For every race, you should have three goals:
1) Your live-with-it goal: this is the bare minimum you’d like to achieve to feel satisfied and complete
2) Your I-think-I-can goal: this is the goal that your training and previous race performances show you can do, if nothing goes terribly wrong on race day
3) Your I-dream-it goal: this is the goal that happens when the stars align and you have the perfect combination of energy, course, weather and mental fortitude
Going in without a goal can be fun for some races. It takes the pressure off and just lets you enjoy the experience.
To say I don’t have a goal for Sunday would be a lie. To share it, though, is quite frightening. You’re putting yourself out there for the world to see…and judge. But, I’m gonna do it.
So, for Ironman Boulder – here are my goals:
1) Live-with-it: finish within the 17-hour cut off. Really, I will be devastated if I don’t hear “Andrea Cespedes, you are an ironman.”
2) I-think-I-can: finish between 13 and 14 hours. My 70.3 predicts me at a 13:30 Ironman. I’d be pretty thrilled with that.
3) I-dream-it: finishing in less than 13 hours.
Since this race distance is completely new to me, I have no real idea how my body will react. I can intellectually imagine, but that has nothing to do with reality. I do know, I have no desire to suffer horribly during the race. I want to enjoy the experience, not hate every minute.
So, when you’re tracking me (I’m bib 1012) – don’t judge me in terms of my goals (unless I’m completely obliterating them and you’re giving me a bit “woohoo”). Just watch me run over that finish line around 8 or 9 or 10pm (before midnight) and see if there’s a smile on my face. That will ultimately tell you if I’ve had a good race.