Wednesday List #18 – Things I Learned Via St. George

I’m more than a week out from my most difficult race experience ever. It was such an up and down experience that I’m still processing what happened. Here is what I’ve learned.

  1. Racing is more mental than physical. My meltdown at St. George was mental. I said in my earlier post that I fell apart in Snow Canyon upon realizing what I thought was a flat was actually a hill. It was a tough hill, but my mind failed and that led to my inability to pedal. The problem wasn’t my body.
  2. My mind failure had little to do with the race itself. I was stressed and emotional during the few weeks leading up to the race. I was struggling personally. I had a hip issue that caused me a great deal of uncertainty. I didn’t have the company and support I’m used to having on these trips. I hadn’t slept well the night before the race. I just wasn’t calm, and that affected my performance.
  3. My meltdown occurred in a safe place. A dear friend who used to live in the St. George area told me this morning that where I was – Snow Canyon State Park – is a sacred ground. I pedaled into that area carrying with me a great deal of emotion that I then poured out into that space. Certainly, it would have been better not to meltdown during a race, but if I had to meltdown, I could not have picked a more appropriate spot to be embraced and supported by the spirit of the place.
  4. My head is more clear now. After the race, I had a wonderful time with Paula and her family. We enjoyed an indulgent dinner that evening and then soaked in a hot tub under the stars. The next day, we went to Zion National Park before I got on a plane to head home. Since getting home, I’ve regrouped. I’ve gotten back into work, writing and training. I think unloading a bunch of drama in St. George was good for me.
  5. I’m stronger than I was. I got through a rough few weeks before the race and an incredibly tough course in less than ideal conditions. I also came back with a heart to return to St. George in 2014 to redeem myself on that particular course and a clear sense of readiness to tackle the weeks leading up to Ironman Coeur d’Alene. I may not always be strong, but I do think I am continually getting stronger.

With Coeur d’Alene less than six weeks away, these are important lessons for me. I need to remember that mind preparation is as important as training. I need to keep a clear head and insist on no distractions and no drama before my race. I need to believe in and stand on my own strength. I also need to trust that, if I keep doing what I think I should be doing, the universe and people who love me will meet me where I am, and it’ll be fine.

6 thoughts on “Wednesday List #18 – Things I Learned Via St. George

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