Friday, July 5, 2013

Ironman Race Week

The #1 question I get asked race week is if I sleep much the night before an Ironman. The answer is yes. I used to get nervous and not be able to sleep, but over the years this has gone away.

The week leading into Ironman is a mix of training and resting. I don't always feel great. I trust that on race day things will work because I know I have put in the hard training. And on the days that things do not work, I usually learn the most.

I frequently race in places I have never visited before. Therefore, race week includes some sightseeing - usually on bike rides or from a train or car. When not training I try to keep my feet up, but I'm not overly obsessive about it. I am currently in Germany - I may not get a lot of opportunities in my life to visit this country again, so I enjoy seeing it when I can!
I often get asked if I get nervous. The answer is yes - and for those of you who get nervous before a race - it's a good sign because it means you care. I think a lot about the people who have helped get me on the start line, and I really want to succeed - not only for myself, but for these people. They include: my parents, sponsors, friends, training partners, my boyfriend, homestays, my coach, etc. When I have a great race I know I put the work in and I am the one who made it happen - but all of these people played a role as well, so much so that I often race faster because of this support network.

Visualize it. If you can't see yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish - it isn't going to happen.

Live. Eat ice cream. Be with friends. Don't become a hermit race week because you are so concerned about trying to control everything around you. Be smart, but have fun.

For most people I talk with absolutely nothing in their life will change if they race one hour faster or slower than they planned. Sure, they might get a Kona slot or be disappointed, but in the big picture of life, nothing becomes drastically different. Remember this.

And when it is time to race - go fast and have fun. You trained hard - make it hurt, dig deep, but don't forget to smile. Nobody is forcing you to race an Ironman.