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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Visualization! Do you practice it?

As the countdown continues I am taking each day with a positive attitude and moving ahead towards go time!  As I am completing my workouts, I am spending my time focusing on the mental aspects of the event and not on my current physical state.  My current physical state is one that is where it is at this point, if I feel like I am not ready, too late, not going to make any changes between now and race day!
One of the significant accomplishments I have completed was achieving my Level 3 CSIA certification.  It is a big step in the world of skiing that eludes many in their skiing lives.  A few years back I decided I wanted to get it done.  I spent 2 seasons training for the physical aspects of the sport, repeating some tactics hundreds of times over and over again.  Then it was on to the next part, literally starting from my feet inside my boots working my way up to my head over those 2 seasons.  I spent time teaching and taking lessons to help me along the way.  When I finally reached the exam for the first time, I failed the skiing part of it.  I did pass my teaching with flying colors, but could not believe I had trained so hard and did not pass it.  I spent time reflecting on why that had happened.    What I realized was that my brain got in the way!  I was so focused on trying to do it perfectly that I forgot to do it like I had practiced thousands of times!  I basically let my head talk me out of what I knew how to do.  That is when I started visualization.
For the next 6 months, summer and winter, I spent time skiing in my head.  I put myself in every situation and possibility and skied every turn to perfection.  In my mind I knew regardless of what was put in front of me, I had been there and I had conquered that scenario.  I was then able to ski like I knew how to rather than focus on skiing like the picture book showed it.  I went out to the exam again and nailed it!  The ability to stop focusing on what is expected and instead focusing on what you know that you  know is often the difference between success and failure!
As I am tapering I am spending time visualizing myself at the race.  I can see myself climbing a couple of the big hills on the course keeping my HR in the zone and not getting caught up in having to race up to beat someone.  Feeling myself starting to hurt on the run and acknowledging it and moving forward.  Running around the state building for the last time and hearing the crowd.  Seeing my family and friends who have put up with me for the past year and being with them after I cross the line!  These are all awesome experiences that are making me more excited about my race day!  I am looking forward to this like I looked forward to the day I got married!
Yesterday on the training front was a good day on the bike!  It was a 'sprint' workout with a 45k ride.  As I set out I felt OK, as I got warmed up I felt like a madman!  I rode the 45k over 35kmh feeling strong the entire time.  As I spun my legs and used some new technical ride tips I found myself effortlessly being able to pick up the pace without hammering my HR.  I did keep it in a high HR2 low HR3 zone for the ride.  As I rode along I wondered how it would feel to transition after having hammered the ride, but I did not let it slow me down, I kept pushing to get a burn going on!  It was amazing!  The transition proved to be great as well.   I did go out quite fast, which is a lesson that I will learn from at IM.  I will run at my planned pace and not be a hero at the start. I was able to maintain the faster pace for the 20 minute run, however, it was only 20 minutes!  Overall the workout was great!
Last night was the highlight of my day!   I was at LULULEMON for my community run that I lead.  I had put the word out to friends that we would do a short 5k run and follow it up with a free yoga class in the park.  I usually get 5-7 runners out for the weekly run.  Last night there were 14 people who joined me .  People who were at past run clubs I have hosted, people who I met in the park and invited, it was awesome to have that many out.  The run was an easy run enjoying the group running back and forth between the different pace sections.  When we were done we all headed into an awesome local park for a yoga practice.   There were 20 people out to practice with me.  A friend and I led the class together and had a serious badass yoga experience!  The class was an hour long and everyone who participated had an crazy amazing time!  It was so cool to be able to share with others what I have learned and have them smile and enjoy it with me!
Post IM race I am part of a North America wide yoga event, YOGA AID.  We will be leading a session doing 108 sun salutations to raise money for the Africa Yoga Project(AYP).  HUH?  you ask, what the heck is this?  AYP raises funds to be able to build schools and infrastructure in Africa.  The project also trains yoga instructors to provide them employment and a better life than one out on the streets.  I have been asked to raise $250 for this very worthy cause.  Please click on the link below to make a donation.  I have also attached links to AYP.  Thank you for your support!


  1. Interesting picture. The Ironman is coming quick! Good luck.

    Thanks for the support on my site, and the invite to run with a group. Group running is something I'm looking forward to and will seek a group soon ... maybe after my 5k in September.

  2. Is that Wilkett Creek Park? If it is I use to run there all the time.

    Glad you are becoming the Pied Piper of running in your community ~ fun isn't it?