For 20 years, I was a travel agent...a "travel professional" in every since of the word. I LOVED planning things...especially unique and once in a lifetime events like honeymoons, retirement trips, bachelor parties to fun places and Spring Break for crazy college students. I have had the privilege of sending multi millionaires around the world for 3 to 5 months and the special task of honoring a man's final wish...to die at sea aboard the QE2. (Sounds morbid..but it was what he wanted...and that meant that's what I wanted for him). I AM a planner...
So with that in mind, it shouldn't be much of a stretch that I PLAN my races on paper. I take previous times, race conditions, course elevations and the like and try to put together a plan. Usually, the plan is simple: to finish before they remove the finish line and stop giving out medals. Other plans involve not getting "swept" at marathons and half marathons (this means being picked up by a bus and brought to the finish line because you were going too slow). I am proud to say that I have never been swept at a Marathon or Half Marathon. In EVERY case where I did not finish a race, it was medically related: a jellyfish sting, the stomach flu three days before a marathon...and stomach problems during an Ironman.
To the intermediate or advanced athlete, these goals may seem kinda simple or silly...but to me they are important and special. A year ago, I had a lady at a triathlon tell me I gave her hope. I gave her the hope that someday she could do this...that she could be this physically active and accomplish an endurance event. That one statement;that one woman made such a huge impact on me.
So for the last 24 hours, I have been planning. I have been making the plan that will get me across the finish line at Gulf Coast before Shelly Bramblett (the most amazing and down to earth Race Director I have ever met) kicks me off the course.
I don't usually tell people what I am hoping for or what I am shooting for...but my thoughts here are simple: tell the world and now you GOTTA follow your plan!!! Keep it to yourself and no one will ever know if you did or did not achieve what you wanted to accomplish.
So, for fear of sounding like the slowest and worst Half Ironman triathlete in the world, the following are my goals for Gulf Coast:
Goal A...To finish the total race in 8.5 hours
Goal B...If I do not finish in the above time, my goal is to beat my other two half ironman finish times (please don't laugh when you read these) 2007 Ironman Florida 70.3 8:53:34/2008 Ironman Florida 70.3 9:02:12.
Goal C...Simply finish before the following cut offs of each event:
Finish the swim by 835A
Finish the bike by 12:50P
Finish the race by 4:30PM
See...my needs are simple. Soooooo...does anyone out there that reads my blog have a fast pair of legs I could use for a few hours on May 9th?? Ohh...and Shelly Bramblett...if you happen to read this blog, do you accept bribes?? :)
Then, of course, there is always the other option that I love the most: Just go out there and kick some asphalt and give it 110%.
More to come....stay tuned!!