Thursday, March 18, 2010

Little Bitty skiing....

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

New for 2010 - Attitude Adjustment & An Experiment

Those of you that have read my blog and/or know me, undoubtedly know that my free time in 2009 was essentially consumed with training for Ironman Florida this past November.
In fact, 2009 started out really great for me....I PR'd a half-marathon (yes, I know the 3M course is all downhill - don't burst my bubble!) & finished the Austin Marathon just under my goal time. Cloud nine there for a while, actually.
In the beginning, my goal for my 2009 race season was really only two-fold. First, build a serious amount of fitness -- get into the best shape of my life & second, finish Ironman. Notice, I said "finish" Ironman. Not "blow it away", not "kill it", not "qualify for Kona" (ha! yeah right!). Just simply finish.
I went into my first sprint tri of the season with the "go out there & give it your best" attitude. I felt really fit, though & way (I mean, waaaaay) in the back of my mind I thought I might have a chance to actually place. I was timid (in a sense) but, I did go out there & give it my best. It just so happened my best wasn't good enough for top 3, though. I think I was 6th or something.
However, by the time mid-summer of 2009 rolled around, I was starting to have a different attitude. Let me be blunt - I was starting to feel SUPER-STRONG. My workouts we right where they needed to be & by the time the Danskin sprint tri rolled around, I was ready to kick it. In my mind, I thought "I can really do well here" & "I am gonna rock this swim". I even had myself mostly convinced that I was strong enough to leave there with top 3, but yet there was a shred of doubt. As it turned out, though, I ended up with 4th place. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
I was getting closer, though.
Then, I got it in my brain that if I only pushed myself a little harder, I might actually have a decent showing at Ironman Florida. Not just a "finish".
But then, alas, my foot was fractured and out went the "I can actually do well at Ironman" attitude and back in came the "just going to finish" attitude.
Geez - all this talk about attitude!
You're thinking: "where the heck is she going with this?".
So finish Ironman I did, amidst the challenge of the foot & boy, was I ever proud. And pleased, really. Because, at one point, there was a huge doubt as to whether or not I'd even be able to get to the start line, let alone finish.
Long story short, I had an eye-opening conversation with Matt the other day about attitude. Attitude as it pertains to competing & winning. He asserts that in racing, attitude is 90%. Only a mere 10% is physical. To which, I reply - but what about people that are just "born runners" or "born cyclists", like Lance Armstrong?. These people have physical talent. Yes, Matt says, but these people...people who are consistantly winners....are people that have the winning attitude & drive.
As Matt prepared for his first mountain bike race in over 10 years last week, his attitude was all about winning. Taking down anyone & everyone who would dare get in his way. In fact, he said "if someone wants to try & beat me, I will make them pay for it & suffer!"
"WOW!", I thought - "maybe he's right".
Applying it to myself, I realized when I am training or preparing to race, my mentality it nothing like this. Honestly, I do think that I am generally stronger than most people out on the street, but when it comes to race days, I stand among a ton of others who have trained hard, just like me. And I wonder "who I am to think I could take a win here??".
Yikes! Compared to Matt's wonder I ain't winning anything!
So here's what's new for me for 2010:
I wanna race & win - so why not believe I can actually do it?!
So here's my experiment (it is a 4 step plan, actually - take note):
- Train hard for my 2010 season of triathlon
- Believe I will win
- Race my hardest at every race
- Bring home hardware
Simple as that.
I'll be sure to let you know how it all turns out. :o)
Now, for fun, here is an informal poll for those of you out there that race & compete ~
What kind of athlete are you...what kind of race attitude do you have?
(be honest & comment below)
A) "Get outta my way or I will cut you! I'm taking first place!"
B) "I'm feeling strong today, I think I'm gonna do well."
C) "I hope I have enough fitness to finish this thing!"
D) "Why did I sign up for this anyway? Where's the SAG wagon?"
My last season's answer to the poll was choice "B".
But my new year's resolution for this year is to be a letter "A".
Here's to a GREAT ATTITUDE in 2010!
ps - my attitude for my next Ironman will be "qualify for Kona". :o)