Anything Can Happen on Race Day; How Will You Handle It?

Anything Can Happen on Race Day; How Will You Handle It?

I’ve raced over 200 times if you include all my 5ks, 10ks, 1/2 marathons, Sprint, Olympic 70.3 and IRONMAN triathlons and I can tell you from experience that anything can happen. Good things and challenging things.

We always celebrate the good stuff, but so many times it’s the stuff that goes wrong that makes us better, push harder and gives us even more desire to finish, no matter what.

Here are a few of my most memorable:
– Flat tire at 2 hours in, on a 70.3 bike in the middle of Texas 
– Wrecking on slippery roads during a rainy bike section, road rash
– Paper cuts in my thigh from putting bike number on incorrectly on my bike
– Severe jelly fish stings in my mouth and up my nose
– Seasick and sea lice all over at Gulf coast 70.3
– forgetting my run shoes at home, driving back to get them, missing my wave start and getting a PR because my adrenaline was so high.
– My contact lens popped out of my eye just before my race start, driving back to the hotel to get another one, missing my wave start and again having a killer race because I was determined not to not race.

This is a short list of mishaps.

I have also witnessed a few epic challenges where athletes had some serious setbacks but persevered. 

I was at St. Anthony’s Olympic Triathlon when one of the pros came out of the water with a missing tooth after being kicked in the face and went on to win the race overall.

Another good story at St. Anthony’s is an athlete running the race portion in bare feet because another athlete accidentally took his running shoes.

In 2018 at IRONMAN Kona World Championship winner @danielaryfe was going to quit the race during the swim portion due to severe jellyfish stings; she decided to keep going out of respect to the sport and ended up breaking the world record by over 20 minutes!!

My point is anything can happen, and if you remain calm and just keep moving forward amazing things can still happen.

It’s what you are saying to yourself in these situations that will dictate the outcome and how you feel about it.

Saying negative thing like “I’m sick, I’m so slow, what am I doing out here etc,” is likely to get you slowing down or even stopping.

Imagining a big red STOP sign in your head and refocusing your attention on what’s going right, even if it’s that’s something small can completely redirect your focus.

One of my athletes was able to take one hour off her IRONMAN PR 
by simply switching a negative mantra to repeating a positive mantra when she started having an issue on the run.

Mental skills are not to be ignored as an important skill to master.
Have you ever had a mishap in a race? I’d love to hear what happened. Please share in the comments!

If you are interested in learning more about Full Circle Coaching, call us at 786-586-6057 today or click this link to schedule a complimentary triathlon strategy call:

Erinne Guthrie is a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach since 1999 and Chief Motivating Officer at Full Circle Coaching, LLC since 2010. She has been training, racing and coaching triathletes since 1997.  She is also a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, USMS Master’s Swim Coach, Motivational Speaker, Metabolic Efficiency Specialist, Mom and much much more.

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