Monday, June 20, 2011

Can I Get a "Re-do?"

Most of the time in life, we do not get a Re-Do. Trust me, there are plenty of times I've wanted one! Especially when I decide to open mouth, insert foot (which actually seems to happen pretty often). We try to realize the important moments when their happening and capatalize on them, but we all know how tough it is. There are times when you screw it up, no matter what it is, and you don't get another chance. Whether it's the opportunity to apologize, talking to a friend about something tough, or even just making a big decision on a deadline. Sometimes you just have to do your best with the information you have, say a prayer, make the choice and move on.

Since last week I've of course spent a lot more time thinking about the fact that we are about 1/2 way through the triathlon season at this point. I've had two mediocure races (for me personally) and I feel like I've put in sooo much more time and effor than those two race results are showing.

Luckily, in triathlon, there's often more than one or two races per season for most of us. We get the chance to test strategies, hone in our nutrition plan and practice different pacing strategies. Even so, for the amount of time we spend, 5-6 races a season isn't THAT much to really get a chance to see how all our hard work is coming together. We get a FEW re-do's, but really, not that many and almost NEVER on the big ones.

Which brings me to my real topic. The game-dayers. You know them.. they're the ones that race really solid normally, but that when it comes to the really, really BIG races, they find a way to show up physically and mentally prepared no matter what. Things may not be going perfectly for them either, in fact, most of the time it's not (but you wouldn't know it to look at them). They are calm, they are cool and they have just the right amount of energy. They realize that coming into the race prepared yet with a healthy respect is key to their performance. They don't talk a big talk before (most of the time :) they just quietly go about executing their plan and when issues arise, they adapt, and they move forward.

I bring them up because I saw a few of those performances at Eagleman 70.3. Many of us would love for race day magic to show up on our door and bestow upon us a day where the wind is light, the current is strong (in the right direction), our equipment works perfectly and our legs show up. However, so many times (in fact more often than not) that isn't the case. As a coach, my responsibility is to physically and mentally prepare you to have "THAT" race. However, as an athlete the job remains that you must put the pieces of the puzzle together that day to the best of your ability. When you aren't getting race day magic what do you do?? Well, that's simple, you make some. That's what three athletes I saw do during that race. They needed a little race day magic, but when they didn't get it... they made it. They were willing to do whatever it took (within the safety of their own mind) and squeeze out every last drop until there wasn't a shadow of a doubt that they had used everything. I gurentee if you asked them, none of them would say the words "well, I felt great." They just didn't! However, when push came to shove, they wanted it more and they had done everything they could to put themselves into the position to take it.

The game-dayers are like that. They're the ones you see collapse at the finish line, puking and rallying and on the podium. The more time you spend in the sport, the more you learn how to harness the power of the game-dayer, but it won't come easily. On the contrary, it will hurt more than you thought you could humanly withstand, but in the end, you'll have found a new place that you never thought you could go before (and that you know you will go again).

It will take time, but don't give up hope. Keep searching for that place, keep pushing until you find it and when the opportunity comes don't leave anything out on the table.

Just like EMINEM says...

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

I'm 31 years old. I'm by no means "young" in terms of age, but sometimes I still feel very "young" in the sport. Some people my age have been at it for 10+ years or more already. I only have about 5.5 under my belt. However, I don't have forever left either. I'll be getting better for about the next 3-6 years and then who knows what will happen after that (or even before that for that matter!).

There is one month and four days until Ironman Lake Placid. I'll be honest, I don't even feel remotely prepared right now. However, I trust my coach, I trust my plan and I know I will do not only the work but every little thing I can do to set myself up to pull something truly amazing out during that 140.6 miles (or I'll go down trying). Either way, I want to be a big gamedayer on that day like my friends from Eagleman. That's my NUMBER ONE GOAL. So, you mark my words, and be sure to ask me how I did with my goal on July 25th. I'll tell you strait up if I did it, or if I spent the day "wo-is meing" my way through. If I squeeze out every last drop, then I'll be happy. If I follow my plan to the best of my ability, then I will be a winner regardless of the outcome.

One month four days. Here we go.... Here we go..


Michelle Simmons said...

Love this. Was perfect to read today before I fly to Idaho tomorrow. :)

You will do great in LP!

Beth said...

Yeah, yeah!!! I know you will show up big on "game day" in Placid! Very excited for you Kim!!

Kim said...

trust in your coach, your plan and in yourself kim. IMLP has nothing on you.

Steve said...

One of my favorite posts of yours. You are as tough as a person as I "know" Tough shows up when we say, "You know what?? I always wanna be tough, but I am not always."

A real meek post, and I think a real strong post.

Best wishes. :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

The best way to look at it is this: You have nothing to prove. We live, we learn and we move on. You will take your race experience at EM and make it a huge feather in your cap at IMLP - good luck! :)

Libby said...

LOVE this post!! you got this girl. you aren't supposed to feel great today, you are supposed to feel great july25th so appreciate all the ups and downs of training because soon its your time to shine!!!

Kiet said...

Kim, you rock, I so needed this post. Mentally, all this week, I've been telling myself to do it when it counts, on race day. It doesn't matter what I've done in training, all that matters is that I nail it on race day. Everybody keeps asking me how I feel and I keep telling them how I feel before the race is irrelevant. No matter how I feel before I just have to make it happen come race day. Thanks for the reminder woman.

Jamie said...

It isn't about preparing to execute a race with zero obstacles. It is about being.prepared to execute a race with EVERY obstacle possible and still cone out on top. You have it in ya Kim.

Love this post. Just start realizing that you CAN be a game dayer in LP.