Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fucking Fearless in St George 70.3

My mind has been going a million directions with work/personal life craziness and nerves about having a successful race.  Taper insanity is in full effect! I am so happy to have an awesome dad and coach to calm some of my madness. 

Coach Teresa has taught me so much about the world of triathlon.  She has taught me successful athletes do not have a secret magic plan, the most expensive gear, and know the most about every new race trend.  Successful athletes arise from consistency and finding their inner confidence.  I have found, working with Teresa, these go hand in hand – when you are consistent, the confidence follows.

Confidence...something I have struggled with all my life.  Seems like such a simple concept, but the thing about confidence is that it’s a long process.  I never have been the loud, outgoing person in the crowd.  In high school, college, work… all environments, I have found myself to be the backward, quite girl.  Although quite, I have never found myself with commitment or dedication issues towards something I really want.  So naturally, when I stepped on board about a year ago with Teresa, I was all in.   

Throughout this training cycle for STG 70.3, I never once logged into Training Peaks and thought about bailing on a workout.  Words like ‘I HAVE to do a 4 hour bike ride’ were never spoken… ‘I GET to do a 4 hour bike ride’ was more like it.  Day-in, day-out I just did it.  All out.  110%.  Drinking gallons of chlorine water while trying to swim smoothly back and forth in the pool, building bike strength while falling over learning how to unclip and operate a ‘real’ triathlon bike, pushing my legs to run at new paces I never imagined possible, strength training, visualizing, forcing myself to properly recover… all the attention to detail completed.  Completed even when those doubts crept in… can I really bike that far, run that fast, swim that hard?  Remembering great things take time, and ‘mind over matter’ like my dad constantly reminds me, can be your most powerful tool. 

Training isn't all easy.  Most of the time it is not, which is the fun of it - right? You have to break yourself down to build a stronger you - Akhilandeshvari. There have been several frustrated post-workout comments and ranting emails made to coach T.  She would continuously reassure me, it is the consistent effort you are putting in that is important.  And so I would accept that workout as another building block to my ultimate goal,  realizing that every single workout is not going to be stellar; but it is every single workout combined that makes a stellar, confident athlete. 

Keeping your training logged is such a wonderful idea.  It is reassuring to look back over training cycles and see where you have come from.  All those consistent workouts build up that much needed confidence.  Conquering new distances, paces, and speeds build up that confidence. The private conversations you have with yourself, defeating doubts, builds that confidence.  Those certain trusting people in your life that have confidence in YOU, help build that confidence.  Those frozen face winter runs, the hours on the indoor trainer going nowhere, the times you thought you really might drowned... all conquered - confidence!

It is incredible how this new found confidence has translated into my day-to-day life.  Intrinsically, it means the world to me.  I no longer find myself reaching for external validation.  I have gotten to a point that I can find that within, which I believe is extremely important in Triathlon.  Teresa and my dad have helped me find my confidence to turn inward, confidence to be independent and capable of assuring myself, empowering myself, building up my mental intensity.  Confidence to feel pain, experience it, overcome it.  Confidence of a tiger… having an eye of the tiger.   Confidence to swim through that cold water in Sand Hollow, power up Snow Canyon, run strong through the hilly Red-Hills Drive to the finish line in St George.        

“To become more confident, become fearless. Before a workout, hard set or race remember to be fearless. Not just fearless but fucking fearless. There is a difference. Squirrels in autumn are fucking fearless. They want the nut. THEY WANT IT. They will lay their furry little life on the edge for it. You can see it in their anxious eyes. Being fearless is not easy. It requires taking huge risks. Finding yourself at the edge, closing your eyes, jumping off and hoping there is water below. More than hoping – trusting it is there. That is fearless.” (Quote found here)

So for now, I am going to stop try to stop worrying so much about this race.   
I know I have consistently put in the work.   My body is ready.  It is itching to race, itching to give all it has got.  I am ready to trust my training, follow my race plan, let my inner confidence finally shine…

No matter the results, I am ready to be