This weekend I will be competing in my first National Championships...as an Elite! This is somewhat overwhelming but it doesn't get much better than toeing the line with the best women competing in the sport in the nation. I have just gotten my feet wet with draft legal racing and I am still learning how to be competitive in these races. I have done three races and each one gets better and better.
So here are some things I have learned that can help others who are just starting to race:
1. BE CONFIDENT; someone once told me there are three parts to a triathlon, the mind, the heart, and the legs. Without confidence in yourself, you have nothing. This took me some time to understand, but now after Worlds I am confident going into Nationals, of course this is a process! It is so odd how it just takes one workout session or one small part of a race to get your mind right.
2. EAT; often on race morning I am a ball of nerves and I do not feel like eating much. Bad idea. Food is fuel for the body and it is so important to eat just the right amount the race demands. This takes time and trial and error. I have yet to figure out exactly what works. The best race I had I ate eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast. Most people would frown upon that, but hey, it worked!
3. Prepare for your race in transition; it is so important to have 0 stress on race day. Therefore, make sure your shoes are loose enough, helmet is tight enough, sunglass lenses are clean, bike shoes are rubber-banded properly, gels are properly taped, and water bottle is filled. The last thing you want is to be swimming and worrying about your transition area. This is something so simple to master, but people so often overlook these minor details. This is what separates 1st from 2nd.
4. HAVE FUN! If you aren't having fun then there is no point in competing. Bottom line.
5. The most important...look good. Here is a picture of the U23 team in Budapest, Hungary before the race.
I hope to fix the things I did wrong at Worlds at the race this coming weekend. I am so excited to race against the best and see what I can do. Kaleb will be racing in the amateur race. I am sure the Elite Men are happy he is not racing in their race. He is such a talented athlete and I am happy to have him as a teammate. Go IE!