I’m writing this now because next week is race week and I’ll be busy. It was a year ago that I watched the Ironman World Championships and thinking to myself “I wonder if I can do an Ironman?” Then I watched the NBC Broadcast of it early with the Tri Club of San Diego and then I said “I think I can.” I started to think that it’s possible for me to complete an Ironman. I was motivated by listening and watching their stories. I read race reports of various races from other triathletes who are just like you and me who set their mind to it and completed it. Then I made it into Ironman Arizona through the online registration which sold out in mere minutes. I was committed to it at this point, it was possible.. If these people could do it, then I can do it. My only goal was just to finish, I just wanted to be an Ironman. I wanted to prove to myself that I can swim bike run 140.6 miles even if it took me all 17 hours to do it.
Looking back on this year has been nothing short of spectacular for me. I’ve travelled all over the United States for triathlons. I’ve met so many incredible people all over the world. I’ve mentored an athlete who is now hooked on the sport and is becoming an e-bike legend. I’ve inspired so many people through my actions. I’ve put in the effort and it’s been hard. I’ve made sacrifices and there have been days that I’ve had to pick myself back up off the ground. I’ve expanded my limits farther than I thought possible and found some valleys that I didn’t think existed. There will always been good days and there will always be bad days. However all the up’s and down’s all come down to Sunday November the 16th.
This is my first Ironman and there is a lot of excitement going into and Ironman from all the other athletes. A lot of people obsessing over things and going over what-if’s. I told myself I want to experience things for myself. I also didn’t want to let other people’s doubts fuel any of my own. I’ve also found my own confidence that I’ll take things as they come and roll with the punches sort to speak. I’m not a dweller, I’m a do’er. That means that I’m not going to sit there and worry about the damn water temp in Tempe Town Lake when the race is still 1 month out like some people have. The temp is going to be what it s on race day, so you come prepared or you don’t it’s that simple. The weather is going to be what it is on race day so no need to worry about it 2 weeks out. If it rains you either race or you don’t… I believe that mentality is what will help me overcome any doubt that I might get as race week approaches. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from my days of sports from high school and college it’s that anything can happen on any day. It’s how you overcome that adversity that sets you apart from your competition. Will you crumble or will you triumph?
I was asked if I had a race plan for IMAZ and my reply was this, Swim, Bike, and Run. They replied yeah that’s the race but what about my nutrition, what about my power output during the bike, what about my run? I told him what happens, happens. I have my general framework for my plan but I don’t like to set my entire race on that. Murphy’s law could strike and then how would I improvise? I’m a simply guy and I like to keep things as simple as possible and leave the details for race day which is what I’ll do. I’m also trusting my training but my main goal is not time it’s to have fun. What ever time I get I’ll be happy with I fully believe that after reading so many race reports and watching finishing line videos that to set your heart on a time for your first Ironman would only set you up for failure. It’s support to be a journey right and the race is supposed to be the final destination, so why not enjoy the time there! I haven’t thought about how I’ll feel crossing the finish line and hearing Mike say “Chris Holley of San Diego, You Are an Ironman” because I want no expectations, none! I want to race in the moment and live in that moment and soak it in as it comes.