I know this race journey isn’t complete unless I figure out some goals. I’ve been told countless times not to have a time goal for my first ironman and I think it’s the right way to go for me. I do much better at first time distances if I have some general goals that aren’t related to a clock. I do have an overall time goal but I’m not married to it and the ultimate goal is to finish. The goals below are very modest and I know some may think they are namby pamby but I don’t want to finish and feel in any way shape or form that I didn’t meet X, Y, or Z goals and detract from what a huge accomplishment finishing is.
Let’s start with the swim.
I’m feeling good about the swim. I probably feel the most comfortable about the swim in relation to the run and the bike. I suppose it’s because it’s the first thing you do and you aren’t tired or swimming nearly as long as you are running and biking. That being said, I am not out to “crush” anything and certainly anticipate being a middle packer during the 2.4 mile journey down the river.
Swim Goals: Remain calm and swim at a steady effort. No crazy kicking and breathing every stroke. I want to relax and set up my day right with the swim. Resist the urge to breaststroke as sighting (I do this far more than I should on long open water swims).
Onto the bike… 
The bike is making me the most nervous. I’ve never ridden the course due to time constraints and travel but I’ve heard it’s similar to Augusta 70.3 in terms of hills. I know I can handle that (I did Augusta in 2012), but I’m nervous about riding 116 miles of that. And I’m nervous about 116 miles in general.
Bike Goals: Take it easy the first loop. I keep hearing how people may take the first loop too hard and then pay for it. Honestly, I don’t see myself falling prey to that because I’m just not that fast and I’m not a hammer on the bike. Ever. That being said, I want to try to stay around 16 MPH, but if that doesn’t happen NBD. I want to try to enjoy this ride as much as I can as I’ve heard it’s a beautiful course and I’m going to try to stave off the “GET ME OFF THIS BIKE” thoughts as long as I possibly can. That right there is a tough goal for me. Heh.
The run is a big, fat question mark.
Run Goals: My biggest run goal is to only walk aid stations. I 100% know this is going to be very tough after riding forever but I’m going to keep this goal in my mind for as long as possible. That way if I have to walk I can try to keep it to a certain amount of time or I know I’ll just start walking a lot. (I walked toward the end of the Jacksonville Marathon and I’m ok with it. Ish happens.) That being said, ain’t no shame in walking or jogging really, really, really slow. Haha.
Overall Goals:
2. Enjoy the day. I’m not sure I’ll ever do this again so I want to get the most out of my experience.
3. Smile. When I’m hurting, I will smile.
4. Positive self talk ALL DAMN DAY. (Just call me Stuart Smalley.)
Twelve days to go…..