Thursday, March 9, 2017


This is me.

These are my goals

I struggled with goals for a long time. It wasn't setting goals that was difficult. It was the implementation. I would set a finish time goal and always be disappointed when I didn't hit it.

One day, Liz asked me what my goals were. Bear with me, this is a little complicated in my head. In order to make Team USA at the standard distance and sprint distance, athletes have to place in a certain position at the National Championship. 

SO. Liz told me to look up the finish times of athletes who finished in X place. 

THAT finish time became my goals for Nationals this year.

I have repeatedly said, "Don't have time goals for races. It's all about effort and attitude". 

That is 100% true. Don't think about the other athletes and their abilities. Don't think about them as your competition because that's false. That is your excuse to fail.

We don't accept excuses here in the Land of Ch.

Can you tell these are conversations I've had with myself over the years?

How do I make sense of all this?

That's where Liz came in. I told her the times. She asked, "What do YOU need to do in each event to make that a reality"?

This also requires a realistic assessment of my own ability. At this time, a 2:15 oly finish is WAY too aggressive. In fact, my goal of 2:35 is going to be hard enough to hit. 

I need to be realistic and aggressive. I have to find that balance. It's not realistic for me to say that I'm going to run a 45 min 10k off the bike when I JUST did a standalone 10k in 59 minutes. An aggressive goal at the Olympic is truly an aggressive goal because of the pain involved. For me, that is what makes this a very tough race. At a 70.3 and Ironman, I could walk the aid stations. (Obviously, I doubt the pro's do that, but I suspect most age groupers DO walk the aid stations). That's not an option at the oly, especially not for me since I will be doing everything I can to hold off the runners breathing down my neck.

I sat down and I scribbled out what times I need to have in order to hit that time goal.

My swim time plus transitions are X.

My bike time is Y.

My run time is Z.

Add them all up, and you have my goal time.

That's what we are training to. 

This isn't just Nationals. I took several other races that I'm doing this year and did the exact same thing.

Now, this is important.....anything can happen on race day. That's why effort and attitude are the most important things to bring to the table. A race can be unexpectedly hot or cold or rainy or snowy or windy or......for a race I've never done.....the course can be unexpectedly difficult. 

Because I primarily do short distances, I can race a lot. I can race 1 to 2 times per month. Although these races are practice races, they are all out efforts to see where I am in the process. 

This is why it's also very important to have a race plan, developed hand in hand with your Coach.

What will you do if you lose your fuel on the course?
What will you do if it is unbelievably hot?
How will you handle rough currents?
How will you pace each event?
What will you do if the aid stations run out of water, food, gels, etc?

What will you do the morning of the race if your race start is delayed?
How will you eat in the morning?
What will you eat the night before?

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

These things might seem like small details, but you need a plan.
This is how I come up with my goals and the plan to get me there. 

I have many races coming up. I needed something to get me back on track and focused on my upcoming races. 

I wrote down my goals for a few races. I picked the first 2 races on my calendar and Nationals. My thought was that I'd get through my first sprint and oly of the year and reassess at that time. Not reassess my goals. Those races will show me where I was strong and what I need to work on. My goals remain constant. I will continue to train for those goals. We all know that every race brings it's own challenges. The more I race, the more I learn about myself and what I need to do to accomplish my goals. 

During the year, this is my thought process. This is how I have been setting and hitting my goals.

Of course, I'm leaving out the single most important piece. 

That's heart.

When you're out there racing, you've gotta do whatever the fuck it takes.