“Anxiety or excitement, one experience creating the opportunity for two emotions that you always have a choice between”
Instead of dribbling on about my physical performance at the 70.3 world champs on the weekend and the ongoing drafting debate, I wanted to share the mental aspect and the experience of competing at a world championship event,the difference between it and a normal race.
The first thing you notice at a race like this is the energy created with the top few percent of athletes in each age group from around the world all coming together for a one race showdown, which this year was in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.
The next thing you notice is how big the event setup is with around 3000 athletes transition was big and along with that the race expo also draws a much greater number of companies all showcasing there products. It’s easy to get carried away here and spend valuable time, energy and of course money on things that should already be sorted.
For me the build up to this race had been pretty good with about 4weeks of solid training under new coach Pete Lever, the goals however were more about rediscovering the passion and process required to not just get through races but to experience them.
Recently I feel that my races have been made or broken not on the actual day rather the days leading up, Therefore both Pete and I were very mindful of monitoring just how I felt and focusing on stress/anxiety management. From the first call for help (very early on race week😡) Pete reminded me the work is done so focus on recharging the body, things like Yoga, meditation and breathing practices. This coincided with listening to the Fitter radio podcast and Bevan spoke about how closely related the two emotions anxiety and excitement are.
This was a timely reminded for me and helped me realise that the churning in my stomach and nervous tension was actually excitement not anxiety, the week was an opportunity not obstacle.
Arriving on Friday just in time for a Team Trispecific meeting, I was immediately greeted by Pete who from that moment until I left on Monday was invaluable to all the athletes racing under TS. This guy is so meticulous with his planning and ensuring athlete needs are met. From then on everything seemed to click really well for me, with enough people interaction to keep me out of my own head but not so much that I couldn’t focus on the task at hand.
I made a conscious decision to really experience these few days and connect with the people around me as I have a habit of isolating myself in times of stress, this was made so much easier by the people around me, Pete, Rach and Brooke (who introduced me to House of Cards TV series 👊). From amazing meals, 4am coffees to vodka spritzers at 10am these guy’s were awesome. Also Sean and Tiana, all the way from California it was fantastic to meet you both and share those few days and thanks for the post race BBQ.
The only thing that caused me stress turned out to be my undoing on race day and that was a lingering achilles injury that I had tried to manage instead of fix. However the positives from my first experience as a TS athlete far out weigh the negatives! There is still plenty of work to do but now I feel the right person is at the helm to ensure that work is done properly and in a sustainable manner.
Finally a big congratulations to all those who competed supported and of course won. I have read many complaints about the bike leg on Sunday and the drafting etc.. however when you put the top few percent of athletes in the one race it’s always going to be tough, maybe having the hills first might have changed things? That said nothing can take away from those who won.
As always stay well.