2018 Season Planning - Fueling the Fire

As I watched via social media all the amazing-ness, it seems to be the most appropriate word for anyone who completes or even just toes the line at any Ironman, of Ironman Arizona this year I was brought into a mode of complete nostalgia.  There is something about your first Ironman that never totally leaves you; each one moving forward is also special in its own right but there is something different about the first time you cross that finish line. ironman az

Ironman Arizona was special in a lot of ways for me:

  1. It was my first Ironman
  2. It was a hell of a road to get there with surgery and getting hit by a car
  3. I qualified for Kona
  4. Anna was out there at the same time I was, chasing the same dream
  5. It was unbelievably empowering

Sunday brought a lot of that back for me including the feeling of strength that I gained from crossing that finish line.  It was a quick reminder of the passion I have for Ironman, the sport, and the people that embody triathlon.  Bringing those memories back was great fuel for the goals I have moving forward.

As some of you know, if you follow my Instagram @where_your_feet_take_you, that I made the decision to go for an early season Ironman and signed up for Ironman Texas.  I haven't touched on that to much here on this blog but with all the feelings coursing through my blood, I'm riding the high of Ironman Arizona even though I didn't even race, it seemed a perfect time.  The perfect time to use the memories to fuel the fire.


After crossing the line at Kona I had decided that 2018 was going to be a year of 70.3 not a year of Ironman.  At the time I felt that I needed a break from Ironman and the disappointment of not having the race I wanted at Kona was reigning deep within me.   As the weeks after Kona dragged on those feelings changed from feeling as though I needed an Ironman break to wanting retribution; having an axe to grind with Ironman, and specifically the Ironman marathon.  That meant I needed another crack at it, and with my husband's blessing set out to make a decision on which one to tackle.

I ended choosing Ironman Texas because it was one of the earlier season Ironmans and it is known for being fast, though it will mean a lot of time spent on the trainer since Pacific Northwest winters are everything less than spectacular.  On top of that being the North American Championship race I had heard it brings a bigger crowd, and I wanted that extra push.  If you read my Kona race report you will know that while I am very proud of myself for that race I still do not feel it show cased my abilities.  That meant as the post Ironman hype and feels started to die down I noticed an innate desire to chase that dream of being the best Ironman that I can be, that desire to push the limits, and that desire to see what I really am made of once again.  I do not feel as though I have reached my potential in Ironman just yet, I plan to keep chasing and pushing that potential.


So, you signed up for Ironman Texas, what's next?

At the moment we sit 5 months out from the big day.  Up until I return from Arizona this coming Saturday we've been slowly getting back into the swing of things.  I took about a month of unstructured workouts immediately after Kona in which I just did what I wanted.  It was during that month of no structure that I realized I had some unfinished business with Ironman that I didn't want to wait a year to tackle.

Most recently I also took a much needed break from swimming.  One day during a swim , where I spent the entire swim cursing triathlon and cut my swim short for the third time in a row, I realized I just needed a break from it; upon exiting the pool I immediately texted my coach telling her I needed a mental break from swimming and would not swim again for about two weeks.  Luckily she totally understood and it came at a great time in which I was going to be on vacation for a full week.

As briefly mentioned winters in the Pacific Northwest are less than spectacular, I may or may not be secretly trying to figure out how to move my husband and myself to Arizona, I know that will mean a lot of time on the trainer and even the Treadmill, or as we all know the dreadmill.  While that is not ideal I am ok with it, though ask me again in a couple months and I may different, as it will be what it takes.  I am hoping that I will be able to bring my bike down to the Tri-Cities a couple of times this Spring to get some rides in, it usually clears up enough down their that I may be able to get some early season riding in.  Or hell, maybe I'll be able to talk the husband into a trip somewhere warm where I can ride. :)


Another post is forth coming, closer to the end of the year, regarding next season triathlon and life goals but when you sign up for a race like Ironman there are always goals surrounding it.  Coach Heather and I started doing some goal planning specifically for this race that I want to share with you:

Swim: The swim is a thorn in my side that I desperately want to get rid of, so far in both Ironman's I have done a 1:15 swim - in order for me to compete the way I know that I can, I need to get that swim closer to 1:05.

Bike: With the lack of elevation gain at Ironman Texas I am hoping to be able to put together a bike PR or be close to what I did at Ironman Arizona.

Run:  At Ironman Arizona I put together a 3:28 marathon, at Kona I slogged my way through a 4 hour marathon - hence the Ironman Marathon axe I have to grind.  I'll leave it at I will be faster than I was at Ironman Arizona.

Overall: GO FAST!!  I put together a 10:15 Ironman Arizona and my main goal is to crush that at Ironman Texas.

You'll notice those aren't very specific because I don't want to spill all the beans just yet, more will come on race and overall season goals later. YAY

Besides Ironman Texas I have not figured the rest of my season out just yet but here are some other races I am contemplating:

a. Couer d'Alene 70.3 b. Whistler 70.3 c. Arizona 70.3

It has been hard not to want to commit to Ironman Arizona as I sit here in the sunshine and having just come off of watching the fun that is Ironman Arizona; that is a hard part about race planning is you have to do it so far in advance.

What races are you all planning for this year?? Any great suggestions? 

Each Ironman journey is so unique and I am looking forward to seeing what the journey to Ironman Texas brings.  Thank you all for continuing to follow along as I continue to chase my dreams and passion.  Until then Happy Thanksgiving; I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love, family, fun, and a little bit of food!

CHEERS!!!! Kayla