Keep The Faith
“Faith without works is dead…” Of course, this passage applies to all aspects of our lives including training and racing. Consistent execution over time is the work that backs up our faith.
Entering my 36th consecutive year of racing triathlons I set one goal – qualify for the 70.3 world championships which is back in the United States this year. Due to three teenagers and a myriad of family obligations, there was only one qualifying race that would fit the schedule. Although quite early in the year for me, Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico would have to be it. Unfortunately, I would have to make the trip on my own due to family obligations back home. Accordingly, this race was “all business” . . . give it all I’ve got to qualify for the world championship. I had faith that I could peak my many years of fitness with a chance of delivering big time on race day. The only way to guarantee the spot was to win.
This day was going to start out full blast from the cannon. Laser focused, I went to the lead on the swim and was able to hold position through the swim exit. With a transition close to one‑third of a mile long, I knew that a smooth fast transition would gain a little time.
The wind, heat, and humidity made itself known on the bike. The conditions were rough, but I also knew that it was an opportunity to widen the gap by a few more precious minutes. The pedal was to the metal for the full 56 miles. A second smooth and fast transition allowed me to gain a few more precious seconds heading out onto the run.
The run course in Puerto Rico may be among the most difficult on the circuit including short and very steep climbs, historic cobblestones, and the legendary “microwave” on the back side of the fort wall with no aid stations. This was going to hurt! Hanging on by a thread it was exciting to cross the finish line, cameras in my face, believing that I had taken the race wire to wire for the win. My beliefs were later confirmed by friends on computers that I had for the first time come in first place in my age group amongst an international field at an Ironman™ branded race.
Races, like any achievements in life, are not one‑day wonders. They are the cumulative effect of efforts over time. Keep the faith, and the faith is that consistent execution over time always produces favorable results.
Keeping the faith,