RYAN'S ROAD TO KONA ~ ONE MONTH TO GO TIME!
Kona's almost here! In exactly one month from today, I'll be in Hawai'i at check-in for the IronMan World Championships!
People keep asking me if I'm ready and the truth is that I have absolutely no idea. I know that I've worked my butt off and that I will also have the satisfaction of knowing that I did everything in my power to make myself as ready as I'll ever be, but I honestly don't think that I will know for sure until I finish or get dragged off of the course.
I also get asked a lot if I'm scared. The answer to that question is a definitive yes although maybe not in the way one might expect. I have a healthy, mortal fear of the swim for sure, mainly because I haven't gotten much of an opportunity to swim in the ocean and treading water for five minutes before swimming 2.4 miles while trying not to hyperventilate from nerves is a bit daunting. I think what scares me most though, is not knowing what it is going to feel like to push myself for that long. This will be my first full-distance IronMan and my first full marathon... It freaks me out just to think about it! I know without a doubt that this will truly be the most difficult thing that I have ever done and I think knowing that before I even start and willingly walking into that struggle is the most uncomfortable bit. Last but certainly not least, I worry about not making the cut-off. That was a huge concern for me at Buffalo Springs 70.3 as well. It was my validation race and if I didn't finish in time there I wasn't going to Kona at all, but this time the stakes are high because if I screw this up I may never get another opportunity to make it right because who knows if I'll ever get lucky enough to make it back?!
On the positive side, regardless of what happens, training for this race has literally forced me to do things that I always said I wanted to do but was too lazy to follow through on. It has morphed me into a different person than I was even a year ago. This time last year, I rode 45 miles for the first time at the Emmit Smith Gran Fondo and thought I was going to die. Fast forward to this June and I finished one of the most difficult 70.3 races on the list in what was supposedly the roughest conditions they've seen in years. I still have a long way to go before I can start even thinking about being competitive, which is my ultimate goal, but I'm just grateful to have made it this far and that the right set of circumstances (along with the perfect coach, amazing friends/teammates and a very patient girlfriend) arose to get me here.
One more killer weekend of training left and then it's time to taper! Kona, here I come!