“Only those who risk going too far, can possibly find out how far they can go.” -T. S. Elliot
It’s been a couple of weeks since Oceanside 70.3 giving me a chance to recover, reflect, and get back to a short routine of training before Wildflower Long-Course (70.3 distance) on May 5th.
I don’t know if it’s age or experience but the longer I continue in triathlon the more I have to discipline all aspects of my race. I have always been disciplined to a point but to be quite honest, I used to tell myself “the race starts after I get out of the water” or “I can always catch people on the run.” That mentality slowly started to shift as life got a little more stable and I realized I was not always giving myself the chance for an excellent performance as long as I held to limiting beliefs such as these. I believe everything comes at the right time in life, so for me it was time to decide – this race was special to me because of that reason. I choose to face and break many mental, physical, and performance barriers. They say, “The proof is in the pudding.” Well this race was my pudding:)
I felt excited and calm before the swim. I always try to translate my nervous energy into excitement by cheering and listening to the music. However, once I hit the water it was shockingly cold to my head, my body felt okay but darn that water was cold. I was so focused on getting used to the water temp that I did not think about seeding myself effectively for the start. For that reason I had to struggle up until the turn around to get space. At the turn around there was a lot of chop but I manage to navigate it well and keep my sighting. I finished the swim feeling good, efficient, though very frozen, and with plenty of energy for the bike.
Came out of T1 and the weather was still cool, foggy, and overcast. My main goal was to keep a steady pace, stay warm, and get into a flow. My bike felt really good and for the most part I was keeping my mph in the high 19’s or 20. However, early into the bike started to rain and made for some very slick roads. While I feel that I am a strong climber I do admit being a very conservative descender, and even more so when the roads are wet and on a race day. So that was my approach – stay strong, powerful, and steady on everything else but BE SAFE on the descents. Got off the bike in 2:54- reasonable for the course and amount of climbing.
Came out of T2 focused but still very cold with numb feet and toes. Nonetheless, I was off. With my hip and lower back issues, my goal was to be consistent, safe, and focused. This is when my mantra “God is my strength, God is my peace” came in full force. I needed my mind to be at peace and to focus on me. I needed to be strong and consistent with my pace and form. I needed to remind myself that the power of faith and God will get me through any situation. Throughout the run I had to be very aware of when my attention deviated to other racers, my watch, the time, and the mile markers. I had to be aware of when this deviation was ineffective for my race strategy. So for the most part of the run I had my mantra on mental repeat so as not to risk any chance of breaking my concentration. Obviously, I have to be aware of my time, my pace, and other racers, but if in doing so results in me perceiving, or viewing my performance negatively and therefore affects how I am running then I don’t want to risk it. When you are physically pushing yourself for 4,5, and 6+hrs the chance of mental vulnerability increases, so this was my way of minimizing that chance while sticking to what I know about me – my race, my pace. The last three miles were most painful; I had to fight hard to not focus on how my much my feet hurt. Everyone hurts, we were all pushing it to our limits, so I had to remind myself that I was in good company.
Ahhhh the finish…I finished with a 70.3 PR and run split PR of 1:36! Very pleased but feeling like I earned every darn second of that time. It’s always the best feeling to see my husband waiting for me at the finish line, and there he was 🙂 Although the day was still cloudy, still cold, and still overcast, I knew I had a very honest and real performance for myself that day. My husband also finished with an amazing time and kick-butt run split of 1:33! Team K & G Racing victory!
SN: You may have noticed that I probably mentioned the weather more than needed but that was such a big hurdle for me. I had been to this race with Ken two times before and never had the weather been like this. So I really give myself, and all the amazing athletes, credit for being out there that day.
“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ‐ Christopher Columbus