. You become hyper with the fact that you are about to complete the Ironman. All the hard work has paid off and it’s more than worth it.
Damn. I wish I were racing!
I will be blogging each day from Kona so please stay tuned in!