A day of triumph, relief and gratitude.
On Sunday the 15th of November I lined up for what was bound to be the biggest physical challenge I have faced so far in my triathlon career. Three off-road triathlons back to back with a mind numbing total of 6.5km swimming, 100km mountain biking and 42km trailing running. With the added bonus of 4000m elevation gain!
Certainly intimidating. The anticipation of the unknown is what excited me about this race. Unknown if I could race that far. Unknown if my body could handle that much nutrition. Unknown if I was mentally up to the challenge.
I was nervous in a way I haven’t been before, more excitement to see what I was capable of and for the first time I had belief. And that is a powerful thing.
It sounds strange writing it down, but the whole day I was in a Zen like state. I knew my body was hurting, that I had a long way to go but not for a moment did I think about stopping. I was going to do this, in fact I knew I could do this. Every time things got tough I came back to this thought, I can do this, I am capable and I am grateful I have this opportunity to race in my home town.
Safe to say this race was kind of like a Eureka moment mentally for me. The psychological challenge that goes along with racing such a distance used to intimidate me, now it excites me. Ultimately racing at the elite level so many of us are physically very similar but the mental fortitude that is needed to keep pushing is what separates the best athletes.
I certainly am not an expert in this field but consider this a key step to growing as an athlete and ultimately improving future performances.
I finished the day with a very sore body, a new female course record by an hour (only 15 minutes off the male record!) and confidence that this is the right trajectory for my career.