Thursday, May 5, 2016

Success is a choice

Many years ago, where did the time go--it seems like yesterday, I did P90X. I loved the workout.I don't know what kind of person Tony Horton is;  but in the videos, he always made me laugh.

There was one thing he said that stayed with me all of these years.

It was 4 simple words.


I can't tell you how many times I call on this quote. It's always like a slap in the face when I need it most. 

I have been asking Liz and Dina a number of questions lately.

I found out that I'm in the last wave to start on race day. No big deal, right? I have to plan food for that morning. I will be having breakfast around 3:30am. My start time won't be for 5 hours later. Obviously, I want to start testing out snacks now

The bike and run courses were changed. The bike course will be fast. (It always is). It plays to my strength (rolling hills & false flats). No major climbs, just enough to get to the top, fly down the other side and pretty much coast up the next hill.

The run changed but the difficulty remains the same. When I first signed up, I told Liz, "this is a course that I struggle with. There is some single track. There are hills. I always get beat up by this course."

I've had PRs on the run. Don't get me wrong. I still run just fine. When I say, "I get beat up", I mean, I haven't done my best.

One of the reasons that I haven't done my best, in any 70.3 really, is that I don't pace it correctly. The swim sets up the bike. The bike sets up the run.

Let me tell you about the issue I've had with pacing.

I could never figure it out. When I'm told, "start easy". "Start easy" means different things depending on the distance.

Start easy for a 5k off the bike means a half a mile at about :03-:05 seconds slower than goal pace. I get this. 

Start easy for a half marathon off the bike? This is where I falter. I tend to start WAY to slow, thinking I need to conserve energy.

This is why running road races and practicing in training is so important. When I ran my half marathon in Jan, I realized that I started too fast because I was so worried about not being able to make up the difference.

That would be true, except that racing isn't black or white....there's a whole lot of gray in there.

Interestingly, this is applicable to my swim and bike as well. My swim coach has been working tirelessly with me to get my pacing right.

Swimming in a pool is very different than open water swimming. In a pool, you can look at the pace clock. We don't have that in open water.

"Start slower, Tea. It's supposed to feel easy."

"Another 500. This time swim slower. It should feel stupid easy. We're going to start closing that gap on your starting and finishing paces."

"Watch the clock. Start noting effort for your pace at the start and your pace at the end. You won't have a clock in open water. Learning your effort is critical."

"Don't look at the clock. Tell me what your pace was."

Then, a few weeks back on the bike:

"Consistency is what we're working on here, Tea. Start here but end here. If you have too much power left at the end to surge, you didn't use enough at the beginning.We don't want surges....we want consistency."

Then, we get to the run.

Liz and I have talked endlessly about running and pacing. I'm starting to get it.

After one conversation in particular, I realized that she really believes in me. I've been doing the training. On race day, I have to trust my body to do what I have been doing in training.

It doesn't matter what my times were in the past. 

The only thing that matters is what I'm going to do now

Success is a choice. I'm choosing success.