Kona Edge Podcast interview - successfully failing

In mid October, I dedicated a blog post to recapping our 2016 season of triathlon racing. 
If you missed it, you can read about it here: 2016 season recap. 

Looking back, 2016 was a very successful season for me and Karel. 

I fulfilled a long time goal of placing on the podium at an international Ironman, where I finished 2nd AG and 4th female amateur (10th overall female) at Ironman Austria. It was also my highest ever overall placing in an Ironman since winning the 18-24 AG at IMFL in 2006 (my first Ironman). Only this time, 11 Ironmans later, I finished 54 minutes faster than at my first Ironman (10:06 at IM Austria vs. 11:00 at IMFL). 

I placed overall female at the Lake James 50 triathlon. 

Eight days later, I was leading the race by several minutes with 1 mile to go, at Rev3 Knox, until a pink arrow lead me and several others off the bike portion of the race course. Due to a 6+ mile detour, I tried to make up the 15+ minutes that I lost on the bike and missed the win by less than a minute. Bright side - I had the fastest female run split of the day (running frustrated and on a mission!).

And to conclude the season, a win at Lake Logan Half which was the result of a very strong performance on a very tough race course, and one of my best executed bike performance. 

And, let's not forget Karel's 3 very successful Ironman finishes (IM Austria, IMMT, IMKona), 3 overall race wins, an IM podium (and Kona qualification) at IMMT and the fastest male amateur run split at IMMT. 

While successes are worth highlighting (it's good to acknowledge when you are doing something right), it would be wrong for me to not mention the many, MANY lessons, mistakes and failures that have occurred since I started racing in endurance events back in 2006. 

  • I'd like to bring up my horrible decision in 2007 when I decided to race my first Kona with an injury. No running for 30 days due to hip issues and a quick-fix, please heal me, approach to every doctor that I saw, only to try to get myself uninjured before race day, results in extreme damage to my body during and after the race. With a stubborn head, I finished (and made it onto the NBC Kona broadcast coverage - yep, I was one of those athletes falling across the finish line) and it negatively affected me for several years (like 6!). 

  • I'd like to bring up 2011, where I didn't race a single triathlon for the entire year, except IM Kona in October, due to another 3 months of no running (hip/back issues) and a time-consuming dietetic internship that took up every hour of my day (10+ hours a day of interning and school work) for 10 months. 

  • I'd like to bring up the 3 months that I didn't run before IM Placid in 2013 and managed to get myself into as good of shape as I could, to feel prepared for that race, with only 8 weeks of consistent running. This also occurred during the time when my dad was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic cancer. Somehow, I managed to get to the start line and qualify for Kona with a roll down slot. 

  • I'd like to bring up the 6 years that I suffered from chronic hip/back issues, which caused many days of frustration, tears and anger toward my body. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to quit the sport of triathlon throughout those 6 years and how much time was spent on PT, doc appointments and anything and everything to try to get myself healed. 
  • And let's not forget Karel's recent issues, with a tear in his plantar fascia just 5 months before his first Kona in 2015 and then a diagnosis of a labral hip tear this past May and painful back issues leading up to IM Austria.
  • I should also mention the passing of my dad, three days before my birthday in 2014. This is something that I deal with on an ongoing basis. I don't think you ever get over the loss of a loved one, especially a parent. 

You see, failure is a step to success. Actually, it is the road to success. 
Perhaps you have followed us for many years or you are a new Trimarni follower. Regardless, it is important that you understand that our successes are not without failures. 

I don't know that I will ever be able to document my 10 years of learning into one blog post but I will continue to document my journey on this blog, with the intention of inspiring you and motivating you to never ever give up on your dreams.  If you don't give up, you never fail. You just keep on learning. 

Sure, we can call it a failure when we get injured, race poorly or make some kind of bad decision in training but failing is an opportunity to learn....that is, if you see it as a valuable opportunity to learn. 

The way I see it, I have successfully failed to get to where I am today.

As a sport dietitian, coach and still developing triathlete, I have 10 years of formal education with 10 years of endurance training and racing behind me. I have learned a lot in 10 years and I don't believe I'm even close to reaching my peak performances by my boy. I think Karel, even at 40 years of age, still hasn't reached his best. He's getting faster, stronger, more efficient and smarter as an endurance triathlete with every season. And next season will only be his 6 season of endurance triathlon racing. 

Thanks to Brad Brown with The Kona Edge, I was recently given a special opportunity to share some of my lessons learned along my successful (and not so successful) journey. 

We had such a great conversation talking about all things triathlon, Kona and coaching, as well as discussing my thoughts on race weight. I hope you enjoy hearing about some of the mistakes that I've made over the past 10 years as an endurance triathlete.
Although this podcast may be about me, Brad wanted to make sure that this podcast interview was also educational, so that I could discuss practical advice to help athletes move closer to reaching personal athletic goals, without compromising health.
Thanks for listening.

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