From the sidelines it’s always amazing seeing anyone and everyone run down the finish chute along Alii Drive. Massive congratulations to you all who finished, or gave it your best effort at doing so. Giving it your best is what you should be happiest about. A good result is a bonus.
Being there and not racing was a unique experience, and one that I really enjoyed. Throughout the year I was focused on race to race, and trying to get consistent in my training, so I hadn’t yet started mentally preparing for Hawaii when I had to pull out due to illness and that is why it was easy for me to come to the race and have a great time. At no point did I feel like I wanted to be in the race this year.
I enjoyed watching Jan Frodeno win. I would have put money on it that he would. And the race was awesome. The closest in a long time between the podium, and the top 10 off the bike was so strong, not just good riders but solid runners too. The race was actually exciting, for 8hrs. However watching the coverage online on Ironmanlive was not exciting.
The first 5 days in Kona Jaim and I did some good training with a few different friends. It was refreshing to be in Hawaii and not feel like I needed to be wrapped in cotton wool and stressing about all the details for an impending race of unbelievable pressures.
Day 6 and 7 were full of appearances and meetings. Talking to many industry folk was a huge insight that previously I hadn’t had the time to do. Jaim and I are working great as a team these days and it was invigorating to talk about this sport and where want to head as a company/brand, and how we can work with sponsors and fans to achieve it. We are making great progress.
Day 8 was the day before the race. A meeting, some training, some resting, and then Bob Babbitt’s Thank God I’m Not Racing Party (TGINR Party) and a late night.
I wasn’t keen on being down at the pier for the pre race emotions of the pro athletes, that I definitely would have missed being a part of and felt like an outsider. Once the race was underway however I was happy to be spectating this great race. After seeing the start of the bike we went for a swim with a few other pro athletes and achieved a little session. A very brief spot on Ironmanlive and then watch Jan and the top 10 head out to the second half of the run, then waited for them to finish and catch up with them behind the finish line. A little while later and I was starting to feel a bit off. Sore throat, aching head and neck, and really tired. Jaim and I aren’t used to late nights and perhaps our immune systems were a bit weak for it, and perhaps the large amount of mocha frappacino’s didn’t help either ;).
The last few days of our trip we had morning swims, long breakfasts, holiday time (cliff jumping and surfing). A couple more late nights and frappacinos and as I sit on the plane heading home writing this I feeling incredibly jet lagged despite not having travelled for 2 weeks. Damn immune system.
Watching the race did fill me with motivation. There is a huge difference between suffering in Kona and having a relaxed positive experience watching the others go through the pain, watching them suffer and reach their limits on the day. I didn’t expect it to have such an impact. To see the race unfold, to see the guys at their limits, so many having solid races, the races of their lives, and yet….
And yet… I know I can win that race again.
Now it begins again already, so good luck to everyone hoping to qualify for next year.