The first local triathlon of this year is THIS SUNDAY! Many of our team will toe the start line in the first race of the Wisconsin Tri Series— a sprint distance in the small town of Lake Mills. 

I have raced since 2007 and had not missed a year… until 2020. Yes, things were and could have been worse. Yes, there were more important matters in the country and in the world. And, YES- I missed racing A LOT. 

Racing is not just a part of my life, it has become woven into the fabric of my soul. It inspires me, helps me grow, and is my platform for reaching others with life changing messages. I love my daily training and the challenges and wins it presents. But if you train right you are prepared to peak— and to peak is to be ready to race. 

You don’t have to race to align with this feeling. To my knitting or quilting friends— can you imagine working until your hands cramp and your fingers bleed, but never finishing a scarf or a quilt? Musician readers— what if you wrote songs and practiced endlessly in the garage but never performed or recorded? What if we read for years and never finished a book?

Recently when it became evident that I was going to push my goal 70.3 race back five (more) weeks to Lubbock at the end of June, my coach gave me a low training volume week. She noted it was to “relieve some pressure.” This phrase really resonated with me, as I felt that my long, quality, consistent training was starting to blow me up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float. We relieved some pressure and I found myself back on the ground, ready to tackle the new goal. 

Sometimes you need to relieve some pressure. 

And then she pretty strongly encouraged me (as close as she gets to strictly forcing me) to sign up for the Lake Mills sprint. She reminded me of the things I know and tell my athletes… time to get “unstuck,” to shake things out and to remember the demands of racing. Like some of you need to knit a small scarf before tackling a large blanket or perform for pennies before the big stage. 

And I am nervous to race this weekend! Hopefully you all read last week, so you know that we all have our own unique feelings and thoughts that creep in as we prepare to show the world what we have been working toward. You have considered what happens when we are committed to the goal, no matter the discomfort. So, this week I thought I would give you a glimpse of my mind when I consider racing a short distance race with 20 of my team members/athletes as my comeback race. 

My hope is that you will consider your own thoughts around your goals. Whether you are a veteran who knows what is to come or an excited newbie who is blissfully ignorant and most likely nervous as hell over the unknowns. We all belong at our start lines. 

When I think of Lake Mills this weekend…

Holy sh*t. I am racing this weekend. Not only a race, but a sprint?!? What was I thinking? 

I LOVE Lake Mills. So fast and flat. The run is so awesome of the crushed gravel trail. The out and back is fun to see everyone. 

What if the water is cold? Oh, my. I need to get in the open water. I should do that today. No, I can’t today. Sometime this week… oh, it is cold in my house. How am I going to withstand the cold water? 

The water isn’t even that cold. I have swam in under 60 degree water. What’s my problem? I have done soooo many races!

I wonder how I will race. Do I even remember how to transition? Of course I do. It is practice for Lubbock. I will be smart and methodical. 

Why is it so cold in my house? It is like a freezer! I wonder if it is going to be cold Saturday. Last time I spectated Lake Mills I was cold in my jacket. 

Oh, it is going to be warm. Really warm. This is great. I will get some good heat training in… hope it’s not too hot. Yes I do. Do I?

Control the controllables. I will be fine. I will be more than fine— I will be FABULOUS. I get to do what I love with some amazing people all working toward exciting goals. 

These people… I wonder who will be faster than me? Slower? How fast do I plan to run? I wonder if the pollen count will be lower by then. Control what I can control.

I am excited to do this. I am going to choose to embrace uncertainty. I love this sport. I have missed racing. It will hurt a lot but I going to show up to the task, no matter how uncomfortable it is. It is always hard. I am okay with whatever kind of hard the day brings. 

But I really hope I don’t have bathroom issues. I don’t really enjoy that kind of hard. 😉 

When your mind is spinning take the time to honor yourself and your thoughts. Consider ALL of them and then replace with truth. Visualize success before big goals. Journal on the days leading up to them to decide to be in the driver’s seat. TRUST that you will show up and stay connected to the experience in order to know you gave your all. 

Breathe. This is going to be AWESOME.