Essential Sports Nutrition


The patient athlete - it's not easy!

A few days ago, Karel and I registered for the 2018 Ironman Austria. If you didn't know, this is my absolute favorite course because I love everything about this race. The mountain views, the silky smooth pavement on the bike course, the crowd support and the overall race atmosphere. This will be our 3rd time racing at Ironman Austria and I have a few big goals that I hope to achieve at this race which will be years in the making.

With a two year intentional break from Ironman racing, I can't wait to complete my 12th Ironman in Austria next July 1st.

To be honest, it has been incredibly difficult to resist the urge from signing up for an Ironman over the past year. Even now, I am itching to race a 140.6 mile event and there were a few times that I debated to sign up for IM Lake Placid and race with Karel. BUT, I have remained patient as my intention for taking a break from Ironman racing was to fully develop my skills, resilience and fitness so that when I return back to Ironman racing, I will be more prepared than ever before.

As an athlete, I thrive off goals. But sometimes, goals take a while to achieve. It's easy to be inpatient, especially when it's so easy to sign up for a race, anytime. Racing for a 140.6 mile event is no easy accomplishment and it requires a lot of time, money and energy. Although big Ironman goals will get me out of bed when I lack motivation or energy, I have been reminding myself over and over that sometimes a goal takes longer than you want it to and I must respect the time that it takes to reach that goal. Instead of spending so much energy on obtaining my goal as quickly as possible, I am dedicated and focused on the process that it will take me to successfully reach my goal.

Every time I have a goal, I am aware that I need time to achieve the goal. Rushing the plan/process will likely leave me injured or burnt out and neither would move me closer to my goal (and both would sabotage my health and enjoyment for the sport of triathlon). Being patient through every training process has allowed me to keep my expectations realistic (and timely) and to keep a positive attitude throughout my individual development. 

Throughout this Ironman-break, I have been training hard with Karel as my inspiration. As he prepares for Ironman #8 (IM Lake Placid) and Ironman #9 (IM Chatty) this season, I am extremely motivated by his hard work ethic and his determination to reach his personal goals. Even though I am not training for an Ironman right now, I get to share the "Ironman journey" with Karel and it is extremely rewarding.

Karel is a very hard worker. He will be the first to tell you that there are no shortcuts or quick fixes to athletic success. To experience athletic success, you must have determination, motivation and a strong desire to go after a goal, and never ever give up until you reach your goal.

It's been exciting to see Karel's development in the sport of triathlon over the past five years. Success is not an overnight kind of thing and for Karel, he has made so many swim/bike/run improvements over many months and years. I don't think Karel will ever feel satisfied, too successful or that he knows enough about the sport of triathlon and that keeps him trucking away. He truly loves the process of athletic development and this mindset has helped me remain so patient in my individual athletic journey.

Even though we both have different athletic goals, with different race schedules, we both wake up with an inner drive to be the best that we can be and with every workout, we trust that we are a little bit closer to reaching our goals.

Every athlete is different. What drives you, motivates you and inspires you may be defined differently from your training partner or another athlete. Every athlete has his/her own path to success with a different type of work ethic. Every athlete has his/her own obstacles to overcome and a path that is not always smooth and straight forward. Although almost every athlete wants to experience athletic success, it is those who are patient, willing and determined to do what it takes, for as long as it takes, that will reach long term goals. 

To accomplish something great with your body, you need time and patience. Hard work works when every day somethings add into something special on race day. Stay patient with your goals and the journey that it takes to reach your goals. Great things are destined to happen to you - stay patient!