It would be remiss not to write about the Race which planted if not galvanized and germinated the idea of this blog and the journey I am on.
Simply , Kona is the mecca of Ironman racing.
Each year I watch and follow the race with a mixture of great enjoyment and a tinge of jealousy . If I am honest , I wonder how do the invitees and the 200 lottery winners get there . Am I not deserving , have I not sweated blood for the honour. And the reality is No. For there are many who are deserving and many who do not make it. Luck will always play a role as will ability and capacity to win a spot. I sadly will never reach those rarefied levels but a lottery place is within reach one day. Till then I would prefer not to be a spectator but a participant.
But as the race unfolds with the interest of friends racing and the professional field with my favourites , there are many lessons learnt . Kona continues to throw up stories after each race. The tragic , the unbelievable and the truly heroic.
It is a long hard day like any Ironman race, just more so for the fact getting back there may be near impossible for the majority.
Lessons that I take away watching from a distance.
Believe in Yourself
I have seen what can be achieved and even triathletes from my town can be World Champions.
Mark Allen said to me a few years ago at the Kona after party ‘All you need is confidence.’ It’s one thing to know you’ve done the training and another to have done all the training and have done really well. So those two races at the end of last year allowed me to actually believe I can do it at every Ironman I race.Leanda cave
Be prepared /Anything can Happen
Any thing and everything can and will happen. Life isn't perfect and neither is the race. learning to adapt is probably the strongest suite of great athletes.
Learn from others
Scott Rigsby's 5 key steps to achieving the unthinkable The Riddle of the Ironman
With experience comes knowledge and the ability to cope.
All competitions – and even training sessions – are opportunities for learning. That’s part of the reason we encourage athletes to stick it out and finish races even when they face adversity or are far off their goal paces. There’s certainly a time when athletes need to stop to preserve their health and safety, but when it’s just a not-so-great day there’s a lot you can learn about yourself and about your perseverance by staying in the race. Those lessons will help you out in the future.By Lindsay Hyman Carmichael training SystemsHave a Goal and chase it
Races are determined not only by the physical ability of the individual but the mental preparation and desire. having a goal and remaining on song is so vital.
Embrace the Suck
As Macca said in his book , that is what it is all about , conquering demons in your head and facing them squarely .
If I can distill the energy and the desire and talent that flows in Kona in race week , it will make a powerful potion . I may not have all the answers and may not be racing Kona but it is still a magical Never Never land where dreams can come true. In the mean time it remains the Mecca for the devoted waiting for the ticket to make that pilgrimage.