The story before the story.

I have lots to write and share about my race over the weekend, but I also am a bit overwhelmed and busy laying beachside with a well-deserved mai-tai in hand, so my race report will have to wait a few days.

However, I wanted to write thank you all for the amazing texts, messages, and emails of support that I received both before and after my race. Ironman is much more than just the race day and I have always considered it a journey. My year long journey up to yesterday has been one that is full of ups and downs, as any Ironman journey is never a smooth one (well, except for my first one). Many of you have helped me out along this journey, and I am truly grateful. It was so great to have all the pieces of the puzzle come together for me on Saturday.

People keep asking if I am surprised about how my race unfolded on Saturday. I really am not that surprised. I was surprised to finish as high up as I did, but what was not surprising to me was my finish time. If you aren’t into the mental aspect of racing, then maybe you should stop reading now, and I will save the details of my race for next week.

I credit a large part of the success of my day on Saturday to the hubby, Chris. Chris started working with me and my mental aspects of training and racing about 4 months ago. He utilized some skills he has learned through business school (who would have thought!?!). He told me to conceive and believe. What you can conceive and believe, you will achieve. I had to write down a specific time goal and a specific finishing goal for Kona. For the last month, every morning when I woke up I had to read this out loud and “see it to believe it”. Every night for the past month as I lay in bed, I had to read it out loud and “see it to believe it”. I told him time goals are stupid for Kona, the winds blow, the heat is high, times are totally unpredictable. Somehow, I obliged, and every morning I would read out loud that I would finish in the top-ten in Kona and I would complete the race in 9 hours and 30 minutes. We figured from the past few years results, that if I could finish the race in 9.5 hours, I would land my way into the top ten. I wanted to swim under an hour, ride about 5 hours and 15 minutes, and run 3 hours and 10 minutes. Conceive and believe. I felt stupid saying these things out loud. Would it really help? I would be tired at night and not want to do it before passing out to sleep. But then I figured, what the heck, I might as well waste a month trying this out, and if it didn’t work then I hadn’t lost out on that much. Conceive and believe, Chris would say to me over and over.

After a week or so of this, I started to state my goals out loud in training when I was struggling, or thinking about it while waiting in line in the grocery store. Maybe Mr. Chris was onto something…

On Saturday as I was struggling in the head winds on the bike with 30 miles to go, I looked down at my watch and realized there was no way I would finish this race in 9.5 hours. With 4 miles to go on the run, I realized, if I finished in under 30 minutes that this conceive and believe thing might really work.

I completed the Ironman in 9 hours and 28 minutes. Conceive and believe: thanks, Chris. My point in sharing this is that many of you are successful business people, athletes, students, hard workers, etc… but we all share one thing in common, and that is that we all have goals or aspirations. I just want to encourage you all that anything is possible, and the sky is truly the limit. Next year, 9 hours and 20 minutes, baby!!

Big Mahalo’s to each and every one of you. During my race I chuckled to myself as I figured there were some die-hard Team Stampeders out there watching my race (Elliot) and wondering when I was going to blow up on the run, or what the heck I was doing that far up in the race. Those thoughts crossed my mind as well! I couldn’t have gotten to that finish line without you, and I am truly grateful and humbled to be surrounded by such great people in my life.

Look forward to catching up Montana-Style in just a few days.