"I am going to Hawai`i to do a triathlon"
How would you describe that sentence? Sound really cool? Sounds like paradise? Sounds like a lot of work? Can that sentence really be described as simple as the aforementioned questions?
For me, definitely not.
Going to the big island of Hawai`i to race in the lavaman triathlon represents so much more.
It represents the culmination of hundreds of miles and countless hours of training, raising funds for cancer research and patient services, meeting new friends, and above all - having fun.
I am a "work hard, play hard" type of person. I like "the best of both worlds" type situations. I like pushing my limits. I like meeting new people. I love this sport, the lifestyle, the progress made, the friendships, the competition, the lessons learned, the fact that that this sport is 90% mental and 90% physical at the same time, seeing other people "catch the bug", meeting other people outside of TNT, having the experience of one season under my belt, making new friends and training buddies, being a total tri-geek, meeting professional triathletes, blogging about the experience, the cause/mission, the fundraisers, the coaching, and training with the team.
For those that that followed me on this journey, thanks for asking me how things are going, and reading this website. Ultimately, it's the journey that I enjoyed the most. It sounds a little cliche, but it is true. The race is "relatively" easy. It's all the training and time thats hard. But its the people you meet along the way that keep going.
I have asked a lot of my body over the past 5 months. I have made numerous changes compared to last year to better prepare myself - mentally and physically. I am happy with the progress that I made over the season, especially in the last month. So, as I sit here and type this during my taper week to let me recover for the race, I am reflecting on the past 5 months, but looking forward to the next 5 days.
Of course, I am looking for improvements both in racing strategy and times this year compared to last (2:37:22, 100 overall out of 507). I am hoping for similar conditions last year - minimal wind on the bike course. I am looking to place well in my age group, and overall. I am looking forward to the friendly competition between my friends and I. I am looking forward to other triathletes racing with me. I am looking forward to the sunrise over the transition area before the race, the finish line at the end of the race, and racing back into the ocean after finishing! I am looking forward to racing this race. I feel that the training I have done over the past 5 months have prepared me for it. I feel that I am ready.
So, it all comes down this.
Sunday, April 1st, 7:30am, Anaeho`omalu Bay, Kohala Coast, Hawai`i - the Lavaman Triathlon.
Big picture: it doesn't matter how I do at this race. I chose to do Team In Training to raise funds for cancer research and for my buddy Jeff. But, I know Jeff (and I) wouldn't be happy if I didn't absolutely push the limits and see what I can do!