Friday, September 27, 2013

Not the Meltdown I Was Hoping for…But It’s All Good!

When life hands you lemons, your lemonade’s gonna pretty much suck if you don’t have any sugar to add to it.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve been adjusting and re-adjusting my Kona goals.  To be honest, last week it got pretty depressing trying to figure out how to salvage what I could out of things given this bum knee (torn meniscus) I’ve been dealing with.  I won’t bring you down with all of those thoughts, but after a stellar training week (even without a run) I seem to be bouncing back and coming up with a plan to make the most out of my first shot at Kona.

Posting a picture on Instagram while riding a bike isn’t that hard.  You just have to know how t……..

At this point, my race goals are shaping up to be:

1.       Swim – Just get through it.  It won’t be my best swim, but I’m not in terrible swim shape.  I’m a little bit more nervous about this one given that ALL the swimmers are good swimmers and we’ll likely all be on top of each other.  I might have to duck a jab or two and I hope I don’t get too claustrophobic swimming in a mosh pit of 2500 folks.
2.       Bike – I’m in great bike shape so I hope to do well on the Queen K.  My training hasn’t been as specific or focused as it was for Ironman Florida, but I’ve put in the mileage and done some hard interval efforts.  I just hope to have fun and that the fabled winds coming back from Hawi don’t throw me off my bike.
3.       Run – I’ll be going into the marathon with nearly zero run mileage.  Part of me has been able to derive some motivation out of taking part in the experiment of seeing how far I can run on race day with no mileage underneath me but I’m pretty certain the knee pain will flare up pretty soon after leaving T2 and I’ll be resigned to tucking my tail between my legs and walking.  I’ll have to take it as it comes I guess.

Notice no time goals.  It would have been tough to predict even on two good legs.  

 Goose loves to be the center of attention amongst the Kona inspiring decorations.....

What I intended to do, and pictured doing on race day for almost a full year since I qualified is this……….of course I wanted to come into this race in top shape (like what I considered I was at for IMFL last November) firing on all cylinders.  If the race went perfect than outstanding!  But if things went south when the island’s heat, humidity, and wind broke me down I wanted to melt and melt spectacularly.  I wanted to go from feeling the wind over my skull with a trail of fire behind me thinking I was unstoppable to, “Why am I doing this?  I just want to take my ball and go home.”  There’s something about showing up in Kona for the first time ready to roll just to end up detonating in epic fashion.  Mark Allen.  Chris McCormack.  Marino van Hoecantspellanocker.  Julie Moss.  To me, that’s the legend that the Ironman World Championship in Kona is.  You always want to crush it all the way to the finish, but to really squeeze out every drop of respect from Kona it has always been the implosion of the mind and body simultaneously in one great big heat-exhausted melt-down that has drawn me to this race. Don't worry, I'm not suggesting I've gotten myself around that.  I'm sure I'll get all the suffering I want out there, just maybe not to the design I had intended.

This has been my twice daily routine as of late and will be up to race day.  TENS sessions really work and the best part is it gives me 30 minutes of looking pitiful and having Angie wait on me while I’m confined to my chair!

I still intend to put everything out there on the bike and that may be enough to finish me off right there.  But it’s unknown if after that I’ll be able to find that part of the run where my mind tells me to give up or if my knee will do that for me right out of T2.  At any rate, a glorious day of suffering is inevitable for me on race day, October 12. 

Merle III left for Kona today!  Here she is shortly before she began her journey.  I may regret going with the deep 808 in the front but I’m hoping I can keep ‘er upright in the crosswinds out by Hawi.  Thanks to Carl and Julia Bonner for letting me use their sweet wheels!

I’m in a good place.  It’s not how I wanted to roll, but I’m thankful just to be participating in this amazing event!  Thanks for reading!