The IRONMAN World Championship was Steve Morris’ second full IRONMAN. Despite only three years in the sport, Steve has set high aspirations for himself and is hoping to one day go pro in triathlon. Three days prior to the starting line, Steve had the opportunity to sit on the main stage at IRONMAN Expo Village to interview World Champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander and shake off some last-minute jitters. Take a look at Steve’s recap from his first go at Kona and read what he learned from the unmatched champion:
I believe I trained hard and well for Kona, but my preparation wasn’t 100%. I had a lagging run injury and accumulation of fatigue that partially sidelined me for part of the summer. This year I focused on the volume needed to excel at the iron distance but I don’t think my body was ready for it. At first, I was a bit disappointed with how I raced, but after some reflection and with the race behind me, I will be searching for redemption. Many changes to come in 2017!
I began training with HOTSHOT in mid-July. I wanted to try something new and was intrigued by the product. As far as incorporating HOTSHOT into my training, I mainly used it on brick workouts or before swims. I have a history of foot-curling swim cramps that occur after a long day of training. HOTSHOT helped me to swim well without having that occur! I like to take HOTSHOT before tempo sessions because race pace simulation gives me side cramping the most.
I was honored to have the opportunity to interview Craig Alexander. I grabbed some big takeaways. When I asked Crowie which parts of the race were the toughest, he responded with telling me the entire thing is. Now that I have raced Kona myself, I 100% agree with him. The race is brutal and one of a kind. As much as I was physically and mentally ready, that course can make or break you.
I was moved by what he said about family sacrifices and the story he told about his daughter being home-schooled. This story displays his character and the compassion he has. He is a great inspiration and role model all-around.
Crowie’s response about becoming a professional triathlete was profound. He told me to trust in my mental confidence and believe that I can do it. It opened the idea to me to about possibly hiring a sports psychologist. Although I don’t believe my performance in Kona was anywhere near pro worthy, and nowhere near where I know my fitness is, I am not going to let it dampen my spirit. I know it takes time and I think that the strongest message I got the most from our interview is to trust in the process and believe in myself.
Some of the biggest highlights from race week include being around so many committed and fit athletes. Hawaii is beautiful and to compete in such an iconic race is a treat in itself. I enjoyed visiting sponsors and meeting many people. I also enjoyed some downtime to relax and sit by the ocean in the evening and watching the sunset while reflecting on the past year and what sacrifices it took to get there. Lining up for the race and hopping into that ocean, seeing a sea turtle swim 10-feet away from me, was something I will never forget.
Also, I did not cramp at Kona! I took a HOTSHOT before the swim, before the run in the transition and at the tent during the marathon. I thought my plan to take it three times worked well! Racing in 2017 will include Ironman Texas April 22nd and Ironman Canada July 30th. By the time those races come around, I expect to race the best I ever have.
We can’t wait to cheer you on!
MORE ON THE HOTSHOT BLOG
Train Smarter: 5 things every triathlete should incorporate into their IRONMAN training plan.
Journey to Kona: 4 Athletes share what keeps them motivated and on track.
Running Tips: How to taper for race day.