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Mental Preparation for Ironman Arizona - 2 weeks!

Posted Nov 05 2012 8:29pm
"Looking back on what I said all those years ago, all the hopes and dreams I had, I've come to the conclusion that if having things turn out the way you wanted them to is a measure of a successful life, then some would say I'm a failure. The important thing is not to be bitter over life's disappointments. Learn to let go of the past. And recognize that every day won't be sunny, and when you find yourself lost in the darkness and despair, remember it's only in the black of night you see the stars. And those stars will lead you back home. So don't be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you'll get everything you wish for. Maybe you'll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination. "  
- One Tree Hill

Yeah, I'm a sucker for it!  I heard this quote today and loved it.  It's an interesting time about two weeks out from the biggest race of your season with the off-season looming in the background.  I could have never imagined just how this year would challenge me, test me and work me over good physically and mentally.  It's been a brand new exciting challenge and at the same time it's been hard, very hard at times!  




Most of the big training has already been done.  As my college coach used to say "The hay is in the barn" so to speak!  This week is my last big week of 18 hours before I head into next week to rest up and fly to Tempe for my final race of the season, Ironman Arizona.  

I've heard some of the other professionals call Arizona "Hawaii 2.0".  I had to think for a few minutes until I realized they basically meant most of the heavy hitters come back from Kona, rest for a month, and then come out to race this event in order to obtain points for next years Kona KPR ranking point system.  The start list for this race is long (I've checked) and very, very deep in terms of talent.  

As I prepare mentally for this 140.6, I'm in a bit of a better spot than I was last time. Breaking 10 hours is now off the table (thank heavens, I've done it.. and I'm super happy about it).  A calmness is present so far despite the knowing that I'll be lining up against some of the worlds best.  Some of it has to do with that I've finally come to terms with the fact that I am supposed to be in this field.  Although I might not be winning or even standing on a podium quite yet, I'm starting to see the potential that someday (with work and a bit of luck), I could.  It allows me to take a step back and see this race for what it really is for me personally - a chance to once again execute to the best of my ability and if I race up to my potential, have a fairly solid race, maybe even another time PR depending on conditions, against a very solid field of girls.  It will be great time to compare where I am in my development as an athlete knowing that even slipping into the top 10 will be difficult, but not impossible.  The placing doesn't matter nearly as much to me in this race.  It's going to take some amazing performances to get those top spots and you know what, I'm not really there yet most likely so I'll be doing the "You vs. You" track again and going for my best day that I could have and see where that lands me.  




The last three months have brought with them a quiet confidence that puts me in a much better frame of mind than I was post-Lake Placid.  My coach in college also used to say "Fake it till you make it Kim".  Her statement basically meant that until you have the real confidence to strut in like you own the place and are ready to compete with the best, well, then you fake that you do.  She knew that over time the real confidence would come and we would no longer have to fake it.  We would have the results to back it up.  

One of the best parts is having a coach that knows you inside and out is that you can trust their pre-race plan to help you HAVE that race you are capable of having.  If you do have this (and you should), then you realize when they give you a plan that says hold XXX watts on the bike or go out at XX:XX on the run that there is no question that you can do it.  That's where I am right now.  I know 100% that coach Jesse is extremely familiar with my training variables and what I can do at this race.  He would never put me in over my head, but he also won't hold me back.  It takes a lot of my thought process out of it which is good for a rookie pro who has to stand next to Ironman Champions and such! 




Just like my initial quote, I do believe that we shouldn't be "afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most."  Turning pro in this sport did scare me, but it no longer does.  I can do this and over time my results will show that.  One race doesn't a season make, good or bad.  It's consistency over time, learning from those mistakes and enjoying this process.  

One last quote that I love..

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.” ― Andy Rooney

Yep. Agree.  So, whatever your doing, realize that even what some would term "failure" is part of this process.  Make peace with the fact that it is not going to happen overnight.  It will be sometimes long, sometimes painstaking and sometimes it will challenge every fiber of your being but in the end, it will be worth it. 


My friend Brittany and I at Rev 3 
Oh.. and by the way..  I kicked that swim test's hiney last Friday!  38 second 1000 yrd PR!  When it hurt, I just swam harder!  It was a victory for sure!  Here's to hoping it translates in two weeks!  

Thanks for the encouraging comments to those who follow.. those who love me and to those who never give up on their dreams - thanks to you too!  You inspire me.  

Night friends,
Kim


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