My drill instructors used to say "It's all mind over matter. if you dont mind, it doesnt matter"... maybe it works here, probably not. :)
I normally do not like talking about myself, but people have told me they like to hear about my experiences. So I am going to attempt to give you some insights without the intention of “hey look at me”, but so you might be able to use what you like, and ignore what you don’t.
I woke up for Lake Stevens and while sitting in the hotel waiting to go, I read an article about keeping your mental state in a race, and not over thinking, or judging situations. Seems easy enough, but as you all know, add power meter, speed distance, HR, nutrition, etc, it can be more complicated then it sounds.
I tried to commit myself to just relaxing and enjoying the day. I decided I have trained my body how to do what it needs to do; now I need to get out of the way, and be an observer. I wanted to observe so I could keep things in line, but let it do what it knows how to do.
I had SO MUCH FUN racing on Sunday. More fun then I had in long time. I was doing the bike with a huge smile on my face, and just simply had a blast. I averaged 289 watts, which was my highest for a half ever. Had a very solid pro level swim and bike, and ran a 1:27 off the bike on a hilly course which for me is solid. I won my age group and was 13th overall.
I started the run and decided to do the same thing. Not judge myself at any given min, and just take my calories in, and have fun. It worked like a charm. I was happy to see my run splits come down post injury.
Im not sure if I will be able to do it again, but I’ll try. I learned a valuable lesson and like most lessons, take the good, and add to it my other experiences. For my athletes I coach, we would with all the data and I think you would be crazy to not train and race with the info. But coupling that with the strategy above I think is the key.
I talked about having a coach earlier. I am still asked from time to time if it shows a lack of knowledge that I have a coach. I really do not think so. In fact, I would not let anyone coach/consult with me that say he or she does know it all. In fact I would run the other way. I think the best coaches and mentors in the world are able to put themselves in a learning seat all the time, put their egos aside, and find new techniques. Chris tells me all the time, his success is a result of all the people that have helped him along the way.
I feel very fortunate that I have been able to meet some of the mentors I have had along the way.