Is this thing still on?
I have decided to make a return to the blog world after a long hiatus for three reasons:
1. While racing Coeur D'alene 70.3 a few weeks back, someone yelled at me while running in the opposite direction: "You need to post more!" and I figured if someone can take the energy from their own race to tell me that, I better put something up. 2. I enjoy writing and more importantly, I enjoy sharing my journey with those that I share the race course with. 3. Chris threatened to remove the "Blog" tab from my webpage if I didn't post something soon and start posting more often :).
I have done a fair amount of racing this year compared to years past. I decided to take a different approach this year and race a bit more frequently. It's been refreshing to switch up my traditional recipe of season planning. The frequent racing has kept me on my toes: I've felt less stress headed into races, I've been able to train a lot more consistently (see below), I've been reminded that 10 years as a pro-triathlete: I am still learning, I've had the opportunity to travel to quite a few new places (Dubai, Texas, Peru, Brazil - just to name a few), I've been gaining fitness and momentum as the season goes, I've gotten to do what I love: race!
From a results standpoint, I have had some good days and some average days. Naturally, I am a competitor, so I will always have that seed inside of me that wants to win. On paper, my season has been a bit of a disappointment to me personally from an outcome perspective. I have yet to deliver a race-day performance that I am capable of.
My last two races (Ironman Brazil + Coeur D'Alene 70.3) I was handed penalties in both events. Two penalties, in back-to-back races. Ouch. This is NOT something I am proud of. I have always viewed myself as a strong cyclist that races fairly. In both instances, I 100% was not looking for any sort of "unfair advantage" or intentionally drafting off of those around me. It has been a humble and good reminder to me that 10 years as a professional, I am still learning. One of my main goals for my next event is simple: stay out of trouble, mind the rules and execute a fair race!
On a positive note, I have been able to toe the line at 6 events this year, I've completed all of them, and at the end of the day if I were to ask myself: did you give your absolute best under the circumstance? My answer is yes.
A highlight to my 2017 season is how great I have been training. With a switch in mindset, I've found myself really enjoying the work this year by focusing on the process vs the outcome. Training has ticked along each week and I can feel the momentum growing as the season goes on. I have done an excellent job of being consistent: my days of having weeks of being a hero, and then having down weeks due to injury, burn-out, or sickness have been missing from the schedule this year :). I know for me personally, consistency breeds great performances. Without the drama of dealing with injury, illness, or burn-out, training has been a lot of fun and I have found myself really enjoying testing myself on the hard days and having the courage to take the easy days really easy. It's just been a matter of ticking boxes, not over-analyzing, and getting the work done. I may not be seeing the results immediately, but I know long-term I am making some great deposits.
Staying the course:
All of the above leads to me to my final point, a reoccurring theme this year for me has been "Stay the course". Simply put, I've had to maintain a constant, unaltering course while navigating the high's and low's that come with training and racing as a professional athlete. I have felt a fair amount of disappointment after a few of my races in particular this year. A few years ago, I would have really let these external, out-of-my-control, factors bring down my spirit and morale. This year has been different and I have maintained an attitude of staying the course. This means dusting myself off after racing and getting back to it by not wasting time or energy dwelling on what's done and past. I've made quick work to keep doing the right things, being consistent with my training, remaining positive in the face of negative situations and most importantly, not losing belief that I am on the right track.
That's a good start for now - I plan to post more regularly, so keep checking back and thanks for following along!