Another Hawaii adventure is coming to an end. I’ve spent 9 weeks in Hawaii over the past 3 years and only now have I found that awesome beach I was sure were ten a dozen out here. The shot above was taken late afternoon today. More or less our last day in Hawaii. Tomorrow we head to Kona for one night and then home. I’m here playing with my two nephews and it sums up the trip really. Last year when my sister Jane realised she wouldn’t be able to see the race because she was pregnant with Isaiah I said she would have to come along in 2009 when Jo and I had planned to return to try and nail this race (we still plan to). Jane pointed out she wouldn’t be able to as Jude would be in school. At that point I agreed to try and qualify for this year so we all could have a final Hawaiian holiday. Thats what prompted the New Zealand entry. Yes this whole year was based around getting a final family holiday with my sister, mum and nephews.
At the time I thought that it would give me a chance to try some things out ahead of the 2009 race. I knew that Wisconsin was the A race of the season as that was the key to Jo and my plans. Get qualified early so all of 2009 could be focussed on Kona. Though I felt I was re-focussing on Kona when I entered New Zealand and Lanzarote for next year, in practise I think that was just paying lip service. In Wisconsin I gave it my all and as I said in the last entry I ended up plain tired for Kona. I did try some new things out – different bike training in the summer. I feel that was very worthwhile and though I will continue to mull it over I imagine that will be part of my push next summer. In the race at Kona I learnt a few things – I can do this swim well, I can go off at the start, not balls out, just enough to keep near the front line. I went easy at the start of the bike which I think helped me settle and allow better nutrition on the bike. However, once I hit the Queen K I reckon I need to consciously start to push the bike. This year I settled at too low an intensity. As for the run, I’ve had enough good and bad runs now to come to a conclusion – I need to get big mileage in during the period to about 3-4 weeks before the race then taper the run from there. This, of course, is not possible for the second race of two in close succession … next year I will ensure I do this for Kona.
The biggest disappointment for me is that I so wanted to give my family a great race as they’ve always been my biggest supporters and come along to most of my Ironman races. The last thing I wanted them to endure was the worry they went through knowing how bad I was feeling as I headed out towards the Queen K. A good performance next year will leave me slightly disappointed that they were not there to see it, in the same way I was disappointed they were not there ( in fact there were no supporters) when I raced The Longest Day.
Back here … Jude asked me if I was the world champion. I said “ I wish but no”. He said “You are the world champion”. What do I care about my performance when my little nephew views me as the best in the world. Lets face it by this time next week most of the other “pre schoolers” in his nursery will think I’m the world champion as well !!