I'm pretty big when it comes to goal setting. I have all my goals hanging up all around in my bedroom, in my closet and even express some of them on this blog. Over the past year I've been obsessed with qualifying for Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Vegas and it felt great qualifying at Oceanside. It was a sense of relief and accomplishment from all of those hours of training. I finally put together a good race and executed. Now, I'm very excited to go race in Vegas and trust me I am dotting every I and crossing every T with my coach in training lately (follow him on Twitter). This is the most focused and disciplined I've ever been in triathlon and I've seen huge fitness gains in just the short month we've been working together. However, since qualifying for Vegas - I've been having KONA on my mind lately. I keep trying to ignore these thoughts and move on but it has kind of become an internal thought obsession.

I still think of Vegas as the minor leagues (for AG'er's not the pro's). There's a ton of roll downs at these races and really if you place top 10 in your AG you'll have a good shot. KONA slot? Not so much and The Ironman World Championships doesn't have that 70.3 astrik. It's just "The World Championships." The race that has made triathlon what it is today. The big leagues, the big show and I want it. I want to experience the feeling that ALL finishers at KONA talk about. A life changing experience - one that you'll never forget. That's why we are doing this right? For these kind of moments. Especially as an age grouper, I'm not going to be winning any big races overall. Sure, it would be sweet to win my AG or even better be an overall amateur at a legit race but you're still not the overall winner - those are the pro's! It's just not the same in my mind.

So for me, part of the excitement is chasing a goal. The fact that it is ridiculously hard to qualify for KONA really intrigues me. Then once you do qualify you get to fly away to a magical place and experience a whole week of paradise! I know Vegas will be one that I will never forget - but let's be real here. KONA vs. Henderson, NV? So I think 2014 will be my Ironman debut. Haven't yet decided where yet - need something hilly, at sea level and nothing too crazy far away. Tons of options, we'll see. Another reason why I want to chase a KONA qualifier is because I'm not sure how much longer I'll be doing this. I am NOT going to be a "lifer." I've got kiddos and dreams of traveling and experiencing life with them. As much as I think I have the balance between family, career and triathlon down, it's not pretty. As in, I don't have very much fun these days. If triathletes with a career tell you that every workout is "fun" they are either lying or not putting in enough volume/intensity. The casual triathlete is an exception of course because they do it for the fun of it, not to compete. Unfortunately, I am a huge competitor and hate to lose so I am either an all or nothing kind of guy and that's what keeps me going day in and day out. Most of all, I've learned an extreme amount of discipline through triathlon. Something that I will take with me/fall back on in the rest of my life during family and career decisions.

So it makes sense to chase a KONA qualifier. The run is so important in the full and I've got that in my hip pocket, so why not use it? If I were to quit triathlon anytime soon I do not see myself coming back to it years from now. When I move on, I move on and I'd like to check KONA off my checklist of things to do in this short life. A miler turned Ironman? We'll find out-


Damie said...

I think going for Kona is awesome. It is on my to-do list as well. Enjoy the journey!!!! It is awesome. :)

jameson said...

rad. your run will definitely become even more of a weapon but the bike is HUGE in IM. Looking forward to following along during all of this.

any thoughts on which race you are going to pick... they sell out so fast.

James said...

Thanks guys! I really want a hilly bike/flat run with cool temps early summer - so Coeur d' Alene fits that bill to a tee so leaning that way for now.

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