A little less than two years ago I made my second effort at the half Ironman distance at the Lone Star Half Ironman, aka Ironman Texas 70.3 in Galveston. My blog post from that event is here. I was starting my second year of triathlon and I thought I was really getting to know what I was doing and was primed for some big improvement on that date. However, I was wrong and felt a bit humbled with a time barely faster than the Longhorn Half Ironman four months earlier in Austin.
Next Saturday (April1, 2012) marks my return to that race two years after that marginal success (after all, though I felt down about my effort at the time I still had a PR and friends convinced me that any PR is a good day). That date also marks the fifth anniversary of my first half marathon, which was also the first of my approximately 35 finisher's medals and the third of my 70-80 some race events that I have done since I started in 2007. I generally regard that half marathon as the race that got my interested in pursuing this running (and now triathlon) lifestyle. So, for both of those reasons, the race this coming weekend is a big deal to me. Others around me see me training for Ironman Texas in less than two months--but for me THIS is my target race for now. Sure, I am not going to be entirely rested to be 100% for this race due to my IM training, but I will be close enough to make this a solid effort, and I WILL be planning to leave everything out on the course on Saturday.
A lot has changed for me since I last did this race nearly two years ago. I've lost a good bit of weight. I've since lowered my 70.3 distance PR time from the 7:52:07 on that day to my current PR for the distance from last November of 6:21:22. I suppose the main thing that has changed in that time is that while I thought I knew what I was doing on that day, I now know that I still had so very much to learn to become a decent triathlete. However, without that day playing out as it did I likely would not have sought the aid of Coach Michelle, and who knows just how many of my OutRival Racing friends and teammates would be my friends today. Although I was unhappy with the way that day unfolded, I believe it became a positive pivotal event for my future.
However, that day still leaves just enough of a bad taste in my memory that I very much want to go out and crush my previous time. I'll be back in about a week and let you know how it went.
(and just in case you thought I forgot about IMTX 2012.....there's just 55 days until that event!!!)