For the first time in the last 3 years, I will not be toeing the line of the 70.3 World Championships this weekend. I am a bit bummed. Seeing my fb, and twitter world being taken over by those that are, is making it hard. I love a challenge, and I love GREAT competition so to be missing the Worlds this year for the first time in the last 3 years bugs me a little bit (a lot). At the same time, it’s not because I couldn’t make it there, but it’s because at the end of last season, I (together with my coach) chose a different path towards my longer term development as an athlete. It was a tough decision for me, but I know I will benefit from it down the road.
It really wasn't easy. I really wanted to go back to Vegas, and back to Hawaii this year, but I really had to look at why I wanted to go back to these races. Sure, it was for the fun of it, for the great competition, plus it’s always nice to follow the sun when the east coast starts to feel like fall or worse yet winter, but I knew I wanted something more. Having few of these races under my belt, I knew I wanted more. Participating at the world championship races of any distance is a huge accomplishment and I am by no means discounting that at all, but I have been there and done that. I have been somewhat competitive at that stage as well, and so my goals have now shifted from simply make it to that stage, to actually winning at that stage.
I came in 6th in my AG in Vegas last year (1 spot and 1 min 45 sec. short of the podium, and 21st amateur female overall), and 15th in my AG in Kona (29ish or so minutes off the podium) Little further of the podium there but with Kona being my very first ironman, and a marathon, I really couldn’t dream up my day all that much better. Sure, I could have been faster, but my goal last year was to enjoy the experience, to enjoy my first ironman. I did that and some. While at the awards ceremony in Hawaii last year, I knew right there and then, that one day I have to stand on that stage. I am pretty sure I called my coach and told him that. I just couldn’t stop thinking about doing Kona again and standing on that stage next time I race in Hawaii. And that’s how my racing/training schedule was born.
I fully realize that the goals I have are tough/very tough, but I also know that longer term, I will have what it takes to get it done. 2013 just wasn’t the year yet. With that said, I didn’t race any Vegas or Kona qualifiers this year, but I did race Timberman 70.3, where I punched my ticket to Mt. Tremblant 70.3 the new host site for 70.3 Worlds in 2014, and I will be racing Ironman Cozumel on December 1st in the hopes of getting that Kona 2014 slot. Again, that will not be easy, but I will be ready to give my best. If all goes well, I will have my ticket to both World championship races in my back pocket by the end of 2013, and will have another full year to get ready to accomplish my lofty goals.
I just totally put myself out there, but I believe that with a bit more time, I will have what it takes to get it done. It all started with a dream, and with each day that goes by, I can feel the dream becoming more and more of a reality. I may be reaching for the stars,but I know that I won’t stop until my dreams come true.
So for all of you racing Vegas this weekend, and Kona 5 short weeks after – stay cool, go fast, have fun, and most importantly regardless of what your goals are - enjoy the experience because it is like no other! For those of you that aspire to get to Vegas or Kona, keep working and you will reach your goals. I am sure most of you have seen Diana Nyad completing the 110 mile swim from Cuba to Florida this past Monday and the 3 messages she shared with everyone following her swim:
1. We should never give up
2. You are never too old to chase your dream
3. Looks like a solitary sport but it takes team
All these messages fit well with triathlon as well so chase your dreams, and don't be afraid to tell the world what you are after! I am listening :)