Anyone who knows me will agree that I love to train. It makes me feel alive, healthy, and energetic…and training with friends adds a whole other dimension of JOY!
I have grown to enjoy my hard workouts just as much as the easy ones, having learned to accept that some days are going to be better than others. This process of being mentally and physically patient with my body and mind is at times difficult for me—because I expect a lot from myself. I have learned that one bad workout doesn’t mean anything more than it is just not my day.
My best advice to novice athletes training for a half or full Ironman is the following: during training—practice being in the moment—focusing on what to improve at that moment, practice your nutrition plan for race day, and practice your race day “mental plan.” Visualizing being relaxed but strong, and confident. But the BEST advice I can give you is to find JOY in your training. The truth is each and every one of us who does this sport is lucky to be able to execute such a physical task—a good reminder to us all on “not so good days.”
Having just raced Augusta 70.3 I was amazed how great I felt at the start from the energy and encouragement of the spectators and 3,000 other athletes. My goals for this race were:
- To operate within my physical limits
- To execute my nutrition plan
- To stay within the moment
- To not worry about things out of my control
- To have fun!
I executed my plan almost perfectly. Although a woman in my age group passed me early in the bike, I let her go without concern. When she passed me in T1- as I needed a potty break, I let her go without concern. When I passed her a mile later, I did so without concern.
Along the way, I made new friends, laughed at the crazy spectators, and thanked the volunteers. None of my goals were focused on outcome but on the process of the outcome.
My mental and physical preparation paid off with a PR and a slot for World’s but they were icing on the cake…this race was FUN…I enjoyed each moment…which is why we do this, right? Next up Miami 70.3!