I don't know if some of my readers know who, " Bree Wee" is, but she is one of my favorite pro triathletes and mom's who writes an amazing blog and is tremendously open about her life and sport and well to put it plainly, I just think she is amazing. ( of course I've never met the woman) but based on what I read she sounds great. However, my idol has a flaw, she is having trouble with running off the bike ( sound familiar?). She recently was in Idaho at IM CDA and she swam and biked fairly well ( however not her usual best) but did not complete the run. She recently had a bad showing at IM South AFrica but that was because of a DVT she had in her calves but in most of her 70.3 races and Olympics this year she has definitely not run to her potential, I mean by a long shot in any of her races.
If you go and read her blog she explains that this weekend she was battling some inner demons, things she just usually tries to forget and just smiles through but for some reason her head wasn't into the game and by the time it was her turn to run on sunday the tears were flowing down her face and she decided to just stop. She has realized that since her recent divorce and whatever else she is feeling and going through that she is going to go and see a sports psychologist and work with her coach on the mental side of things to help her as an athlete. Heres a woman who can run 5 minute miles at the track and can do a sub 3 hr marathon and she is having issues running off the bike?
Its amazing what the psychie can do to the athlete. The reason I love Bree ( there are many) but for me, I'm certainly not as fast as her but I too have a mental block when it comes to running off the bike. I constantly talk to myself on the bike about the run, I obesses about the run, I think all that mental talk in my head exhausts me and it takes a toll on my ability to run to my potential. I don't want to go to Lake Placid and have the same experience I had last year, I don't want to walk 8-10 miles of the run, I want to run the marathon, I don't care how slow but I want to be able to run. I want to be able to be confident that I can run and that I can finish strong as long as I didn't over do the bike and I nailed my nutrition. I want to be confident.
I don't have any real demons that I am battling with, the only demon is myself. My coach has said that after LP we are really going to work on this aspect of my game because I'm a work horse when it comes to training but I'm a mess when it comes to biking to my full potential and running to my full potential at races. It really comes down to my confidence and believing in myself that I've done the work and I'm capable. I don't really have a killer instinct when it comes to racing only a desire to better myself every time I go out there. If I happen to be doing well then at times I get aggressive and I want to beat people but usually ( again a downfall of mine) am afraid to be aggressive because I'm afraid of failing. Afraid that I can't follow through with what I really want to do and am capable of.
I admire Bree for taking the steps necessary to battle her inner demons and make heselfr whole again after everything she has endured, I truly believe this is the last piece of the puzzle for her that will make her a contender in any race that she does. For me, I too need to take the steps necessary to believe in myself, to believe that I can do better than I did last year at IMLP, that I can run a successful marathon off the bike, or even better, that I can run effectively off the bike in any race, at least to the best of my ability. I think I'm going to try some accupuncture before IMLP and if that doesn't work I"m going to work on some meditation.
Triathlon is a lot about working out and getting in the miles but its also about your mind and where you are and how you feel about yourself and your abilities. So many people say racing is 10% physical, 90% mental, I don't know if those numbers are correct but I think thats pretty close.
A few quotes:
" Fortune favors the prepared mind."- Louis Pasteur
" A lot of athletes forget that, above all, the body is only the house of their spirit; the body will do what the mind tells it to do." Toni Hassler
" What we tell ourselves can either help us or hurt us, depending on what the message is."- Jerry Lunch