"Expectations are the root of all heartache" - William Shakespeare
I learned this past month that this quote is also true for expectations in the world of endurance triathlon.
"Expectations bring nerves, anxieties, and unnecessary pressure. Expectations prevent athletes from developing confidence because if you judge or demand an outcome before it happens, and you don't meet that expectation, you feel like a failure. This does you no good. On the other hand, if you have confidence and a strong belief in your ability to perform, your result will be a product of putting together the race that meets your capabilities" - Marni Sumbal
I assumed that IRONMAN Santa Rosa would be similar to my previous IRONMAN races. I expected to place in the Top 5 or even the Top 10 in my Age Group. However, no one understands (even me) my body post chemo and radiation. I feel the same as before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My training has gone as expected. I didn't have the race I wanted but I'm more disappointed with how my mind gave up. Because I didn't have the bike segment that I expected, mentally I shut my race down on the run and gave up. We're not suppose to give up. I fought through cancer treatment, why shouldn't I fight through an IRONMAN when my race wasn't meeting my expectations?
A successful race shouldn't be determined by a podium or age group placement. A successful race shouldn't even be determined by time goals. What you should be proud of is that you finished your training, you got to the start line healthy and happy and that you successfully crossed that finish line. As we age and things happen to us in life, we need to learn not to focus too much on the results. Let go of the pressure of having expectations.
"We all define success differently on race day. Racing requires you to focus on the present moment and to stay calm, brave, and in control, in the face of an obstacle. And when a low moment comes or energy drops, you can't give up on yourself. Sometimes, the best results are the ones that you can't predict or plan for. Success comes from the "here and now" without focusing on the past, anticipating the future or worrying about anyone around you" - Marni Sumbal
|"If we let our head drop, our heart drops with it. Keep your head up and your body is capable of amazing feats" - Chrissie Wellington (Clearly I wasn't following Chrissie's advice!)|
So as I reflect, the keys of my race success were being "cancer-free" and having the athletic ability to finish my 8th IRONMAN.
I like quotes so here's another good reminder.
"If you just take it moment by moment, something comes down that gives you a hope or realization that no matter how it turns out, it's great because of what you just made it through - because that was tough. That's a success." - Mark Allen
|Mike Reilly was kind enough to announce that I was a cancer survivor|
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to success is always to try just one more time" - Thomas Edison
So I will try again (with different expectations) in Louisville in October.