I was blessed to have a great day at Eagleman 70.3 this past Sunday.  And once again I have to thank my husband Kalim, my coaches and my teammates for being a HUGE part of that for me. My time of 5:20 was a 22 minute PR, thanks to a 2:40 bike and a 1:41 run, the second fastest run split in my AG.  In a very competitive field of 74 F50-54(the winner is a multiple Kona champ and went 4:45, and second also went sub-5 – amazing and inspiring!), I was thrilled to place in the top 10, moving up from 55th after the swim, 18th after the bike, and 9th after the run.  Instead of the more typical race report, I thought I would share some lessons I learned from this race.

The zipper on a skin suit goes in the back.  Seriously, what was I thinking?!  Thank goodness Darbi was there to rescue me from this embarrassing mistake!  But not before I walked around like an idiot in transition for about 20 minutes wearing it backwards.

The swim is more mental than physical.  My swim was 52 minutes.  Ugh!!  I know I will never be a FOP swimmer, but I also know I can swim faster than that.  What I lack in the water is the ability to focus and stay in a rhythm (the complete opposite to when I bike and run).  I now start to psyche myself out before every swim.  Yes, the Eagleman swim was non-wetsuit legal (decided only the morning of the race), yes it was choppy, and yes there was a lot of contact, but I can’t let that distract me from getting the work done!

Consistency pays off.  Especially on a flat course like Eagleman (and I am realizing that flat courses present a different set of challenges than hilly ones), you need to dial into a certain effort and sustain it.  I’m sure this gets easier to do the more experience you have, but on Sunday I listened to my body, focused on my targets and settled into an effort that I tried to hold on to throughout the ride and the run.  After my first run mile came in around 7:40 and it didn’t feel too bad, I zeroed in on that effort for the remaining miles.  And in fact, the times for the first half of my run and the second half were almost identical, except the second half hurt a lot more!

You can ride hard and still have a good run.  Well, maybe not always, and I have certainly bonked on the run more than once before, but it’s good to know that it is possible to have a decent ride and still have the run legs to bring it home strong.

Your coach probably knows what he’s talking about.  As an athlete, I can be a real pain in the butt, always questioning and often doubting.  When Greg told me that if I hit a certain wattage on the bike, and with a fast course, I would ride a certain time, I was a little intimidated and not really sure I could do it.  But guess what, I hit my numbers and nailed that time.  Wow!  Which leads me to my last and final lesson ….

Believe in yourself.  This is such a cliché but so very true, and probably the biggest lesson I have been learning all season long.  When my sons ran cross-country in high school, their coach used to say “Put in the hard work and the results will take care of themselves”.  There are lots of things we can’t control.  But we can give it our very best effort and believe in our own ability, both in training and in racing.  It’s about giving it everything you have on the day, and not being afraid to push it.  Sometimes you’re rewarded with great results, and other times not, and I’ve been in both situations.  But it’s very gratifying to finish a race knowing you haven’t held back, no matter what the outcome.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means.  There is so much more to learn, and I am excited to learn it!