Well, it wouldn't be an ironman, and I doubt that I would have gotten as far as I have without goals in my life. I have a knack for being able to predict a goal time pretty reasonabbly for future races as I was able to hit the IMLP time within 5 minutes.
I have several goals for this race in Wisconsin coming up that I feel like sharing tonight....
1. Have fun - look at the photos from last year's IMLP, I was beaming in every photo. I want to have that in Wisconsin too.
2. Just go out there and do what I do, race smart and get to the finish line
3. Now here's the nitty gritty - get a PR in an iron distance race (sub 10:27)
4. Go sub 10:10
5. Sub 10 hours and place on the podium of my age group (M25-29)
6. Sub 10, AG placing and slot.
Obviously they tend to get harder and harder the farther that you go down the list. But without that "pipe dream" goal at the very end, what would we have to chase after? A good friend once advised me of an old Chinese curse, "may you attain all of your goals"....Very relevant.
I think that a majority of those goals are attainable with the training that I've put in this year. I don't want to jinx anything, but I also want to be pretty reasonable. Obviously if the weather does not cooperate (headwinds on the bike) the times will be slower than expected, but that's kind of out o my control. If I race to my potential and have one of those everything-went-exactly-according-to-plan type of days, then I think there is a slim chance that I could grab all six goals above. But things would need to really bend my way.
I have other little goals too. I want to be between 55-58 for the swim (reasonable considering that the swim is a strength of mine and I've been swimming with a masters group for quite some time now. I just need to seed myself accordingly) I would also like to bike strong enough to be in contention but not too strong that I blow out my legs and have a shitty marathon.
My marathon goal is the big thing here. I'm almost using Wisconsin as a stepping stone to going sub 10 in Placid, but I'm obviously racing it to the best of my ability and not holding anything back. I just want to race hard enough and to my potential. The best thing for me would be a bike split that allows me to run something in the 3:2X range for the marathon. I did a 3:41 in Placid and a 2:53 in Boston and a 2:55 in Philly, so I don't think a 30 minute drop off my PR for an IM run is unreasonable. Now that I know how to properly run a marathon, this should be interesting...
I plotted it out on my friend Beth's birthday last year on a post it note and hung it in my cubicle of what I thought my ideal everything-went-exactly-perfect race could come out to at IMmoo and it showed as a 9:55...I would be elated if a week from now that was my time. I guess we'll see what happens.
So those are my goals. I'm being COMPLETELY honest and not holding anything back. I want to come back with some hardware. Once you get on the podium, it's hard to do a race and not want to be on their again. My good friend Sarah (whom I met on the podium at Placid) endured the crazy conditions of IMLP this year and was a repeat AG placer. I don't want to dissappoint, I want to do that again too. But this year, I aged up into the M25-29 from the M18-24 AG, so it will be a little tougher, but nothing I can't handle. We'll see what Sunday Funday brings folks.
These are goals though. I obviously realize how fortunate that I am to be able to have the ability to race as hard as I do and as fast as I can. It hurts and as athletes we sacrifice a lot. But that's not all that I am about. My world will not be crushed if I on't hit the time goals that I want to or something happens during the race. Dissappointment will creep in yes, but the sun will still come up tomorrow and there are bigger fish to fry in the world. I'm just sharing these as a little added pressure on my ass that I don't want to let anyone down. I will race hard and do my very best, and however that shakes out is how it will be listed in the results. So on that note, I'm bringing my "A-game" to Wisconsin in a few days and you better bring yours to all of your races. Until then, dream big... cheers.