Sunday, August 1, 2010


I've often said that doing triathlons can often be a metaphor for life. I've recently found this to be true in a very simple, yet important, way. In the last 6 weeks, I've realized the importance of confidence when it comes to my swim. To the extent that one morning I was pretty stressed out from work and I had a tough swim workout I was supposed to do, I decided not to do the swim workout! This wasn't giving up, it was recognizing my limitations on that day and the importance of feeling confident during my swims. I know that next Sunday at Boulder 70.3, I will have confidence going into the swim. I will be rested and relaxed and I will know that I can give it everything I have. In the past, the siwm has been more or less about surviving. What's crazy is that I'm a pretty good swimmer, and this mentality was more or less a waste of that capability.

I now know that I can swim fast, and pretty hard at that, and still come out of the water capable of having a strong bike ride. It can also be fun, trying to keep up with the faster swimmers. At the end of the day, however, it will still be about me. I'll swim as hard and as fast as I am capable on that day. So, what has changed? Well, I'm now aware that I wasn't exhaling adequately, and that was making me feel like I couldn't breath. Now, I focus on exhaling hard every time. And, swimming fast in the process. I know what my form needs to be. I'm more than capable of getting my form into the zone, so to speak. Good extension, good rotation, solid effort. I know how to swim fast. It's only a half an hour (next race), and I know that I can do that.

It is remarkable how confidence can make a difference in our performance. And that isn't just triathlon. It's how we go to work everyday. It's how we deal with other people. It's how we deal with our lives!

The other exciting part of all of this is that now that I'm confident in my swim, I'm hoping to bring that same confidence to my bike and run. I almost always have a pretty good bike ride, but I'm probably capable of just a little bit more. My training has been going incredibly well, and I know that I can have one of my best bike rides next week. There will be a confidence level there that will help me stay in the zone. I'm also really happy because the Boulder course doesn't have any major hills, so I'll be fast!

Finally, the run. I've done the training. I know what I'm capable of. I can focus on my breathing here as well. Perhaps, that's been a problem in the past. I wonder if my side stitches have been related to improper exhaling Well, I'll find out, it's one of the things I will focus on. The other is just going fast. I know that I can run fast (for me), and I just need to do it!

There is also now something special about having done a full ironman. When I look at the distances in next weeks race, they don't seem that long. Running 13.1 miles seems like it will go by so quickly. I have to hold that thought!

I'm also trying hard not to have a specific time goal. That's difficult, because, of course I do! I will not wear a watch, however, and I will swim hard, bike hard and run hard. And, I'll have fun doing it!

Again, it's all about confidence.

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