This is it.

Over the past few years I've made it no secret as to what my goals have been. That goal was to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and here I am - 2 days away from toeing the line. It was kind of surreal to actually arrive, see the EXPO, check-in and listen to all of the languages being spoken all around you that have the same dream you had. It's funny because there are a lot of reactions from different types of friends, family members, co-workers and acquaintances when discussing this race. These are the types I've found:

1. The "Thinks a triathlon is a marathon" type: No matter how many times you tell this type of person - they always think you are running a marathon. "You're running a marathon in that Vegas heat, you're crazy!!??" I've found after three times trying to explain this you just shake your head yes.

2. The "Shrugger": The type that don't really care or express zero interest in what you are doing and usually give you a "good luck" and change the subject.

3. The "Veteran": The 40 something triathlete that's been "doing this for years" and kind of smirk at you and give you unwanted advice and pretty much think you're in over your head type.

4. The "Worshiper": The type that thinks you are a professional athlete that may or may not have won a gold medal and can't believe they know you. No matter how many times you tell them you're just an amateur they dismiss it and keep asking you if you're going to win it and take home $.

5. "The Supporter": For me, this is almost all of you that I know. I couldn't ask for a better wife, family to be apart of, friends, workout partners, coaches and team mates that have done nothing but supported me on this journey. This may or not be a big deal to most but it is to me. As a life-long athlete in baseball, soccer, running and now triathlon - this is the biggest stage I have ever been on and it's at the age of 34. I can't say thank you enough for everyone that believed in me, pushed me and encouraged me in this journey - it means the world to me. Hands down I couldn't have done any of this without the support of my wife. She's put up with my workouts, fatigue and sometimes grumpiness and has given me nothing but support to help me reach my dream - thank you!!!

A thank you to my coaches over the past few years: James Walsh - that set a super strong base for me, taught me how to work and got me connected in the industry and ultimately became a friend. For Coach Carol - my swim coach that has helped me with my technique, pushed me in workouts and gave me encouragement. And finally -coach Robert Flanigan for taking me under his wing and really teaching me what it takes to be good in this sport and we are just getting started! Special thanks to Mike Hebebrand for allowing us to stay in their casita! Thanks to Marc Rinzler for awesome workouts and letting me borrow his race wheels for WC's. And lastly, thanks to all my sponsors/supporters Wattie Ink and all the sponsors you see to the left. The Bike shop who hands down had one of the biggest influences on me and moving up in the sport and personal sponsors e21 Recovery and X-1 Audio.

Some of the Wattie Crew!
Amy and I rolled in last night, met up with some team mates for dinner. Today we had breakfast with my grandparents, I checked-inn and now about to head over to a Wattie Ink Pool Party to hang out and relax. I'm still in taper/recovery mode. I don't feel amazing but I don't want to feel amazing on Friday, I want to feel amazing on Sunday. I really don't know what to expect in this race. I realize a few things though.... One, knowing that I am still only in my 3rd year of triathlon and I can't just expect to roll in and snag a podium spot from so many great triathletes around the world that have been training for years and have done this course in the heat before. I respect them and know they are on another level then I am...However... I also know the work I've put in, the talent that I have and the mental relentlessness that I have to surprise some people come Sunday. It really is a win, win situation. I don't have a great race - it was a great learning experience and I had no expectations going in. Have a great race...well - no need to explain. I DO know that I am extremely competitive and that I won't let any of my competitors gain even 1 second from me that they didn't earn.

My bib number is 676. My wave goes off at 7:04am. You can track me on www.ironman.com or through the iphone "Iron Tracker" app. Amy will send out updates on my phone via twitter - so if you don't follow me on twitter you'll be able to read my feed on this blog. Thanks again for everyone that has read this blog and followed me along this journey!!!

Feet up!
Rick from The Bike Shop - Slice is ready to go!

Amy and Grandma getting luck (or not) on some slots!
My beautiful kids
Thanks for reading!!

2 comments:

Jaime Hale said...

Whatever happens you made it to this moment in 3yrs, and all you can do is go out and run your race. Impressive. Irving and I are rooting for you!

Damie said...

Best of luck my #OG friend!!!

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