|Nearing the summit of Ben Eighe|
As I said in the last post I wanted to round up the season with a post about what I have learnt in my first seasons racing. For me what I have learnt covers a broad range of things from technical/training/equipment type stuff, useful to make racing faster in the future possible and the deeper stuff, about myself that training, focusing and digging deep brings out. For me the latter is the most interesting but hardest to fully explain as half the time I don't really understand it myself!
- Inspiration is key
I chose Celtman as my first go at triathlon. I wanted an experience that I would remember, I wanted a goal that I was not sure would be possible. I also wanted to be among the mountains and the sea. I had seen the Norseman Extreme Tri video and it seemed the perfect race. Then I found Celtman and knew I had to enter if I could. It represented everything I wanted and needed. The thought of swimming across a sea loch surrounded by mountains got me out of bed at 6am and down to the lake when the temperature was just 7degrees. The 125 mile bike course had me out on 5 hour plus rides on flooded roads, into headwinds and everything else on my trusty Cougar bike. My legs soon got strong enough. The run over the top of one of Scotland's most beautiful mountains put the icing on the cake. The thought of the challenge and experience motivated me beyond belief.
- Things don't always go to plan!
Seems a bit silly but I find I get lost in the thought of reaching a goal and expect it all to go perfectly. My reaction at times when it does not is often not the most productive at first. When my bike broke on Celtman I thought of quitting, on the run during Hellvelyn I felt the same and at many times during training things did not go to plan. How you deal with these moments is key. In a way many of them are beyond your control so you just have to do what you can, keep moving forwards (or sideways :) ) no matter what. Reacting like a spoilt child is not positive. The races and training give a chance to work on this stuff and it is so applicable to life in general. Expect the unexpected and react accordingly!
- If you think you have dug deep, you can probably go a little further
The more impossible the goal or harder the challenge the richer the experience becomes for me. Standing on the start line with a bunch of other super motivated, talented and brave athletes will bring out the best in all of us. By racing others I find I always dig deeper. I avoided racing and competition for years because I was afraid. At the end of the day for me it is not about a position in a field but getting that last bit of effort from myself. Finding what is truly inside. A race atmosphere provides a gateway to this. You can then draw on these experiences when you are on your own, as I was with Wasdale Tri.
- Get the entry in and start training now!!
- Sometimes the Mojo is low
I go through periods when the motivation is just not there. The psyche is low. At times I also feel a little unsure of the path I seem to have chosen. But it always passes, guaranteed and comes back stronger. Over training is easy to fall into, I find it creeps up and hits me hard. If the mojo is low this could be the cause. Be aware of your body, keep a record of your training and use it to assess if you are doing too much. I also find after reaching a goal low mojo can strike. Something is missing. Take some time to chill and do other things. I am currently planning on doing some cross country races and spending some time trail running. I am also spending more time with friends training and socializing. I will also be reading some books and drinking lots of tea! It will return!!
That will do for now I think. It is far too much to write in one post so I will save a bit for another. Hope this is helpful to someone, it does help me to write anyway.
Had a good fun run out with Steve in the snow the other night. We ran Helvellyn and took in Stepped ridge on Brown cove crags on the way. YakTrax and Ice axes essential. The first after work Alpinism outing of the season! Racing Carlisle leg of Cumbria cross country league with Ben tommorow. 8km with the greyhounds. Should be interesting!
Two inspirational videos for your enjoyment!