Last weekend it was my 31st race (14 duathlons and 17 triathlons) in less than three seasons. So I am taking some time to reflect. It has been a great two and a half years of racing. I have learned a lot about myself, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have lost quiet a bit of weight, and I have gotten much faster and stronger, I still think I have a ways to go. I can get even faster and stronger.
Mentally, I learned that I can overcome pretty much anything put in front of me. The only fear I have faced is the bike at Alcatraz, and I don't consider that a big deal. I have not "hit the wall" or "bonked" during a race, so I have not had to deal with that mental/emotional situation, yet. I will deal with it when it comes. I have used the Tuesday Night Time Trials (T'N'T) to work on my mental toughness for the bike, and I think it has helped a lot. I think I need to improve my mental effort when I swim train, it is very difficult to do laps by yourself, 2-3 times a week. Running and biking, and just have to remind myself to remain focus, and not get lazy, which is not too hard. I think my biggest challenge is yet to come with the my first half-ironman in TX at the end of the season.
Emotionally it has been strange. I sometimes feel like crying before and after races, mostly out of happiness, which is a good thing. Occasionally out of lonliness, a desire to share this with some one else. Kind of like when I seen amazing and beautiful things by myself while traveling for work, I wish I could share the moment with someone else. Otherwise, all of this effort has had a very positive emotional, not to mention mental and physical, impact on me.
It has definitely made me a stronger person.
My friend Matt asked me wondered how I would handle it when I finally hit my physical limit, speed on bike, run, swim at any given distance. Not something I have thought about, not really sure it is something I need to think about. See what happens when it happens.
Another thing I would like to focus on a little more is writing more than just race reports and posting race pictures. Writing more things like this to it. Trying to be a little more creative with it. See what I can do.
I have 8 races left this season. Over the halfway mark, and I am still pretty excited. Training sometimes gets me down a little, but the race help motivate me. I still love it, I still want to learn more, experience more, do more. I think that is the most important thing. When that stops happening, then there is a problem.
So far there is no problem.