Challenging Limits

imagesVAW33J0ETwo weeks in!

Just a little update to the new season after beginning my training with Hillary Biscay and Team HPB.

It seems like my fitness is coming back faster than I thought it would. I’m really enjoying the change of pace. And change of pace it is! I started back to work the same day I started back to training. It’s been a lesson in preparation. Weekends are spent meal planning, prepping, and bag packing! I have 5 bags packed. One for every day I’m working. A few days a week I’m gone from 4am- 5pm, so I’m totally spent by the time I collapse on the floor at 7:30pm. Thank god for my crockpot! I have every meal ready in giant ziplocks and just dump it in to cook while I’m at work! And I GOT A VITA MIX THIS WEEK! I’ve wanted one for years. 4am workouts are something I just started this year. It allows me to be done before I head to school (work) so I can go right to Physical therapy after school. Once I’m up its not bad, I kind of enjoy getting it done early.

Physical therapy is an important piece for me right now. I was having problems with my left calf seizing up every time I ran a few months back. After going to PT, we realized it was stemming from some Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis (most likely the 22, 18, and 15 milers I did back to back). Idiot. And THEN! Nick my awesome PT made me do side planks with a leg lift. I could barely get my right leg up when I was on my left side. Holy weak side! So were working on correcting my imbalances.

I’m also learning to love the treadmill. Ok well not love, but I’m getting used to it! It is the best way for me to remain injury free and increase my fitness. For me, perceived exertion is way off when I’m on it- so that’s been an adjustment, but it’s coming along. The bike is all about just getting time on the saddle, along with some strength building trainer rides. Love the trainer. And swimming has been feeling great.

At the end of February, I’ll be heading to Tuscon, Arizona to train with the team. A little birdy told me that we would be swimming a monster set. 100 X 100. Yes, 10,000 yards. I’m excited to push myself. Though I admit my fear of descending has be completely freaked about the way down Mt. Lemmon. But this is why I’m going. To push myself outside my comfort zone and to learn to ride the descents with skill and not fear. I can’t wait to meet my new teammates! I’ll be staying in a Casita with 3 other girls. Should be a blast!

I’m also lucky enough to have my sponsors back this season! Quintana Roo and my amazing Illlicito (shameless plug) , Pacific Health Labs, XTERRA wetsuits, and hopefully KT Tape again! I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without you guys. I can’t thank you enough for all you do for our sport! I’m ready to represent this year!

Also, a shout out to my former coach Mary Eggers and the awesome Valor Triathlon Project for supporting my move to Team HPB. I will sure miss you guys! But I can’t wait to head back east and watch you all crush it out there!

As for this season and racing, I have an east coast schedule and a west coast schedule. I truly am not sure what coast I’ll be living on in the next few months. Tis the life of the Military wife! LOL. Hopefully I will find out soon! I would LOVEEEEEEE to be back on the East coast near my favorite people and family! I miss my bestie more than words (momma- that’s you 😉 ).

So cheers to all of you perusing you dreams. I know it is a sacrifice. And to you, Adam Myszka. My other bestie and best sherpa ever. Thank you for always supporting my dreams. And containing my crazy! I love you!

Train on friends!

“Dear Destiny, I am ready now.”

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I have exciting news!

It’s been a long time since i’ve written a blog. After nearly 8 months of not competing, and two months completely off… I am back. But this time, I am doing things a little differently. This past year I admittedly sheltered myself. After two pretty significant accidents, I was quite honestly just scared of putting myself out there again. The “what if’s” would creep into my mind daily, crippling me and keeping me from moving forward. Though my body and mind did need time off, I feel that i’m ready to take myself on. No longer will I be my own worst enemy. It’s time to join my own team.

This year is all about stepping outside my comfort zone. It stings a little to say that out loud. Because comfortable is well…comfortable! But that hasn’t gotten me anywhere. So I decided to reach out to my bucket list coach. Why? Why not? I realized there is no better time than now. I had met this amazing triathlete and person at a race last year. We chatted for a while, and my wheels have been turning ever since. One of the main reasons I think she is amazing, is because of how hard she pushes her athletes. But what made me over the top excited about her was hearing about the time she made one of her athletes run a MARATHON on a TREADMILL after he DNF’d from an Ironman. Talk about pain cave. It was then I knew she was meant for me!

Mary Eggers has been an amazing coach for me for the past 2-3 years. I have nothing bad to say about her. She has taught me so much about the sport, and has been with me through all of my face plants! And for that I am so grateful. I just feel like it is time to mix things up, and to start fresh. So Mary, THANK YOU!

My new coach and I spoke for over an hour on the phone today. I am so incredibly excited to start. Our plan is to ride the heck out of my bike. Get more experience and get comfortable! I’ll be doing some bike overload weeks eventually upwards of 300 miles or 20 hours. I’m excited now…i’ll check in during one of those weeks when I can’t feel my insides 😉

So i’m obviously looking to drastically improve my bike (which sucks right now), and get to the point where i’m not shot by the time I get off so I can actually RACE the run. So some speed work is on my agenda in the next few months!

Soooooo who is she?

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………………………… …………………. ……………… dah dah dah …………….. …………………. ……………………….

The Great

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The Talented

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The Beautiful

Hillary.Biscay1  Hillary Biscay!!!!!

For those of you who don’t know her…let me brag on her a little for you!

She was the Ultraman World Champion in 2013. If you are unfamiliar. It’s a double ironman. Yowza. This race has my interest! She has done over 60 Ironman races, and been top 5 in 30 of them. She also went to the 2000 Olympic Trials for the 200m Breast Stroke. But best of all…she’s an amazing person. One whom I can’t WAIT to get to know better, and someone i totally trust to lead me on this journey.

I am ready to be humbled. And I am ready to join my own team. A big thank you to Hillary for taking me on as her project!

Looking forward to reading everyone’s 2015 race schedules. Happy Training friends!!

Back in the game!

“The road to anywhere starts with the first step.”

     This past Saturday I had the chance to get my race legs back. This is the longest stretch i’ve ever had without racing. Last June was unknowingly my season closer! My goal for this race was to test my fitness, and get back into the game. I haven’t done any speed work, just base building so far. And my run milage has been fairly low since coming back from the crash. So I figured I could hold about 7 minutes per mile just outside comfortable. I’d be keying in on fueling to, as this has been an area of contention with me for years. With Pacific Health Labs as a sponsor now- I get quality nutrition that settles well with me. I’d be using Accel gel’s and Accerade. This race was also strategically placed after a 3.5 hour bike ride the day before. Coach Mary wanted to see how I would do on my biking legs. Were all about race prep here. 

     I knew I had to stay within myself for this race. A big change for me. Road racing, I would always work on picking people off and working my way at a podium attempt. Not this race. This was the Pacific championship for club teams. And I wasn’t there to place. I was there to test myself on tired legs. So for the first time ever in a race, I used my iPod. 

     I started in the back of the front. I found a pace that was comfortably uncomfortable and was constantly reassessing. Slowing down wasn’t an option, either I would speed up or hold. I was averaging between 6:45-6:55 the first few miles and they were ticking by fast and comfortably. I was surprised that my legs weren’t more tired from my bike yesterday. I took one gel about 15 minutes before the start, and another at mile 6. The cups at the aid station were tiny, and I struggled getting enough water even after two small cups. I sipped on Accelerade in a hand carry bottle- but wasn’t very interested in getting much fluid in. I should have been drinking more. That bottle should have been empty when I was done, and it was over half full. 

    By mile 7, I was getting tired. I had to really mentally focus on keeping my cadence up in order to hit my paces. I slowed about 5 seconds/ mile but was still under 7- so I was okay with that. I was also working through out the race to stay on top of my thoughts. Its so easy to talk yourself OUT of a pace, or a cadence, or the race. But today I had the opportunity to practice. I basically turned myself into one of my own coached athletes. I talked to myself the way I would talk to one of my athletes during a race. “Stay on top of your cadence”, “you’re doing great- hold this”, “four more miles is nothing- you’ve got this!”. These strategies really helped me stay tough when my legs were getting tired. 

    I ended up averaging 6:52/ mile for 10.4 miles according to my garmin. 1:09:03. I was content with that. I know with some speed work and more mileage I can bring that down to 6:45’s with the goal of 6:30’s in the future. But for now, I met myself where I was at and got the job done. Hitting the goal I set for myself felt really good. 

    Looking back at the race, there are a few things I would have done differently. Post race I became extremely nauseous. I forgot my Endurox recovery drink at home, but I couldnt stomach anything at that point anyways. I felt sick for the next 7 hours. After talking to VTP coach Cristina C., I realized that it was in fact my on course nutrition- even though I thought I did well. I was more dehdrated than I thought, and the timing of my fueling could have been better. The gels worked amazingly during the race, but I hadnt had enough water with them. I allowed myself to become dehydrated, causing my gut to empty much slower- hence the nausea. I forgot my Endurox. And I didnt eat anything after the race. These are all areas I am currently working on. And with PHL as my sponsor, I have all of the latest and greatest information to help me fuel correctly. Here is some of the newest news from Pacific Health Labs about rehydration . Couldnt be more perfect timing for me!

http://www.pacifichealthlabs.com/blog/the-latest-science-of-rehydration/

I also couldnt have done this race without KT TAPE. I had both feet taped up for extra support. I do this every single day since having plantar fascitis and heel spurs. They are almost gone now, and I can’t believe what a difference the tape has made. And surprisingly, everyone from the arthritis class at my local pool loves the tape! They keep asking me where they can get it. Luckily I know where to send them 🙂 

I am currently working with Quintana Roo to get my new bike for this season. No more riding on a cracked frame! I will be at HITS Napa this weekend  working with my sponsor XTERRA as well! Can’t wait to cheer on a few of my friends!

Thank you to all of my sponsors, coach Mary, and my family. None of this would be possible without you!

Life’s Lemonade

 

My last post on here ironically was the day before my last race of the season. I never got to do that race. Most of you know by now, but the night before the race my husband and I were T-boned by a car going about 60 mph while driving the bike course. We had just come from picking up my race packet and taking pictures in T1. At that moment…my life changed. Again. Triathlon has been a continuous series of life lessons for me up to this point. Lessons in plans, lessons in toughness. You can make all of the plans you want, but sometimes life hands you lemons. People say “your life can change in a second “… but in reality your life can change in a millisecond. 

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The minutes after the crash were the scariest moments of my life. Adam was in bad shape, we couldn’t move him out of the car, and the car was stuck with the ignition on and in drive. Was he bleeding internally? No, but I didn’t know. I didn’t know if these next few minutes would be our last together. After finally getting medical help to arrive (another story, for another day), we were taken to level 3 trauma hospital. Adam had 6 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and the impact to his side had shattered his glenoid joint and broken his scapula. The doctors told us that most people they see with broken scapula’s aren’t alive, because it takes such a blunt force to break it. I had suffered only a bad concussion from hitting my head on the side window, whip lash, and some cuts and bruises. I remember picking a piece of glass out of my head, and lots from my hair for days. After a week in Palm Springs, we were transported via ambulance in side by side gurneys. A 9 hour drive back to Travis Air Force base, where we were admitted and then discharged from their medical facility. We were able to go home for about 36 hours until going to San Fransisco, where Adam would have a 6.5 hour surgery. We found one of the best surgeons in the country to put the 12 screws and 2 plates in his shoulder. He said it was one of the most difficult surgeries he has performed in his 20 years. We spent a week in SF before finally getting to come home. I spent that week trying to get our house ready for Adam. A hospital bed, an ice machine, handles in the shower, a shower seat, meals arranged from our wonderful squadron- you name it- we had it. 

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Recovery has gone incredibly well. I’ve been working with a neurologist every few weeks. He saw me after the concussion I had with my bike crash, so he knows me pretty well. At first, thinking of words was a real struggle. I knew what I wanted to say but I just couldn’t get it out. I wouldn’t remember things. Simple things. I had headaches, I was tired- all the time. And I didn’t have much of an appetite. But this recovery has been a lot faster than my last. And I am happy to report that yesterday, ADAM WAS CLEARED TO FLY! The doctor’s told us that he would be out for at LEAST 6 months. Its been 2 1/2. They are amazed with his recovery time. And so am I. 

I truly believe that our quick recovery, which was not easy in any way- was due to our positive attitude. People would ask me “aren’t you mad? Aren’t you bitter? ” How could I be? I’m alive! We shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t have “walked away” from that accident as well as we did. And we really feel blessed for that. It hasn’t been easy. There are days you just want to cry, days you just want to throw your hands in the air and say “I’m exhausted. I’m sick of fighting”. That is when we made lemonade. Many of you received our Christmas card this year. I spent all day asking the staff if I could borrow their Christmas decorations. I dolled up our hospital gowns, and had the nurse take a photo of us with my iPhone. “If we have to be here- we are going to laugh about it” I told Adam. 

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I am finally back into the full swing of training. With instructions from the neurologist to “listen to by body”. Which I am doing. It feels AMAZING to be back. AGAIN. Someone told me they felt bad for me the other day. That I just can’t catch a break. But honestly, I don’t want a break. I want success when i’ve earned it. And I’ve learned A LOT from these experiences. Things that i’m not sure any race could have taught me. I love this quote, it describes me perfectly:

“Someone once asked me why I always take the hard road. And I said: Why do you assume I see two roads? “

My bike was totaled in the accident. So right now i’m riding only inside. But everything else is back on track. And it feels amazing. This season is a little different than last year. I am now a part of the Valor Triathlon project. Still working with Mary Eggers. I can’t imagine working with anyone else, so I am excited to be a part of this new team! And my teammates are awesome. I will be attending the Lake placid training camp in June, and racing Ironman Syracuse 70.3 the week after. I’m going to keep the rest of my season to myself for now, because if there’s one thing i’ve learned…sometimes plans change. I’m currently seeking out sponsorship of companies that I love, trust, and use! Hoping to represent some of the best this year. 

If I can pass along any piece of advice to my fellow athletes, friends, clients, teammates… 

Don’t ever give up on your dreams. No matter how many times life throws lemons at you. A positive attitude will overpower any fearful, doubtful, or seemingly impossible situation. Lemonade is much sweeter when you’ve made it yourself.

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Season Culminating Race

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So here I am. Less than 24 hours before my culminating race of the 2013 season. Actually, my season has been a year and a half. I haven’t taken an off -season since my bike crash. I know my body is ready to heal. Although I’m not ready to take a step back, as my head is in it and I’m feeling strong. I’ve been fighting a nasty heel spur. And I mean nasty. So it’s time.  With that being said. I’ve never felt more ready for a big race this season. I feel more mentally and physically ready than I did for Texas in April, and Syracuse in July. The forecast is cold, and I’m a hot weather runner. But I’m ready. I’ve prepared myself for 5 months for this day and weather is unpredictable. That is something we as athletes must learn to adapt to. The unpredictability has made me mentally durable.  I remember the first time I had to swim 3,000 yards. I was terrified. Now I gleam with excitement when I get a 5,000 yard swim. I love my trainer, and a half marathon seems like a short run. But it’s taken a LOT of blood, sweat, and tears. Someone at the gym said to me before I left : ”you know, you triathletes amaze me. No one see’s the hours you put in the pool and the weight room, on your bike and the roads. They just see Kona on TV and think how nice Hawaii must be.” Amen. Though I have no idea what Kona is like…I know what the hours of sweat in the pain cave feel like. And I’ve done it so that I can put myself there tomorrow for 4-5 hours and learn to love that pain. Learn to embrace it.  I was doing a workout in the pool one day and my friend Marisa commented that she was watching me underwater and I had the look of pain on my face (I was gritting my teeth), I think it was more of a pain smile….but really. I love it. I love that pain. I love that rush. I live for this. So here goes 2013 and all I’ve worked for.

Coming back has not been easy this year. I’ve had a lot of behind the scenes work to do since the injury. The most obvious being able to walk, run and train again after my knee, I still can’t wear a back pack separating my clavicle, I had to relearn how to breathe properly after months of speech therapy, scopes down the throat, and now physical therapy to release the muscles under my ribcage, Osteo something- something doctors working on my spine, dry needle therapy in the leg (now that one’s fun you should google it). Basically getting needles stuck into the belly of your muscle, which creates a contraction. They leave the needle in to reset the muscle fibers (Think of a giant doctor induced Charlie horse) x 4 . Anyways, you get the idea. It’s been a ride. So this is my race to enjoy. This is my race to say “Aint nobody gonna hold me down!” Most importantly, me. That is most important. I overcame. I pushed through. And I didn’t give up. So here I am. 

 

“It’s the feeling that makes you never want to give up.

It takes you to places you never thought you could go.

It helps you do things that look and seem impossible.

It’s the love stronger than anything.

Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

 

It’s that voice in your head that says can’t, but you don’t listen.

It’s that ache in you lungs, but you push through it.

It’s that burning in your legs but you keep on burning.

And you end up finding that the person you thought you were

was no match for the person you truly are. “

“Fire”

Steal my heart

Something started burning in the back of my chest.

                                   All I ever asked for was a shot at the life,

and when you gave it to me, must have started a fire.

Burning for this

Fire

  My first Triathlon 3 years ago was not the moment I fell in love with the sport. I did however, fall in love with the pain. With pushing myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. Triathlon has been the most humbling and self- revealing sport I have ever participated in. Far surpassing competing on the national Team Handball team (no offense USA). This sport has forced me to dig deep into myself, to rely on my legs, my breath, my inner voice when the going gets tough. No one can teach you how to grit your teeth when you want to cry you’re so tired. When the sweat dripping in your eyes momentarily numbs the pain in your legs. When people stare at you as you hit the wall at the pool gasping for a breath but still smiling because you just hit a number you’ve never seen and it felt SO GOOD. But you don’t see them. It’s just you and that black line for 3,000+ yards. When I’m on my trainer at home (you all know how that feels) and it’s just you and your numbers. Hours you spend in your cave of sweat. Pounding it out until I can lay on my cold tile floor while my dogs lick the salt off my face. And I love every second. But looking back to 3 years ago, I never would have guessed I would be here now. I somehow managed to win the race that day, even after running INTO THE BATHROOM to change my clothes in T1!!!! Using an oversized mountain bike on the ride and not starting my run until noon (due to wave start) in the Mississippi summer heat. I still can’t believe I changed in a bathroom! I think my transition was something like 7 minutes! On days I get frustrated with numbers, I try to think back to this day and how far I’ve come. Not just how far I have to go. Although I believe that remembering how far you have to go keeps you humble. And being humble keeps my eye on the prize.

 

                        Come on in and light up my heart

Come on in and burn through my soul

Come on turn the heat up

Pick your feet up

and let it burn.

                  And all I ever asked for was a shot in the dark

                  And when you showed it to me, must’ve lit up a spark

Burning for this.

                                                       Fire

                                       Ever so brief Syracuse 70.3 race report!

HUMID! HUMID! HUMID! I had been purposefully running when it was 105+ degrees in Cali, but it had not prepared me for the humidity that awaited me in Syracuse on June 23rd. My swim was great. I felt stronger than ever. I really thought I had a chance at being around 30 minutes flat. When I got out of the water and checked my garmin I was SO ANGRY to see 34:00!!!! What THE!??!!? I was totally confused. Turns out the swim was long. Sigh of relief!

   Next up was a VERY challenging bike course. As most of you know, down hills have not been my friend this year after my crash last July. I did what I could, braked when I felt overwhelmed (on a few occasions), climbed what felt like the never ending hills, and ended up finishing in the same time I finished my Texas 70.3 bike in. I felt like although it wasn’t fast, it was an improvement. Texas was completely flat. Syracuse is the complete opposite. So given the course I was happy with the result. An improvement. As soon as my feet hit the ground I realized I was in trouble. I ran with my inhaler and took it 3 times before I even hit the first aide station. I was struggling. The humidity was taking its toll. Being a runner, I always have high expectations for myself. Texas was a bust when I got sick on the course. I wanted to do better. My Half Marathon time the year before was 1:28 the day after a 15 miler, so I was hoping to be around 1:30:00…but the legs were toasted from the hills and the lungs just weren’t taking in air. I wasn’t able to take in any nutrition, so I decided to try out Jennie’s tip to me. COKE. God Bless America. I haven’t taken a sip of this stuff in probably 10 years. Sure enough. It got me from aide station to aide station. Not fast, but without bonking. I stood under every hose on the course and filled my top with sponges and ice. I’m usually awesome in the heat. I thrive in it. Apparently not humidity anymore.  I was definitely disappointed with my overall time, although looking at the  overall race, I would have been 5th pro out of the water (I was  6th out in my age group), my bike had improved, and the run I know is there…somewhere.

    Then it hit me. I had been focusing SO HARD on improving my swim. Mostly because I wasn’t ready to trust my bike again and the run I had just assumed would be there. You can’t improve 3 disciplines at one time. So I guess I did come into this race doing exactly what I trained for. A good swim, an “improved bike”, and a less than stellar run. Braking on the down hills cost me my slot at the world championships. Do the math. One rider is riding down hill at 38mph for let’s say 12 miles of the race (total), and I end up averaging 26-27mph for that same 12 miles…it costs you quite a bit of time. Top 4 women made worlds, and I was 7th. Again, exactly what I trained for. You play how you practice!!!

 

So where do I go from here?

 

Since Syracuse I feel like I’ve been getting stronger physically and mentally. I’ve been looking at my training through a different lens. Instead of nailing my tempo run, then just getting through my bike, I’ve been really trying to break each workout up in my head. Focus on each one separately. QUALITY. What do I need to get out of THIS ride? THIS run? What do I need to work on? What do I need to improve? What do I need to do come next race? I’m seeing some great results and some new PR’s. This is where the fire comes in. It keeps me laying awake in bed at night (not kidding). I can’t shake it. It’s in my head most of the day. God I want this. I want this so bad. What do I need to do. What can I do better. What more can I give today. Patience Katie. Patience.

               Come on in and light up my heart

Come on in and burn through my soul

Come on turn the heat up

Pick your feet up

Fire

 

   As of right now I am planning on doing Miami 70.3 in October. It gives me plenty of time to get stronger and fitter, and it looks like a great course. And a chance to maybe redeem myself a little on the run! Until then, I’ll be working on getting stronger on the bike, faster on the run, and continuing to improve my swim. Oh…and trying to keep my head out of the clouds. But in all honesty. What is life without a dream? I believe I am meant to get my pro card. And with a lots hard work and dedication I will get there.

After allthere are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.

 

 “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”

― Henry Ford

                     

           Fire is burning in every one of us,

Every one of us all.

So bring down your walls,

Down with them all,

Let them fall

 After we all started to crawl,

The fire was real.

After we all started to crawl,

The fire was real.

Looking away won’t save the day,

the fire is real.

Inside us all, thousand feet tall,

the fire is real.

Fire.

 

 

“Until you face your fears, you don’t move to the other side, where you find the power.”

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Three people have said something to me this week that have hit something inside me. Lit a small fire. Tore through this patch of monotony that was slowly tearing through the confidence I had in my abilities. It’s been a rough season for me so far. I will admit, my performances have been far less than what I expect for myself. My confidence in my abilities dwindling in my head as I try to quiet the voices telling me that I’m too slow, too heavy, and too inexperienced. I was listening to Dr. Radio on XM talking about excess weight and why athletes cut weight for races. They said think about a 10-15 pound bowling ball, or a bag of sugar. All I could think about during my run this weekend was that bag of sugar I was carrying this year. A literal bag of sugar I pictured myself carrying. Those small fleeting moments when your past comes back to haunt you. You have to silence the voices. You have to quiet the mind.
My coach always seems to be in my head. There have been many days that she has quoted a famous athlete or coach that could NOT have said what I was feeling at that moment any more clearly. Or needed to hear more than that quote at that moment on that day. This was one of those days.
“There is no more important mental factor than confidence because you might have all the ability in the world to achieve your goals, but if you don’t have the confidence in that ability, you won’t use that ability.”
Wow. Home run. I stood on the edge of the water this past weekend doubting myself. Doubting the work I’ve put in, doubting if I was good enough, and doubting if I had the right to be there. And that is exactly how I raced. It was far from my best race. Nowhere near actually. I had talked myself out of it before I even started. But why? Confidence. What was it that was making me doubt myself? What was it that makes me think I am not capable of what I believe everyone else is? Fear. Fear of failure? Fear of the unknown? Fear of never living up to my own expectations? My fear has projected onto my confidence, which has projected onto my performance, which has affected my attitude, which has affected my motivation, which has affected my workout, which has affected my confidence which well… you get the idea.

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As Adam and I were driving home from the race on Saturday. He asked me how I felt I did. I said I was disappointed in myself. That I mentally gave up. Once I had myself convinced that I was too far behind to ever succeed to what I thought was success (top 3)….I just decided I needed to finish. After I made that decision the race felt like a death march. It was more a battle of the mind. He then looked at me and said you know…”No one succeeds by accident Katie”. This is when it hit me. I didn’t deserve top 3 in that race and I knew it. I hadn’t gone prepared enough, hadn’t looked at the course well enough, hadn’t kept myself in mental state I would have needed to be in. I let the swim get the best of me. I let my mind get the best of me.
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As I look at what makes so many of these professional athletes so successful, I am beginning to realize that I don’t deserve that right now. I haven’t worked hard enough, haven’t sacrificed ENOUGH of my mind to this thing. I have sacrificed; I have worked my BUTT off but with reservation. With hesitation. With fear and lack of confidence. I am learning that we need bad experiences like bonking, knocking over bike racks in transition, getting lost, etc. to deserve to be elite. You can’t just expect it. Just because you show up at work doesn’t mean you are doing a good job. I don’t want to just show up. I want to believe I can be this. Do this. Conquer this. And at the end of the day, when I cross that line. I only want the podium if I have earned it. I only want my pro card when I earn it. And that may be a few years away. But until then I am learning each day what makes a better Katie Myszka. What can I do TODAY to be better than I was yesterday?
One of my teammates from QT2SYSTEMS said to me was “Racing 70.3’s and 140.6’s is amazing. But so few ever do race them. There is a big difference between doing one and racing one.” Another moment of silence please. Thanks David. I needed that. I don’t just want to “do” the race. I am a competitor. I NEED to compete. I NEED to race. Agh! I feel my fire slowly relighting already just thinking about it. Sometimes you just need friends to help you remember who you are.

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I, Katie Myszka am a competitor. And if I have to compete with myself for that pro card for the next 6 years you better believe I will be racing and not just “doing” it to get there. No one succeeds by accident. Success is earned.