13 April 2011

"Stop Being Safe. Do Not Think, Just Race."

With the first triathlon of the season on the horizon (as in, this weekend), Jen sent me a little motivational response to my race goals I sent to her. Actually, it was a bit of a scary motivational e-mail and I kind of felt like wetting my pants while reading it, but really, this was exactly what I needed.

That blog post title, "Stop being safe. Do not think, just race" is a line I stole from the e-mail. It's my new goal for the race; that and suffer. No time goals, just go hard and don't hold back. I also wrote down a few other quotes from the e-mail and stuck them on my work computer and wrote them in a notebook I carry around with me. Just to remind myself of what I need to do on Saturday.

Last season, I cracked during just about every single one of my races. Usually on the run. Things got hard (it's a race, they are supposed to be hard) and I would allow myself to cave - slow down, walk, tell myself it's an accomplishment just to finish. I took a look at my race report from this race last year and here is a gem of a line "my head wasn't really in the run and i was just so pleased with how the bike turned out, I almost didn't care how the run went" WTH??!! No wonder I had a crummy race, with that kind of attitude.

I'm trying to turn things around this season. Mental focus and preparation are just as important as the swimbikerun training. I've been reading books and blogs, trying to soak up and understand the different mental prep techniques and how I might be able to apply them to myself and my races. Saturday's tri will be the first true test - I feel like such a poser sitting here saying I'm going to try to race with the big kids (seriously, who am I?!), but that's what I'm going to try to do. Answer when I am passed, no more of this "I'm here to race my own race." That is bull - I am here to race (OMG, such a pretender!). Work hard from start to finish, don't look at the clock, and plan on having this simple conversation with myself over and over:
"Will I die?"
"Then go harder."
If the end result of the race is that I finish with absolutely nothing left and there are no "shoulda, woulda, coulda's - then I think we can call it a success.

I'm a little leery and uncomfortable with this "race-bravado"-type talk. I feel like an arrogant fool saying it and writing it. But I'm kind of hoping if I just write it and say it enough, I might begin to believe it, and one of these days it'll actually come true.

I'm not this arrogant in real life. Honestly.


ADC said...

You should believe it - you are one of the big kids. Caroline, we've all witnessed what a great athlete you are in Tucson so just go for ir. You CAN do it.

Kathy said...

Definitely one of the big kids. Give it all you have, the suffering will be brief. Have a great race and I look forward to reading the report.

Jennifer Harrison said...

YOU are ready and can be in the mix, Caroline. JUST believe it first ...and want it more than anyone else. GOOD LUCK!

argardin said...

Caroline, you are incredibly fast and you can do it and race with the big kids. That attitude is exactly what you need. You're going to crush it.

Karen Hollander said...

You are an animal!!!! I can't wait to hear how the race goes!!!! Good skills and attitude!!!!!

JV said...

Hey Caroline,
Great to meet you at camp! You are going to podium this year, just race like you train. Believe.

Caroline said...

Thanks for the encouragement guys - I'm excited and nervous as all heck, but I'm really looking forward to racing!