I remember when Iron Wil wrote this: "But with never failing, comes never growing, and a false sense of immortality that sets you up for disaster the moment you enter into a realm of things that are beyond your control."
I used to be afraid of failure. I was scared of the unknown consequences that would come if the outcome was not what I expected. But I didn't always meet my goals. Sometimes I stumbled. And maybe that happened more often than I like to admit. But what I am learning along the way is that I can manage my expectations to control my fear.
So even though I stated my IM "A" goal time to everyone in the free world, I am not afraid of missing that mark. I think it was better this way. I am usually harder on myself than everyone else. As opposed to my own dark secret, 11:43 has become an inside joke with the some of the people I train with. So if I finish with an 11:45 or even 16:45, what are the consequences? I'll just have to endure a little more good natured ribbing.
It's been mentioned by some folks here and herethat Ironman is a totally different animal. You can only do so much with that beast. While I have my "A" standard I have my B and C standards too. That is how I manage my expectations. After all I really don't know what to expect on race day. And even if you cross the line 5 minutes from midnight they will still call out your name and say you are an Ironman,