It's hard not to think about the last two years and not think "total failure". At least that's what I thought after Ironman Louisville last year. This year I'm a little more grateful for what I've achieved instead of what I've failed. In the last two years I've:
- PRed in the 70.3 distance with each race I've done. My first 70.3 was in 2005 and I did a 6:10. Then in 2008 I did it again and finished with a 6:09. Last year I did IM Kansas 70.3 and finished with a 5:46 - a HUGE PR! This year I only was able to take a few seconds of that PR, hanging out now with a 5:46:05. I have come to really like the 70.3 distance and think I can do even better.
- I have continued to improve my time in the Olympic distance and even walked away with a top-10 age group finish at Rev3 Knoxville this year. To me, that's big.
- I placed in my age group in every "local/small" race. Despite not printing that, it was goal of mine for 2011.
- I won my first triathlon this year!!!
- I rocked a half marathon (Capital City Half) without any specific training.
It's also easy to forget that there was life before Ironman. I have had great success at running and am looking forward to getting my running back on track. Sure, I really want to become an ironman, but I have to remember that I've run Boston four times too. I may never become an ironman, but there are a lot of people who will never run Boston no matter how badly they want to. My athletic career is not going to be defined by this "failure." And someday, ironman will be a success along with many more other successes to come.