For the second time in my life, I’ve just arrived in the US of A; and I’m excited about it. For those who’ve read my book, or followed my blog way back when, this may almost come as a surprise.
The last time I visited North America, I was, almost immediately, eager to return home. Whilst not terrible, my previous stay left me with little desire to return; and even less expectation that I’d do so enthusiastically.
Following on from Triathlon: Part 1, and Triathlon: Part 2, that I wrote in 2020, I suppose I am approaching the conclusion of what would be Triathlon: Part 3 – if I were to continue dissecting my life like that.
To be more specific, I have landed in Las Vegas – a two-hour drive from my ultimate destination, St. George, Utah.
As mentioned in Part 2, after racing Ironman Tallinn 2020, I qualified for the Ironman World Championships. Since then, I have been training full-time, with this race as the overarching goal.
Due to covid, the race was postponed from October 2021, to February 2022. Then, it was postponed again to 7th May 2022 – 6 days from now – and moved from its typical location in Kona, Hawaii, to St. George.
Over the last 19 months, swimming, cycling, running, and eating have been at the centre of my life. Even whilst living in Girona, oftentimes, little else has penetrated that bubble. There have been other races during that time, both big and small, containing positives and negatives. However, ultimately, they were stepping stones towards the test I face next weekend.
These races, and my day-to-day efforts, have seen me steadily close on where I’m aiming. I suppose, if I were to write a Triathlon: Part 3 post, these aspects would make up the bulk of it.
However, as I said, the conclusion to this long chapter is yet to unfold, and, I feel the need to publicly remind myself of something. I have no regrets. Whatever happens.
I’m not the same person I was when I qualified for this race, and I’m certainly not the same athlete. I’m in the best shape of my life, both physically – across all 3 sports – and intellectually with regards to nutrition and race preparation.
Above all else, I have spent the last 563 days working towards something I believe in, and enjoying my life. What else is there to do? Even if all of it were to come to an abrupt end, no outcome can take the last year and a half away from me.
Now less than a week out from the race, all the hard work is done. I just have to deliver the performance I know that I’m capable of. And that’s my one goal for the race – to do justice to the fitness I know I possess.
And yet, whilst I’m extremely excited, I’m also nervous. I will likely remain nervous until 7 hours into the race, and halfway through the marathon. It may not be until then that the forthcoming result will start to become clear.
I’ve occasionally caught myself thinking “I hope I can deliver…” but, I’m not sure this is the correct approach. A quote, that I believe to be attributed to James Cameron, is one I think about often:
“Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor.”
It feels so wrong and lacking in humility to be so bold, but perhaps that’s necessary in order to believe. So… thank you again to everyone who reads these. Saturday 7th May – I will deliver, and I’ll see you on the other side.