It's actually from a contest they had last year during the Olympics but it's the thought that counts, right? Little did she know that the 66-67 deg pool was considerably warmer than inside than my house (which got down to 52 degs!) so I was working out to warm up some. Also to train myself mentally for similar race day temps to be expected in North Carolina later this year.
Next week I begin a 10-month blogging-for-coaching gig with Team Hendryx and my journey to complete two iron distance tris two weeks apart, the Great Floridian (10/24) and Beach to Battleship (11/7). Though they are both 140.6 miles long (for anyone unfamiliar with iron distance tris: 2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run), they are two completely different races. GF is usually pretty hot and humid with a freshwater lake swim, a relatively hilly bike course but a flat run while B2B will probably be fairly cold with a saltwater intercoastal waterway swim and a flat bike/run course.
As you might guess, this coaching thing is a HUGE opportunity for me. I mean, who would have thought that a middle-aged, former non-athlete and non-swimmer, now a front-of-the-back-of-the-pack swimmer, a decent cyclist and a crazy marathon runner, would be triathlon sponsorship material?
OK, perhaps some of you, but let's face facts. I'm not be going to be winning any races (unless they're really small and all the fast woman don't show up, which has happened twice but let's not let that go to my head, shall we?). I won't be setting any speed records. And it's doubtful I will be appearing on any covers or back covers of magazines, except perhaps Triathlete Magazine for People Named Shirley. Some local headlines are a possibility, though ........ if a gator nibbles on me during the swim, I get hit by a car while riding a bike, or collapse and die during the run. But no ordinary or even outstanding race performance is likely to make a blip on the local media radar, unfortunately. Heck, even the largest endurance event in town, the Disney Marathon, barely gets any attention.
But I do have a big dream and a blog as my bullhorn :-)
I've been somewhat reluctant to spell it out beyond what's in my blog header because it's so long term and is still a few years away (Ha, and you thought it took a long time to get my fresh squeezed lemonade?), but it's a dream that perhaps many others may have too, at least in part, so I'll share it with you now to set the stage for the significance of the training starting next week and perhaps inspire some of you to do things to get the ball rolling on your long term dreams, if you haven't already.
My dream is to retire at age 50, move and live full-time in Kona (vs. part-time), and do the Kona Ironman someday. Note the order. Namely, I've wanted to do the first two things for much longer than the last one (15 vs. 3 yrs so far) and that is my priority.
Now, I know some of you know that qualifying for the Kona IM as a Big Island resident may be easier than qualifying otherwise (depending who shows up at the local Hawaii 70.3 qualifier), but it's really not so easy considering the high cost of living in Hawaii and the stinky economy right now. In fact, due to the 3-year Big Island residency requirement, it's become apparent to me that buying one of the Kona slots that are auctioned on Ebay each year to raise funds for the local community would probably be a much less costly route. A couple years ago, I read about a guy who bought his girlfriend a slot for $60K, a nice tax deductible contribution as well, no doubt.
But, to me, buying a Kona slot would be pointless (plus, I'm extremely frugal and would never spend that kind of money on a race!). Similarly, winning a lottery slot or even qualifying the usual way would not satisfy me (although the latter would certainly be something to be very proud of, for sure!). Bottom line, I don't want to do the race and then go home elsewhere. I want to do it because I fell in love with the area during my first visit back in the early 90's, then running and swimming there, and also biking too more recently, since then and that's where I want to enjoy doing these hobbies, among others, for the rest of my life. The fact that the Kona IM happens to be the IM World Championship just gives me more incentive to get/stay in better shape as I get older. I would want to do the local race, or at least train on the course and be a part of the event, even if it were not.
So what does this all have to do with the coaching deal?
Well, besides helping me save more money for retirement, it should put me in a much better position to be able to compete for one of those Big Island resident slots when the time comes. Last year, a 7-hour finish at Hawaii 70.3 would have been good enough for a female 50-54-year-old Big Island resident to qualify. Five to six years from now, who knows? My guess is that the qualifying times will go down and the tough course is not going to get any easier.
Things I expect I'll need to work on this year:
And so it begins ... What do you hope to be doing 10-20 years from now?