The Dark Place

With all of the weird International distances becoming more popular these days - I realized I haven't even toed the line on an actual Olympic distance triathlon (1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run) this year. I had thought about traveling out to Flagstaff, AZ for "Mountainman 70.3" but with it being only a month out from the World Championships - my coach and I decided to stay close by and just train through The Chula Vista ChallengeFlanny wasn't kidding about "training through" this race. With it being the critical build phase leading up to Vegas, this week has been one of the more difficult weeks I can remember. As I write this on Friday it hurts to walk haha. I have another 3.5 hours of workouts today and then one day of rest and hopefully I'll have some decent legs for the race come Sunday. I imagine I'll do alright and PR even with the tired legs. I'm not much of a "taper" kind of athlete anyway. I don't do well when I back off of volume and intensity and just stay sharp like most athletes do leading up to their A race. I do well when not much changes from the standard routine.

I feel like tapering is the hardest thing to figure out. I'm a big believer that everyone is different when it comes to hitting a race with the perfect amount of rest, sharpness and mental readiness. What I mean by the mental readiness is being prepared to hurt and go way beyond that dark place. Some call it "digging from the well" - something I believe you can only really do a few times a year. It's when you are at your best, pushing past all of the pain and physical/mental fatigue - performing better than training results may indicate. The goal obviously is to make this happen on race day with all of the variables at play. This is what most athletes seek - some may call it "the perfect race." You see it with the pros from time to time. I think of Crowie at the Ironman World Championships in 2011 - he had his perfect race. With just a few miles to go he was cramping and hurting. You could tell he was in a very dark place. This is when the magic happens. Professionals or Age Groupers alike, we all seek that moment where everything is clicking, we can dig deep and have our best race ever.

I'm preparing for that dark place at Vegas. I want it to be midnight, no light, blurry vision and a relentless desire to bury myself.

Twitter updates via Amy on Sunday, wish me luck!!!


Bill Risch said...

Good luck this weekend Sir. Just a little more to the big day - can't wait to track you and watch you drop the hurt on Vegas!

Chuck said...

"...and I'll be meeting another fellow Wattie Ink athlete, Chuck Feerick, which will be awesome!"

Oh wait, that line didn't make it in? Haha. I think I'm as sore as you are right now, so this is going to be a fun race!

Anonymous said...

I was gonna wish you good luck but see the race happened 2 days ago! So let me just wish you best of luck in Vegas! Love your blog and love that you are open about "going for it"...

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