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IM 70.3 FL - quick recap

The nerves were low for this race. I was bottled up with excitement to kick off the 2019 triathlon racing season. I remember my very first half Ironman (in Disney) back in 2006 and I was filled with thoughts of the unknown. But this beginner's mindset opened my mind to possibilities instead of being paralyzed by results. Over the past decade-plus of endurance triathlon racing, it's easy to compare race to race, often wanting to validate improvements by times and paces. However, I've wanted to do things differently this year - starting with my mindset. Instead of seeing improvements as pass or fail based on paces and times, I want to do things well when I race. Karel always has this mindset when he races whereas I often put a lot of pressure on myself to be better, faster or stronger. While this has worked for me at times, it also creates a lot of mental stress that can easily take away the fun of racing.

This season is the first time ever that I've had a coach - someone other than Karel to report to and hold me accountable to my training. I'm grateful that Cait Snow (and Julie Dibens) took us on as athletes this season for the training has been incredibly challenging but also fun - because it's new. With this, I am entering this season with new possibilities, new periodization, new guidance and new excitement for training and racing.

Approaching this first race of the season, I tried a lot of new things. Although we often say not to try new things on race day, this isn't always true. Sometimes the race environment is the best place to try something new for it brings much more stress, fear and fatigue than in an at-home training environment. Rather than getting caught up in results, my mission was to try new things - like a disc wheel, a flying dismount, filling up my Ventum hydration system while riding, wearing calf-height compression socks instead of the full sock, wearing a HR monitor when I raced, wearing the Naked Running Belt, wearing a sleeved swimskin, wearing clear (not tinted) goggles and doing a bit more training volume/intensity on race week. Above all, I loved every minute of racing. It was not easy and it was filled with highs and lows but I was reminded why I train for this sport - because race day is my favorite day to celebrate all the hard work that was done alone.

Although the race was not easy and the competition was stiff, I am very pleased with my performance. Karel also felt like he couldn't have done anything better - the results were an honest assessment of managing the conditions and racing the competition. We both went into this race feeling incredibly fit and strong and it always takes a race (or two) to feel the "hurt" that comes with racing. We are both grateful that we are healthy - not sick or injured - and that we can do this sport, that we love so much, and share it with our athletes and so many other like-minded individuals.

Full race recap to come.

Official Results
Marni Sumbal
Swim - 31:55
T1 - 3:14
Bike - 2:32.16
T2 - 2:33
Run - 1:41.10
Finishing time - 4:15.05
2nd age group (35-39), 3rd overall female (out of 346).

Karel Sumbal
Swim - 32:16
T1 - 2:37
Bike - 2:22.23
T2 - 2:29
Run - 1:27.50
Finishing time - 4:27.33
4th age group (40-44), 8th overall (out of 1330)