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Showing posts from October 4, 2020

Lessons learned from Kona - beat the urge to quit

I have never had an easy Ironman race. I've wanted to quit every Ironman that I have completed. But through it all, I've crossed every Ironman that I've started. That's 16 140.6 mile events of my mind battling with my body.  Triathletes spend many months - if not years - preparing for a 140.6 mile event. You learn a lot about yourself when training for a long-distance triathlon. But the most learning happens on race day....often when you are so close to giving up.  As an endurance athlete, being fit gets you to the start line. Knowing how to battle when you are close to failure is what gets you to the finish line.  Here are a few tips to help you keep going when the going gets hard: You are not suffering alone. If it's hard for you, it's hard for others. If others can handle it, so can you.  Tough times don't last. For every low moment, there's a high moment around the corner.  Remove the pressure to achieve a certain outcome. Let go of any goal paces/wa

Lessons learned from Kona - spend your $$ wisely!

After nearly a day of flying, it's a relief to finally get outside and smell the salty, flowery Kona air. There's something indescribable about the feeling of stepping out of the last airplane of the journey, knowing that you have arrived to your final destination - the venue of the Ironman World Championship.   The Ironman World Championship is an incredible spectacle of an event. No matter if you are a participant, volunteer or spectator, it's worth the trip to the big island to experience all that is Ironman Kona. From all of the race week events to the massive expo to swimming in a clear, blue fish tank, the event itself is simply the icing on the cake. For seven years, the Ironman World Championship race week has always made for a memorable and inspiring experience for me.  But let's not beat around the bush. If you are participating in the Ironman World Championship, it can get rather expensive.  According to a  past article , the average income of an Ironman tria

Happy 13th Birthday Campy!!

  I can't believe that my lovey, my buddy, my snickerdoodle, my golden nugget, my chihuahy, my Campy camp is turning 13 today.  For the past 12 years, I've been spoiled with unconditional love from my furry best friend. To celebrate another year added to his lottery-winning life, I thought I'd share 13 fun facts about Campy:  1. Campy loves to sleep under blankets and he loves pillows.  2. Campy loves road trips.  3. Campy does not mind being carried around like a baby.  4. Campy is very gentle around cats, puppies and kittens. Strangers (humans), not so much.  5. Campy suffered from seizures in the summer of 2015. He was put on phenobarbital and takes 1/2 pill in the morning and in the evening. He has been seizure free ever since.  6. Campy was attacked by a dog off the leash in December 2018. He handled it like a champ.  7. Campy is not a big eater. He doesn't care for dry dog food but loves dry cat food.  8. Campy loves being warm. He loves to sit outside in the summ

Lessons learned from Kona - choking under pressure

The triathlete who qualifies for IM Kona will have invested a lot of time, money and energy into the craft of preparing the body and mind for this grueling 140.6 mile event. There are no shortcuts or secret sauces. It's a lot of hard work, sacrifices and investments. It's understandable that many Ironman athletes experience tremendous pressure to perform incredibly well on race day.  Far too many athletes arrive to a race fit, ready and prepared only to underperform compared to performances in training. It's likely that anxiety, fear or stress gets in the way.  Far too many athletes enter race week in panic mode and change the winning formula. Rituals and routines that were once in place to build confidence for race day or quickly replaced with haphazard, last-minute decisions and changes - all due to worry, fear and self-doubt. Sure, the Ironman World Championship is a big spectacle but racing with an outcome focused mindset can paralyze your abilities to have a great perf

Lessons learned from IM Kona - Body Image

Today would have been the start of the Ironman World Championship race week. If you've ever been to Kona at this time of year, it's an incredibly special and inspiring week. Although Karel and I were not planning to race this year, we had a few Trimarnis on the start list. Although it's sad to know that their IM Kona dreams are now on hold, we know the wait will be worth it and they will get their Ironman Kona experience and a one-of-a-kind finish line feeling.  Around this time in October, I've spent seven of the last 13 years on the big island of Kona, Hawaii. Five of those years as an IM Kona athlete (2007, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2019) and two of those years as a spectator for Karel (2016 and 2018). We have been privileged to call Kona our second home for so many years for at least a week in early October.  In honor of this week being IM Kona "race week" I will share a few of the lessons I've learned as an Ironman World Championship participant (and spectato