This is so true...
Sunday's race was a mental test more than a physical one.
- 2 1/2 hour bike workout the day before the race: check
- Feeling lethargic from swim/bike training: check
- Minimal running in January due to a random foot injury: check
- Only one speed workout (and could barely hold 6:50 pace): check
I begged my coach to taper me for this race. I HATE not being competitive. I love to chase PRs, see solid proof that I'm improving, and of course I love to place well - especially in a hometown race. His response: "If you're concerned about performing at small races, you need to be ok with being average at the big one." Alrighty then... let's stick to the goal..get me ready to rock and roll at next month's Half Ironman.
So there I was on the start line, exhausted, sore, and wondering how on earth I was going to make it through 13.1 miles.
|Eye's closed and suffering not even 5K into the race FML|
Mile 2: 6:41
Mile 3: 6:44
Mile 4: 6:42
The amount of energy I was exerting just to hold 6:40s was brutal. I knew by the fourth mile that it was going to be one of those days where there is no runner's high, no rhythm, no sporadic "wow that mile went by really fast" feeling. So I tried to draw strength from anything I could find. I was lucky enough to be running side by side with another woman - Cathy Moore - and we chatted for a bit. I asked her what her goal time was and she said "1:26 but I'm not on pace yet". She asked me my goal time and I think I mumbled "I really just need to finish so I'll try to stick with you."
Mile 5: 6:38
Mile 6: 6:45
Mile 7: 6:45
Mile legs were feeling every bit of the previous day's bike workout (2 hours, 30 mins with 4 x 10 minutes at 90% FTP with 5 minutes recovery). If you're a triathlete you know what I'm talking about!!
Sfuels off the table and chugged as much as I could before I had to toss it.
Mile 12: 6:36
Mile 13: 6:29 - my fastest mile
|Cathy and I. Thank you for letting me latch onto you for miles!!!|
I've also found a lot of joy in "giving back". I've spoken at universities, on tv, and even in front of who's who in the triathlon industry, but speaking to an auditorium filled with elementary school students was the SCARIEST!! But oh so rewarding. I'm truly grateful that I was able to connect with Jeremy Wall, Student Involvement Specialist for Newport News Public Schools, and I'm looking forward to speaking at two more upcoming public school events this month :-) (I discuss the positive impact sports have had on my life, the importance of habits and consistency, and how you can find inner strength to get back up after you've been knocked down - in my case racing at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona after my traumatic crash)
|They were super well behaved. When I showed them my crash photos they let out a collective "whoooaaaa" haha!!|
|Better than a finisher's medal at a race!|
Last but not least, in case you're new to my blog, here's a three part docu-series I filmed with HOKA and IRONMAN that came out last month. They filmed me chasing my pro card, everything I went through after my crash, training with 6X IRONMAN World Champ Dave Scott, and my first time racing at Kona in October. Enjoy ;-)
Part I: Chasing history and ending up in the ER
Part II: Post Crash and training with 6X IRONMAN World Champion Dave Scott
Part III: Racing at IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta then Kona 2 weeks later