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It’s a Wrap

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I finished my season unexpectedly at my last Ironman. It was a breakthrough race, both mentally and physically. I also learned a few things along the way:

1. Never give up.

“Never, never, never, never give up.” ~Winston Churchill

I came out of the water in 28th position. I had a lot of catching up to do. But I did not allow my position to frustrate me. Instead, I just went to work. I focused on doing my job. Little by little, I ended up passing 21 pros.

Swim Exit

2. Stay in the moment.

“Nothing is but what is now.” ~Ron Rash

It can become overwhelming thinking about the enormity of the day. The day became manageable when I allowed my mind to focus on the moment. I thought of one stroke, one pedal, one foot strike at a time – nothing more, nothing less. Compartmentalizing the day enabled the 140.6 (well, 144.6) miles to fly by. Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line (9:23).
Bike!

3. Simplify the process.

“My goal is to simplify complexity.” ~Jack Dorsey

Ironman racing does not have to be complicated. You swim. You bike. You fuel. You bike. You hydrate. You run. You fuel. You run. You hydrate. In prior Ironman, I tended to complicate the day. This race I simplified the process so that I could focus solely on the simplicity of what I needed to do. I eliminated distractions and freed my mind to perform.

Run!4. Respect the damage.

“Indeed, from an internal perspective, completing an Ironman is a bit like sitting on a sofa for 12 hours and aging two decades.” ~Matt Fitzgerald

I planned to race another half about 6 weeks after the Ironman. I took a week off, then slowly got back into exercise and eventually training. I did not do anything crazy, but still felt pretty terrible four weeks out from my race. I became frustrated that my body was not responding. I had to remind myself that an Ironman is a long day. Physiologically, the body goes through immense damage. I finally came to terms with the fact that my body was not cooperating nor ready for one more extremely hard effort. I learned to respect my damaged body from the rigorous training, and realized it was time to let my body heal.

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5. It takes a village – a positive village. 

“You are the average of the five people your surround yourselves most with.” ~Jim Rohn

As Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater then the sum of its parts.” I cannot do this journey alone. I need my coach to give me my daily training plan while grasping the big picture. I need my swim coach to help my technique. I need my massage therapist and chiropractor to ensure optimal body performance. I need my personal trainers and training partners to help me make physical gains. I need my sponsors to provide me with the best equipment and opportunities to pursue my dreams. Race day, I depended on my incredible friend Kelly, twin sister Meghan, and my parents to be cheering ridiculously all throughout the course. I reflected on my race experience, and everything that led to that incredible finish line. I was beyond grateful for everyone who played a part in helping me strive to become better daily. I learned that in order to more effectively chase excellence, I need to continue to surround myself with people who make me a better me.IMG_9207

The season is now a wrap ;). Thank you for being a part of my journey; I cannot wait for 2016!! 🙂

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