It's race week!
Here is a brief update (just a few paragraphs) on this weekend's race and my recent training.
On Saturday, May 7, I'm racing in 70.3 (half-ironman) St George, Utah.
I'm way stoked about it, and definitely a bit anxious. I haven't raced a triathlon since Ironman Wisconsin, almost 6 months ago. It's not the distance I'm concerned about, or the pain and discomfort, or what place I might come in. I'm having a hard time really verbalizing why I'm nervous. I want to put together a complete race. I put together a couple great shorter races this last Fall, and this Spring I've had some really good runs - I think I've won my age group in every race since IMWI. But I haven't ever put together a fantastic half or full Ironman. I really really would like to put a solid run onto the end of a long-course triathlon. I have dreams about it. All the time, I'm dreaming about triathlon, and especially the run. Sometimes, in the dreams, it's effortless and I'm just eating up the miles. Sometimes I'm off course. Sometimes I can't find any speed, and sometimes I'm running inexhaustibly. If the dreams mean anything, it's that I'm thinking about it constantly, and that I have a burning desire to crack out a solid triathlon run: Get off the bike, settle in to a quick and efficient stride, and hold it right at the threshold of cracking, just hold on to it right through the finish.
So, it's been 1 year, almost to the day, that I've been training with the group in Boulder and our coach, Julie Dibens.That means 2 things to me.
One, it's time to race fast. Will I get better and better the longer I do this sport and as I become more physically mature? Heck ya. But it seems like it is time to race fast. Not that my previous races have been anything less than fantastic. I've done some great stuff in previous races. But I've fallen apart in every long course triathlon, breaking down during the run every time. So it's time to put together a complete show.
Excuse me while I talk myself up for a moment. You, me, everyone - we're all extraordinary beings and children of God. Let's live with a little swagger and confidence in what we do:
The other thing that 1 year means is that, hey, I'm the man. I've become a different human and athlete, physically and mentally. This training is hard. Relative to some of the heavier stuff in life, triathlon is pretty lighthearted. But endurance sport is far from an easy or half-hearted endeavor. I feel lucky to do it, and I find enjoyment in it every day, but it's acutely and chronically hard. For example, cracking out 1000 meter track repeats until failure - that's acutely hard. Swim 5 times per week, bike 3 to 5 times, run 4 to 6 times. Day after day and week after week. Because, with fitness, it's use it or lose it. That's chronically hard.
So I've been doing that for a year. It's absolutely awesome, to use my gifts, to push every day, to chase definite and measurable goals, to get better each and every day. I've done as much as I can to get better at triathlon, every day for 1 year, and I'm the man for doing it.
That was year one year of being serious about triathlon. I'll probably do a bunch more. Who knows for how long - I'm taking it one race, one day, one workout at a time. I think you go into a race telling yourself that this race, this moment, is all that matters. You better do your best here, because this is all that matters. Afterwards, whether it went really poorly or really well, you look at it as part of the larger picture. I've got a lot of life left in this sport. But for now, I'm going to crack out a performance at St George. Race week baby. Time to let 'er rip.
In a week or two, I'll write a race report about 70.3 St George. But if you want to follow along, check Ironman.com - there you will find live and final race results. Ironman 70.3 St George, May 7, Luke Kurey, Bib #146.
As always, thanks for reading and happy May!
If you're interested, he is the race plan/goals I wrote for myself. No need to make it too complicated!
Start out front on the swim. Not many people swim faster than you. Hard minute or 2. Settle behind fast feet. If you lose the feet, don't worry about it. Swim straight and smooth. Use your vision to the sides.
Good transition. Clean your feet, both pairs of socks on, shoes on, helmet on, glasses on. Throw down some gel solution. Proceed.
You will ride plenty hard. Guaranteed. Keep yourself hydrated and sippin on gels. Stay aero, be efficient. Use the pace line.
Slip the shoes on, bib number, watch, visor. Proceed.
Easy the first few miles. You will thank yourself. After you settle in for at least 2 miles, find your threshold. And hold it. Sit there. Hold the threshold. Think of the people you love. One for each mile. Run it for them. Hips neutral. Arms pumping, neck and face relaxed. Drink at each aid station. Hold the threshold.