Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Mental Race

All of us who have raced for a number of years know the importance of preparing for a race mentally as well as physically. The physical preparation for a race seems rather easy and straight forward but what does it mean to prepare mentally? Being prepped for a race mentally means not letting all of the issues in life that are designed to throw you off your perfect race from derailing your plan on the day you need to be ready. Most of the excuses I hear from athletes are completely preventable, even some of those that athletes feel are out of their control. Of course when we have a bad race we look for reasons why, I ate something bad the night before... Why? You should know exactly what type of foods are going to cause you issues and stick with the ones that won't, controllable. I got a flat on the course... This happens to everyone and although it's unfortunate you should know exactly the perfect tire pressure for you and your bike that will let you go fast while being able to handle a rough course. There is never going to be a course that doesn't have some debris and your bike should be able to go over most of it, flats of course happen and you should be able to change it quickly and efficiently so as not to ruin your race. I couldn't get in the amount of training required to race to my potential. Ok why? Did you choose a race that didn't take into account your work, family, life outside of racing? You are in control of when and how often you race and you should be the one to critically evaluate what races are going to be your "A races" and what if any are going to be your "B or C races."

Things always happen in life and in racing and we have to be honest with ourselves as to what our expectations are. When I flatted in Prince George this year and I knew I couldn't continue because of a shredded tire, sure I was disappointed at the time but I after thinking about it for a few minutes I realized that racing is a privilage and getting a flat in one race is not the end of the world. Most people would love to live the life of adventure that training and racing brings me and I need to be happy that I am 1. physically able to do what I do and 2. have the mental discipline to continue to keep myself fit and fast at my age.

Mentally preparing for your season is as important as physically preparing and I think too many athletes focus on the physical and just think the mental part of it will take care of itself on race day. Visualizing your perfect race, going through your race plan before, dealing with issues as they come up quickly and efficently as well as keeping your cool are all things that are going to help you have a great race and a great season. Most of the excuses we come up with boil down to things that we can control and for those that we can't we should have a plan in place so that we know how we are going to deal with them when they happen.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Loving the Off-Season

Ryder enjoying our time at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary

It's been a nice couple of months I've been running when I want to run, swimming occassionally and haven't been biking at all. I don't feel stressed about not training and I know I needed a break, even though I didn't do a lot of racing last year the racing I did was very intense and it took some time to recover. I've been able to spend more time with family and my back injury is finally starting to feel a bit better. I went out for a little trail run this week and all of the sudden my foot starts hurting, nice thing about this time of year though is I'm not stressing about getting it fixed and I'll just rest it and it will heal itself.

Ryder's been lots of fun but quite a challenge, he's in this 20 month sleep regression and has kept his parents up a lot recently. I'm looking forward to a time when he'll sleep in his own bed but I don't see that happening anytime soon. For now I'm going to take another week off, wait for the time change and hopefully that will help me get out of bed earlier so I can finally get to the pool on time. I've been sleeping in every morning because of a crappy night's sleep.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Time For a Change

Feeling the cold weather coming
There are certain times in your life when you know you need to make a change and for us the time has come. After nearly 7 years in Grande Prairie and experiencing all of the highlights of my life I know it's time to make the move back to Calgary, it's the best for me and my family. When Amber and I originally came up here we had the intention of staying 3-4 years, but life was so good here and we had so many close friends that it was tough to justify changing. Well now I feel like we are in a much better position than we were when we came up and we can handle a lot of the challenges that we will face by making the move. I'll be very excited to be close to my Mom and Dad and I know they are over the moon happy to be closer to Ryder. I've gotten the approval for a new Financial Planner position in Calgary and we bought a house in Tuscany.

I'm really going to struggle with leaving all my close friends/training buddies behind and they are all really sad that I'm leaving but I know this is the right move for us long term. I'll look forward to training in all the old familiar places again, Powderface climb, Cochrane to Bragg Creek, Calgary to Banff rides and some amazing trail runs in Kananakis. I have 3- 70.3s planned for next year so it'll be my year to get back into 1/2 Iron shape again and of course spend lots of quality time with Amber and Ryder in an amazing city.