9.10.2015

Ironman World Championship: Overcoming Adversity

Ironman World Championship training

Swimming, cycling, running and rigorous training regimes in order to prepare for the Ironman World Championship. Of course there are the occasional roadblocks too.  Imagine showing up to the swimming pool full of energy and excited to get in your longest swim yet…to find the pool is closed. Bummer.  That’s what happened yesterday. For a split second I actually thought I was off the hook from training although that only lasted a few seconds before I acknowledged to myself that there was other options. You can’t solve every problem but you can usually manage them. Yesterday marked exactly 30 days to the Ironman World Championship so there was no way I was about to start making excuses now. Quick google search and I ended up driving almost an hour to swim 4400 meters or 2.73 miles.  Btw, coach…why on earth am I swimming 2.73 miles when Ironman is 2.4 miles?!  I can guess this is to make race day feel shorter and prepare me to exit the water feeling fresh and full of energy. Okay, okay… it makes complete sense and I like it. Believe it or not this swim was pretty easy and definitely left me full of energy for seven hours. I was happy with yesterday’s outcome, minus accidentally walking into the men’s locker room after my swim.  Yep, although I caught myself quickly when some dude whistled at me from the pool area. I received awesome feedback after completion of this swim that I really appreciate too. “Way to overcome adversity. Be proud for acknowledging the challenge of the pool being closed and finding a solution on the fly. Believe it or not but it is the ability to adapt that will be a HUGE help on race day, with changing weather, terrain, and fatigue levels. Good job!”  I will remember this. I’ve got my swim down and feel confident in the water, my run is getting more and more consistent and that leaves the bike which challenges me the most.  And today happens to be a bike day…

Ironman World Championship 2015

It’s been pouring outside since this morning. Full-on heavy thunderstorm. I could train in the rain for practice but it’s not worth it this close to race day. Rain is not a reason to stop myself or make excuses though. Since I can’t change the conditions I’ll have to find a way to overcome the roadblock just like yesterday.  Ironman is about many things, including pushing through difficult circumstances, getting through obstacles, overcoming adversity like my coach says above, and ultimately reaching new outcomes and experiences. Maybe you wonder why I’m not on my trainer, but I actually do not own a trainer.  There’s a reason for this but that’s a topic for another blog.  I’m sitting here at my favorite cafe right now eating soup, working, blogging, and staring out the window coated with raindrops. After lunch I’ll search RPM classes and cycling studios. Looks like I’ll need to do two classes back to back this evening. It’s not the same and I’m cool with that. Who knows what will happen by doing something different once in awhile.

We train our bodies so hard for Ironman but one of the most important things is to train the mind. There is an obsession with triathletes logging data, tracking how far and fast they’ve gotten, and while all of it is important isn’t training the brain as important as training the body?  Overcoming adversity has more to do with the mind than the body.  It is the obstacles and discomfort that shows up which gives us the opportunity to realize that a strong mind is perhaps the most powerful tool of all. Although this week my training “issues” are tiny, I am pretty certain that it’s the mind that has carried me through some of my bigger challenges in the past leading me to some of the greatest outcomes. It’s been a constant practice though, just like training and yoga, and i have a ways to go.  Your mind is trainable to overcome adversity and that to me is essential to Ironman. Train your mind to embrace challenges and it will ultimately lead you to overcome adversity.

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