• thehappytriathlete

Mental Energy - Year in Review


I have been putting off writing my race report on my 8th Ironman because I wasn't sure how to get started.  I wanted to write about 'how' I got to race day as I learned WAY more this year than previous years.

As I drove home one evening listening to Ask a Cycling Coach-Trainer Road podcast and they talked about how they had only so much mental energy to spend in a season.  One pro racer talked about how by July each year he is toast and has no mental energy left.  I thought THAT's it, I had used up all my mental energy going into my training for Arizona.

As I heard them talking about mental energy and how it leads you not being motivated to train. Yep going into the build of Arizona I had lost my mojo. As I look back on the year – no wonder. I started the year out with an awesome camp in Chula Vista with a fantastic group of folks and Andy Potts. Had such a great time at camp – decided to sign up for an ultimate camp in Colorado which included climbing Pikes Peak. I wanted that climb BAD thus using a bit of mental energy in the back of my head from the time I signed up. I wanted to make it up that mountain.

Mental Energy Usage:

Jan-April: Trained for Oceanside 70.3, lead runs on Zwift, did my 50th half marathon all in the month of April…my 50th birthday month.

June was a busy month Rock/Roll Seattle with an awesome group from Fuel House and CDA 70.3.

Then came July- ramping up with work project heating up, manager at work was on vacation for 5 weeks, 3 full days of volunteering for Special Olympics, Flying to Florida for my dad’s 80th birthday……Chelan Oly. Steve changing his career from a physical therapist to his dream job of teaching martial arts full time.

Yes – that alone would make for a busy month…but no I didn’t stop there!

July finished up with the Colorado Camp where we worked hard. Swimming most every day, hard rides and lots of learning. The last day of camp was climbing Pike Peak – the adventure.

You see I am GREAT at making sure I am race ready- but I didn’t treat this day as a Race. Hindsight – I should have treated it as a race. A race means I have a plan, researched the course, possibly ridden course on trainer, thought about different points, what if scenarios and ultimately for me a fun celebration of completing training and enjoying race day. I didn’t do any of that – I approached it as ‘a normal ride’ or maybe I really didn’t want to think about how hard it was really going to be.

THIS is how Hard…

Start: Pikes Peak Gateway Length: 19 miles Summit: 14,115ft Elevation gain: 6,315ft

Average gradient: 6.5% Max gradient: 13%

As I write this decided to find a video of the climb - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NECDeWhpL8 – this is an AWESOME ‘short’ video of the climb. Funny to watch it now I as there are a few shots where I VIVIDLY remember what I was thinking at that spot.

Sensory overload, mental energy all used up and I still had IM Arizona on tap. Next up - what I learned for IM Arizona.


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