Saturday, October 12, 2013

Inner Strength....

Happy Ironman World Championship Day!!!

Sitting here on the couch, resting up for the Chicago Marathon tomorrow!  What a great day so far.  Little run and breakfast with my two favorite girls in the whole world, Ana and Lyla :)

Some real mixed emotions for me today watching Kona.  Excitement, jealousy, pride....I can't wait to EARN my way back!  It's starts tomorrow at the Chicago Marathon.  I have a lofty goal of breaking 3 hours and no matter how good the day goes, it is going to HURT!  Its how we deal with this hurt that makes great competitors and PR's!

As I was watching several friends compete in Ironman Wisconsin last month, I got to talking about mental strength with my buddy, Brian.  He had recently read an article that said Endurance Athletes are the WORST quitters of all!  I was shocked.  But upon explanation, it made sense.  Endurance athletes have the most "time" to quit because of the duration in competition.  That aside, it is hard to keep mental focus for 3, 4, 8, 12+ HOURS. 

When things get tough...we naturally want to find the reason why.  And in my opinion, when the body and mind are tired...we gravitate towards the "negative why."  I didn't get enough sleep, stressed from work, I dropped my salt, it's too hot, I'm not at race weight, and the list goes on and on and on....

To test this theory, Brian and I situated ourselves on a large hill at mile 18 of the run in Madison.  At this point in the race, I'd say 90% of the athletes were walking up the hill.  No doubt, their thoughts were "I can't run another step."  So Brian and I cheered...and cheered LOUD.  Guess what, 90% of the walkers ran up the hill.  Why?  I thought they were exhausted?  I thought they dropped their salt?  I thought they needed one more hour of sleep?  I thought they biked too hard?

No, the answer is that their MIND gave up.  They told themselves they couldn't do it anymore.  We witnessed this for the better part of an HOUR.  Athlete after athlete giving up long before their body would give in. 

So what does it mean?  It means find your "switch."  On race day, there are NO excuses.  Unless you can't physically move your legs...keep going.  Turn the brain off...stop thinking negative thoughts...and most importantly....NEVER COUNT THE MILES DOWN!  Stay in your mile...stay in your "comfort" zone and blow past the rough parts. 

After a lot of self reflection...I realized that I had not unleashed my inner strength this year.  Madison changed that....from that day on, my marathon training took off.  No more ipod on the run, no more excuses (too hot, too humid, blah blah blah)...just hit the paces and shut the "F" up :)

Well, I've done that and I'm ready to show my inner strength tomorrow....I don't know when I will need it.  Mile 16? 18? 22? all of the above?  Probably...but I'll tell you this...if my legs are moving, I'm running HARD.  No excuses. 

I saw some tremendous inner strength this past wife giving birth to my daughter, Dan and Scott RUNNING up that hill in Madison without giving in, the end to my marathon training....

So don't give in if you are racing this weekend....I'm not.  Inner strength...tap into HAVE IT.

Dedication, Passion, Results

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