The day we got to Texas and arrived at athlete check-in I posted this:
“Yeay back in #Ironman land! Representin @trimarni and @wattieink ! So excited for this whole experience, but more than that I am truly blessed and thankful to God for a healthy journey to this start line! That’s the real victory!”
I had two goals going into Ironman Texas:
1) To execute my race plan and nutrition plan as discussed by my coaches Marni and Karel of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition.
2) To glorify God’s faithfulness and provision through staying mindful, present and in a state of gratitude before, during, and after the race.
I am happy to report that I accomplished what I set to do and with a podium finish in my age group! It was not an easy day. Ironman is never easy but it was a smooth day. No major hiccups or issues came up that I did not feel I was not prepared to address. For instance, the swim was relatively smooth for me except for that last 300 meters or so when someone kicked my goggles lopsided. I could still see the turn buoy and ramp to T1 so I decided it was less of a hassle to keep going and swim as is than to stop and fix my goggles. I don’t want to minimize the challenge of 140.6 miles but I feel that because I was prepared, mentally, physically, and emotionally then there was less to stress about. I have also mentally trained myself into being a responsive athlete and not a reactive one. So going into IM TX I felt confident in the 6 months of training that was in the bank prior to the race day and for the first time in a long time I was really excited to see what race day had in store for me.
But let me flashback for a moment because I think it’s important to highlight that my race day performance was a manifestation of months of adjusting to new learning curves, gadgets, implementing a new training approach, and the result of having support from my husband and amazing coaches Marni and Karel of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition. Even though Marni and Karel are good friends that does not mean they were going go easy on us or treat us any differently. No, this level and structure of training was a whole new world for me, but I trust Marni and Karel and I trust their combined experiences as both high performance athletes and coaches. So when we decided to work with them I fully committed to doing the work aka “going all in.” I made a commitment of no excuses, no complaints, no lying to myself. I was going to do the work. During those months I stayed mindful of the big picture. The theme that most sticks out to me is, “If you want something different you must do something different” BUT be smart about it! That’s where Marni and Karel came in. Under their tutelage I was shaped into a much stronger, wiser, and consistent athlete.
So when it came to race day I knew I had done the work. I knew I had prepared the best I could. I trusted my coaches. I trusted my process. I trusted God. When I have done all I could do and controlled all I can I leave the rest in God hands. This is paramount to my life because there are so many things that could happen in the matter of 6 months to a year AND in 11 hours 10 minutes. I stuck to my plan and God did the rest.
My faith and spirituality is something that is very important to me and that I incorporate as a “tool” in all aspects of my life, including sport. I don’t expect everyone to hold this same perspective. However, for me I truly believe that my abilities, talents, and accomplishments are not all my own. They are gifts given to me to use to glorify the amazing power of the human spirit that we are given during our time on earth. This was at the forefront of my mind and heart during Ironman Texas. I know that Ironman is not something everyone does or wants to do, but I do it to show others that there is no limit and nothing is impossible with God. A faithful heart and spirit coupled with right action, hard work, and consistency opens the doors to greatness.
In the days leading up the to race I had a couple of mental strategies that kept me in the stress-free zone:
- Kept an attitude of gratitude. Any time I started to get a little worried or nervous I immediately enacted an attitude of gratitude. I would say to myself something like “Thank you God for this experience. Thank you for getting us here safely. I am so thankful just to be here. Thank you for giving me all I need.” This made a world of difference!
- I studied my race plan and nutrition plan religiously. This kept me objective and non-emotional about how I would go about pacing myself during race day. I printed out all emails that Marni and Karel sent me in the weeks leading up to the race and Trimarni Race Day Planning that we created which outlined every single aspect of pre/post and race-day strategy. I reviewed them nightly and visualized my numbers and the course as best as I could. I also visualized being on the podium before I went to sleep at night. I believed that if I stuck to my plan than anything was possible.
- I reminded myself to be in the present moment and worry about race day when race day came. I certainly prepared what I needed to ahead of time but after that let it go.
- Stayed logical. I’m all about excitement, energy and enthusiasm. But when it comes to executing my plan. It needs to be objective, because that’s what I did in training and that’s what worked for me.
- I also had music that kept me in the zone. My Ironman Texas theme song was Iggy Azeala’s “Impossible is Nothing.” Love those lyrics…
Keep on living
Keep on breathing
Even when you don’t believe it
Keep on climbing
Keep on reaching
Even when this world can’t see it
No, impossible is nothing
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 2 and as always, Keep Shining, Keep Believing, and OWN IT!