Races are the destination toward which we travel with each training day. They are the celebration of hours spent in the water, in the saddle and on the roads. During a race we also find out how we match up to other competitors and our own previous performances. Race day is the opportunity to learn something new about the sport that consumes us. I like to use races to learn about new gear I’m testing out (something new for each race!), to evaluate the result of my training leading up to the race, and to discover my physical and mental reactions in a competitive environment.
I learn something new in each race experience, about how I react to both leading and chasing, how I pump myself up or psyche myself out. It’s also important to learn how my body reacts to extreme stressors, and how far I can push myself before I crumble up on the roadside like debris. I like to think that I use these lessons in my training and preparation for future races, to tilt the scales toward positive self-talk and maintaining the right balance of red-lining and saving something for the final mile (s).
With that in mind, you can click here to read the 10 lessons Carly learned from racing IM 69.1 (that is not a typo) New Orleans.