Smiling makes you run fasterThis is my favorite lesson. The more fun that I had during my races... the bigger my smile... the more gratitude I expressed to the volunteers... the better my races seemed to go. Your attitude plays a HUGE part in how your race day goes. Don't let the little stuff bother you, keep a positive attitude, and smile through whatever the race throws your way.
Always look for the positivesThere is always something good in every race and every training session. Make sure to focus on the good stuff. If you have to think about what went wrong, think about it briefly, fix it and move on from it. Take everything as a learning experience and an opportunity to grow as an athlete. Take time to remind yourself what you've done well. Triathlon is supposed to be fun after all!
Do the things that scare you most or that you are the "worst" atIt's easy to stick with the easy stuff, to schedule the easy workouts or the ones that we know will make us feel the best. It is easy to shy away from challenges. It is easy to quit when things get hard. But what I learned is that in order to grow, we have to do the hard stuff. We have to head out on the bike even after we've had a crash. We have to push through those super hard workouts.
Bee-lieve in yourself and trust your training
My friend Gillian shared the story of the bee and the racehorse with me toward the beginning of the season. The excerpt comes from the "The Triathlete's Training Bible" and it is a great one. For the sake of space, I will paraphrase. There is nothing about a bumblebee which should suggest that it should be able to fly. In fact, NASA scientists determined that bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly. But the bumblebee BELIEVES it can fly and doesn't listen to those nay-saying scientists. As athletes, we have to believe in ourselves. The second part of the story is that racehorses are trained in a very similar way to human athletes. The difference is that on race day, horses go into the race and do what they have trained to do without worrying about whether it was enough or whether they had trained properly for the race. The horse trusts its training, and so should we. There is no room for self-doubt!