UBC Recap Series (1 of 2): I got them “Jeffrey Jitters”!

UBC Recap Series (1 of 2): I got them “Jeffrey Jitters”!

UBC 2018, the weather was beautiful, the support was amazing, the Duathlon was nerve-racking, and the Donuts were DELICIOUS!

Let’s start this 2 part race report from before we even arrived in Vancouver. This would be my 4th year racing the UBC TriDu Duathlon. The past 2 years I won, and the year before I came in 2nd place. Not a bad track record. “Three-peat” was the goal then.

So, let’s get into this years report, we’ll start off when the start-lists became available and all the registered athletes and their events were sent out to all participants to read, because that’s where the real challenge of this race began…

The registration had closed. Starter lists were finalized. And an open list of all atheltes in all events was sent out to each of us to scope out the competition, look for familiar names, and of course “ensure all our information was accurate,” the least of my worries, really. As I used the “ctrl+f” function on the list (the UBC Rec site uses an archaic form of database mapping….) to see how many athletes, and more importantly which ones, were registered for the UBC TriDu 2018 Duathlon. I wanted to know so I could map out my race plan accordingly, and plan for how much emphasis I should place on each event, and how and where to make my surges.

As I neared the bottom of the page, literally one of the last few names on the list, I found him.

Fellow F2C athlete, and true professional, Jeff Symonds was registered to toe the line the following Saturday morning with me. A well-tuned athlete, and fantastic human, when I saw his name on the start list, it’s fair to say I was fairly devastated and demoralized in the realization that my hopes of a “three-peat” were all but shattered. I KNEW I couldn’t beat him. He just came off a 1:09 half marathon locally in Vancouver. His pace there was AS FAST as my best 5km race! This race is gonna hurt…

I spent probably the better part of the week focusing on this, maybe this was going to be an easy shake-out race for him. Maybe he’d let me win. Maybe… But really, I knew I wouldn’t beat him. I could hardly even dream of keeping up with him (I mean seriously, did you even SEE Jeff crush Kona in 2015?! )

Okay, now, time to Reframe.

What am I here for? I’m here to enjoy the sport, do what I love, and be the best I can be, and that doesn’t mean winning. I don’t win LOTS of races! (Heck, I don’t even finish some!)

So, what can I do now that my original plan is gone? Well, I guess I’ll just have to channel the nervous energy I have into ACTUAL kinetic energy, and chase.

During my pre-performance mental training (use it if you’d like) I laid out 3 Negative thoughts I was experiencing:

  1. Jeff is going to be crazy faster than me, I won’t be able to keep up.
  2. I haven’t raced my new bike yet, and it’s still not fit 100% to me.
  3. My foot is still hurting from my big birthday run on Monday.

Okay, so focusing only on the negative is never a good idea, so Part 2 is to write 3 positives for EACH negative. Here’s what they were:

  1. Jeff is going to be crazy faster than me, I won’t be able to keep up.
    1. Jeff is a professional, this will be an opportunity to test my performance against somebody doing this for a living
    2. I will have the opportunity to share the podium with a pro I greatly respect and admire!
    3. I can see his real-time pacing, technique, and form while racing!
  2. I haven’t raced my new bike yet, and it’s still not fit 100% to me.
    1. This will be an opportunity to try my new bike under the pressure of hard racing and find any faults or changes needed!
    2. I can look at the feel/fit in race photos and compare to how I ride my bike during training to make any further adjustments
    3. This will also give me opportunity to test how comfortable the cockpit area is before getting into any longer racing this year!
  3. My foot is still hurting from my big birthday run on Monday.
    1. The new Cloud Flash shoes I’m running in will may have an influence on my running gait, it will be good to see if it changes for the better!
    2. I will just have to focus even MORE on proper form and technique
    3. I will have lots of recovery time after as everyone else finishes their races!

These then were translated into 3 phrases for me to repeat during my race; they were:

  1. Let Jeff lead me to a new PB!
  2. Rainbow Dash is meant to FLY!
  3. Stay focused on form, and never stop pushing!

As I focused on these the night before the race, I knew I was ready to mentally do my best, and let the body do the rest!

Stay tuned for Part 2 race recap, ‘Du it for the Donuts!’

Download the Mental Prep worksheet we use for Tri Nerds!