It’s been a few weeks since my season ended at Barrelman. Since then I have been sick for 3 whole weeks, which gave me plenty of time to rest, to think and reflect on the year. I realized that this has been a great season of learning for me. Each of my race this year taught me important life lessons that I will take with me as I continue to journey on:
Season opener – Welland Long Course Triathlon. Daring to take risk + Having a plan + Hard work = Success.
As we planned for this season, the first race I registered for was the Welland Long Course Triathlon, which is a longer distance race than anything I have ever done before. I asked my coach if it was wise to do that for the first race of the year, and she said “Well, you set a big goal right off the bat, let’s put a plan in place through the winter to get you ready.” I followed the training plan that she laid out for me and had a great race at Welland, which really set the tone for the year for me.
At Welland, I learned the truth of the old quote “If you always do what you have always done, you will always be where you have always been.” Growth demands that we set goals outside of our comfort zone, to go where we have not gone before. But success is more than just having big audacious goals. You need to have a strategy in place and you need to be willing to do the hard work and execute the strategy. Many thanks to my coach Miranda Tomenson for always being so encouraging and knowing exactly how hard to push me to keep me on that fine line of being stretched, but not strained.
Toronto Triathlon Festival – Olympic Distance. Don’t be afraid of adverse conditions.
Next up was a shorter Olympic distance race. Race day weather was absolutely terrible. It was cold. It was windy. It was pouring rain. When I got to the race I didn’t even want to get out of my car. In my mind I was already making a hundred excuses for a poor effort: It was too cold. It was too wet. I hadn’t trained in pouring rain. It was too dangerous. But then I told myself, “Hey, it is not just raining on you. Everyone in the race has to face the same conditions. No big deal, just go and execute what you have done in training.” I ended up having another great race despite the conditions. It was a character building experience. From now on, when I face a bad weather day, I can always draw on this race and say, “Been there, done that.”
Barrelman Half Iron Distance. Learning to take what the day gives you.
Finally we arrived at my “A Race” for the year, my first ever Half Ironman! In many ways, this race was the focus for the entire season and all our training has been designed to prepare me for the distance. Going into the race I felt ready and prepared. Race day came, and it was HOT. The heat and humidity played a major factor and before the race, the race director stressed the importance of adjusting our strategies and race according to the conditions. I made mental note of it, but a part of me was too stubborn in thinking that I could still pull off the pace that I had originally planned. I ended up going too hard on the bike, and paid for it in the run. I was still excited and proud to finish my first half ironman, but more importantly I learned an important lesson: All plans in racing, and in life are made assuming a set of conditions. When the conditions change, plans have to change. This will be an important lesson to remember as I continue to journey towards my first ironman next year!
See you at the start line!!!