Kona Bound!

Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Training

This must be the year of GG.  I don’t know why I’m suddenly the recipient of all this good fortune, but I’m not complaining.  First, I got an amazing new job that starts May 2nd working for some good people with a good position.  Then, I’ll marry an incredible woman in July.  Then, three weeks later, I’ll compete at my third Ironman event in Frankfurt, Germany.  As if that wasn’t good enough, I found out today, that I won a lottery slot and the privilege of competing at the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The World Championships are for an exclusive bunch.  Only the best Ironman athletes in the world compete there, and they do so by qualifying.  Such qualification is earned by finishing in the top bunch of certain age groups, or in some cases, the sole top spot in an age group.  Additionally, the Ironman Corporation offers 200 slots for individuals who didn’t qualify (or in my case, would never ever have the ability to do so).  If by chance, a person wins a lottery slot, that person has to complete an Ironman event within twelve months of the race in Kona.  But that “if” is a rather huge one; I can’t find any evidence to support this, but I have to believe that there are 100,000+ entrants into the lottery globally.  There is a fee to enter:  $35 for one entry, and $85 for two entries.  Naturally, I paid the $85 a few times in past years believing that there would never be a chance I’d win… but lo and behold, I did win!  Unbelievable!

So what does this mean?  Well, Ironman Germany is on July 24th.  Ironman Hawaii is October 8th. That’s eleven weeks.  Yikes!  The way I see it, I will race in Germany, go on my honeymoon for two weeks, chillax at home for another week to complete my recovery, then get back to training and get my mileage back up.  Unlike most Ironman training periods where athletes are starting basically from scratch, or at least from a base fitness level, I’ll begin my Kona training with a full Ironman training season in me, with very little atrophy or fitness loss.  In a way, I’m extremely fortunate that my Ironman races are so close together.  And, with good coaching from my Terrier Tri Team coaches, I stand to be in good shape for Hawaii.  I’m a little, okay… a LOT, afraid of the heat and wind on the Kona course.  It’s the stuff of legendary tales of torture and failure and does weigh heavily on me, but I won’t let it deter me.  I believe in my ability to survive the harshest of situations and to fight through adversity.

First things first:  tomorrow I will bike for four hours.  Sunday I will run for an hour and forty-five minutes, then swim for an hour and fifteen minutes.  Monday, I will run again for forty-five minutes and swim again for another hour.  Tuesday I will do more, and more yet the next day, and again and again, each week building myself into a better athlete under the tutelage of my coaches until July 24th.  What happens after that as I prepare for Kona is not up to me, but if I was a betting man, I’d say 2011 is not a year to bet against me.

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