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IM 70.3 Chattanooga - Quick Recap

I remember a time not too long ago in my triathlon journey when my love for training outweighed my love for racing. Sure, race day was something I always looked forward to but with every race came expectations, pressure, competition and worry about the unknowns. Race day was stressful whereas there was nothing to worry about when I trained - as no one was watching.

Over the years, I've studied Karel and his love for racing. He loves to race. If he could, he would race every weekend. I've noticed that he always displays a few special "race day" qualities. Applying these strategies to my own pre-race and race day thought processes has allowed me to love racing as much as I love training.

Here are a few takeaways of how to enjoy racing and to get the most out of your race experience:
  • Don't chase results, PR's or podiums. Race the competition - whoever shows up on race day. 
  • Preparation builds confidence. 
  • Rely more on RPE over metrics to race more proactively (instead of being reactive and robotic). 
  • You don't need to prove anything to yourself or to anyone else on race day. 
  • Accept that everyone has to race with/in the same conditions. 
  • Understand that something/everything won't go well/right on race day. 
  • Don't waste energy on things out of your control. 
  • Focus on your own pre-race routine. Stay away from people who suck away your energy (including forums/blogs/social media).
  • Don't race with expectations or outcome focused goals. 
  • Always decide on the best tool for the job. It's good to have a plan but you also need to know how to adjust. 
  • Your mind should be as strong as your body.
  • Don't be afraid to fail.
  • Something good can come from every race. 
  • Don't race another athletes's race. 
  • Don't race with an ego, race for the joy of racing. 
  • Stay humble and confident. 
  • Know that you are always a work in progress. 
  • Don't let one race define you or your season. 
  • Avoid putting too much energy into one race day performance. 
  • Reflect on your race in a productive way so you learn from each race. 
IM 70.3 Chattanooga was a first-time event for me and Karel. Although we've raced in Chattanooga in the past, this course was something new for us to conquer. We really love the city and the community loves to welcome this event. The volunteers are incredible.

The competition was stiff, the weather was warm and the swim was shortened. Karel put together an incredible race where he felt strong all day - and got stronger as the day went on. Just two weeks after IM 70.3 St. George and 5 weeks after IM 70.3 Haines City, Karel's strategy of racing himself into great fitness (on top of some great quality training in between) proved to - once again- work really well for him. I placed 4th in my age group. There were so many strong girls in my age group and I knew it would be tough to get on the podium at this race. While I could be disappointed with my placement, I am not. I felt incredibly strong for all 70.3 miles. Even when I heard from a friend that I was in 4th AG, I didn't stop smiling as I felt like I was winning my own race. I am far from upset as I put together the best race that I could on the day.

We had 29 Trimarni athletes on the race course and it was so much fun to share the course (and race experience) with them all. I just love racing with our athletes. And....thee Trimarni coaching and nutrition team placed 3rd Tri Club!! Way to go team!!

As a takeaway from our race, it's totally normal to be disappointed after a race. Those "perfect" races don't come very often so it's expected that there's going to be a learning experience, highs and lows from every race. Most importantly, make sure your race day goals (or expectations) are for the right reasons. We all love to celebrate PR's and podiums, but most importantly, race for the happiness and joy that is racing brings to you. Racing should always give you a great sense of personal accomplishment. No matter what, be thankful and grateful for your healthy mind and body. It's a gift to be able to do what you/we can do with our bodies.

Race Results

Marni - 4th AG (35-39), 10th overall amateur female

.75 mile swim: 14:52 (1st AG, 5th fastest female)
T1: 4:01
56 mile bike: 2:31.03 (4th AG, 10th fastest female)
T2: 2:48
13.1 mile run: 1:40.10 (6th AG, 18th fastest female)
Total: 4:32.53

Karel - 1st AG (40-44), 7th overall amateur male)

.75 mile swim: 15:17 (6th AG)
T1: 3:13
56 mile bike: 2:21.33 (5th AG, 27th fastest male)
T2: 2:21
13.1 mile run: 1:22.12 (1st AG, 3rd fastest male, 4th overall)
Total: 4:04.34