05/28/14

Raleigh race preview

Raleigh 70.3 is just a few days away.  This race was, in my mind, the race that was my breakthrough race last year.  I surprised myself with my best swim to date and my best run to date as well.  I wanted to come back this year, because of the good vibes that I have from last year.  But a few things are different this year.

With Rev3 dropping the pro prize purse, the field of pros won’t be as diluted this year.  This race happens to fall on the same week as Rev3 Quassy, which used to have a $100,000 prize purse.  With that race no longer pulling pros to it, a lot of them decided to do Raleigh 70.3 this year instead.  The field is much deeper than last year, so the times that won money last year more than likely won’t be anywhere near the top 5 for pay out.

At first this bothered me.  I was worried I would miss top 5.  But, one of the things I learned last year was how powerful the mind is when it comes to performing on race day.  I began thinking about the big gains I made from last year and what I did in the swim and bike in NOLA 70.3 (coming off the bike in 7th place).  I thought about the TTT I did in mid-May.  I was able to beat the teams competing in the event, a few of which consisted of pros from US Pro Tri team and some from Tri4Him.  None of them were big names, but I was able to beat two pro athletes working together throughout the weekend.  Suddenly, my mindset changed.  I went from doubting myself, to believing in myself.

Top 5 is going to be tough to accomplish, but not impossible.  I think that I can complete the race about 10  minutes faster than last year.  Goal time is at least a 3:58, but I think I could do it slightly faster if I have a really good day.

Additionally, I found a little more motivation yesterday after stumbling across a random video on facebook.  It had a picture of a girl falling during a race and another one hurdling over her.  I clicked the video to watch it.  Shortly into the race, I found out the race was a 600 meter indoor track race.  The girl was tripped and fell with just 200 meters to go.  She picked herself up and ended up winning the heat!  It reminded me of what my homestay in Raleigh told me last year the day before the race, “never give up… you never know how the race will unfold.  People in front of you may crack.”

That advice (along with a few other words of wisdom) really went a long way last year.  I got off the bike in 9th place.  I ran down 4 people and ended up in 5th.  I didn’t expect that to happen, but it did.  If I would have given up on the run and “just finished the race,” the result wouldn’t have been the same.  So that is the basic game plan this year… race my heart out! 

As I was thinking this while watching the video of the girl coming back from what seemed to be impossible, the screen went black on my computer and a short, simple sentence came up and really fueled the fire for the weekend:

“How determined are you to win your race?”