The Vineman 140.6 journey is a great time to reflect on life, the joy of being out there and living life 100%. I am thankful that my body, mind and life at this moment is allowing me to be doing what I am doing. To step away from an ordinary life and at this moment live the extraordinary.
Before the event I try to rehearse race day in my mind the way I want it to unfold. I start by recalling positive training sessions that I’ll bring to the table in my bag of well rehaersed tactics for today’s race. Racing is painful, however, the ability to withstand pain is trained. At the beginning of the season my pain tolerance was untrained and when those baroreceptors started firing I gave in quickly. However, as I trained my ability to maintain a high pain threshold for a longer period of time also increased. Holding onto a race day long run pace with Justin, always pushing to take one more step when running on tired legs with JP, epic cycling in the Sequoia National Park with Monte & Eric, open water swimming with the Visalia Tri Club and the list goes on. With solid training, I know I’m prepared to push my body to endure what it takes to do well.
But I also have to think of how to react if things do not go as planned and over come adversity. The Ironman distance magnifies every problem so visualizing the race helps create a race day strategy to pursue the right path. The flow of this race will present a series choices so its important to train my instincts to bring me back to the present moment and persevere. The present moment is a series of questions: eat now or wait, nail this hill or conserve that pace for the flat, wipe the burning sweat from my eyes or stay tucked aero, change a flat, overcome a cramp, etc. Ordinary people give up when things get difficult. Be extra ordinary and embrace the savage behavior and training instincts that surface when you hit the point in the race when your body says your done and your mind pushes you through. What is important is not as much the external factors that fall on you, but how you interpret them, what you say to yourself, and what actions you take in response to be relentless and push through to finish strong.