Although I’m writing this post Geelong 70.3, it’s not going to be a race report, rather a reflection of a different nature.. Mental preparation and adaption to change.
After a rather stressful start to 2016, in pretty much every aspect of my life change has occured, bar one; my family and support team ETPA.
To deal with this change I’ve worked hard on identifying certain mindsets and habits that serve me well and ones that don’t. That said I will be totally honest and say, I’m getting help from a specialist in this area to ensure that going forward I am able to get the most not only from sport but life, to develop strategies to make great decisions and actions no matter the situation, challenge or most importantly the opportunity that lays ahead.
The person I have turned to is Stuart Walter – Athlete Secret Weapon, after walking past his car (noticing the signage) in my new neighborhood a couple of times curiosity got the better of me and I ‘googled’ him. As always life will provide what you need when you need it and it’s up to you to take that path, I have and since starting about 3 weeks ago have noticed great change. Don’t get me wrong, not all good, woth lots of internal conflict as I move away and let go of past safety nets.
This has made an interesting race build to Geelong but come race day served me well!
Combining the 8 week program from ASW, with the guidance and mentoring from my coach Darren and the team at ETPA has helped me refocus and develop great long term goals and importantly a process to achieve them!
The biggest mental shift has been from identifying a target, #1 goal -8th Oct 2016, Hawaii Ironman, this has become my focus and main goal with steps along the way like Geelong 70.3 on the weekend. This simple, but powerful shift from not just having numerous goals but one big one is helping me to get more from each smaller step along the way.
Geelong for me presented far more mental challenges than physical (thats not saying it didn’t hurt like hell!!), with a number of variables going against my plan, starting with losing my garmin on arrival, leaving my helmet, race belt and timing chip in the team trailer the noght before race (it was in Melbourne and not arrive until after 6am, thanks to Mat Tippett for keeping me calm there). I also managed to leave race cap and socks at home for which I’m now sunburned and blistered feet.
These along with finally seeing my sisters and there amazing daughters for the first time in about a year meant for a hectic few days.
From there, upon diving in to start the race my wetsuit split up the side turning me into a dragnet and after stopping a couple times to try and empty but obviously unsuccessful, lead to a physical and mentally tough swim.
From there my day definitely got better as my legs came good after about 40k on the bike and I was able to negative split by about 2mins before getting of and enjoying a controlled run, feeling like I had more but with IMNZ 4wks away and some hard days to come, I was able to cruise around and soak up the day. (To my sisters, yes I got shivers down my spine each time I passed you girls thanks t ok the kind and loving words of support being yelled ).
Now, I don’t mention the above incidents as a, why me or if they didn’t happen I could have done better, rather to point out each incident had the potential to have me stressed and taken away from the experience, however by realising none of these things would stop my race, yes impact how the day unfolds, but not stop it. I came to Geelong with certain goals and ‘yes’ they could all still be met if I chose to stay in the moment and just swim, bike, run!!!
That said family was my main motivation and I’m so grateful to have shared a few precious fays with them.
I definitely took some great positives from the race and to finish on the podium was fantastic, to smile all day and share that with thousands of others if motivating and inspiring as we all have a journey and story of achievement in getting to the finish.
For me its time to return home and finish preparing for IMNZ.
I hope this helps even one person to get more from there experience and journey of health, happiness and Triathlon 🏊🚵🏃☕☕☕
* just wanted to add if anyone has questions or comments please feel free to share or contact me as knowledge is power and hopefully we can all move towards a healthy lifestyle that includes this amazing sport of Triathlon!!!