A smart triathlete will swim with swimmers, run with runners and ride with cyclists.
Training & racing with people that are stronger than you is the best way to become strong yourself and if a person is doing just one sport, they are likely stronger than someone spreading their energy amongst all 3. This kind of training is also what leads to the complexity of the triathletes mood.
For the past 7 months I have been doing a mix of training designed to build a base for the heavier (higher mileage) Ultraman training that will begin in the next couple of weeks. My core, swimming, running and cycling are all strong. If I however focused all of that training solely on running, cycling or swimming than I would be very strong in that particular discipline.
Yesterday I rode a fairly difficult 60 mile mountain bike race and 2 weeks ago I ran a 50k trail race. I'm excited that I had the strength to do both of those but mad at myself for looking at the race results. I started skimming through the results from yesterdays race and thought to myself, "well I bet none of those women who beat me ran 50k 2 weeks ago" & "I bet those girls rode their mountain bike more than 3 times in the last month 1/2", and so on and so on. I finally stopped myself (slapped myself in the face is more like it) and took a minute to admire their strength and changed my thoughts to, "next year I will train for this race and I'll be able to ride up front with the best of them".
It's hard to flip that switch but I know I must keep focused on my goal and my day is yet to come.
As I reflect back even more to yesterday, I think of all those women who were older than me and racing so strong and it just makes me happy. It's been a long time coming that women of all ages show their amazing strength in sports like mountain biking and lucky me to be a part of this sort of revolution. I remember how I felt so many years ago when I swam my first lap on the swim team. I was on a team, I was part of something great and it felt awesome. As a woman riding the trails, I feel that way again.
Despite feeling a bit tired from these past 2 weeks, I feel quite energized and that starting line is really coming into focus.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, I hope you are all having a healthy and happy spring.