There isn’t much left to do at this point beyond some pre race interviews and some fun clinics at the expo. At this point I want to do two things. One is give you a peek into my mindset before this race and the second is to thank all of those people who have delivered me to the line of this race with a healthy mind, healthy body and the best tools and products available to perform at my best.
As for my mindset, I looked back at my thoughts immediately after the race last year that I wrote in an article for Triathlon Magazine Canada. They will spell it all out and follow these short paragraphs. Basically, five weeks ago I was tired, frustrated and unhappy with what I was doing. I raced too much quantity, lost the quality and wasn’t having enough fun. Luckily five awesome weeks have past and I was fortunate to connect with Ian Rodger. He picked up a burnt out, grumpy and frustrated Melanie, dusted me off and then proceeded to build back the strengths that form the backbone of my best racing. All the while he made me laugh. A lot. I plan to showcase that form and happiness which makes me my most fierce and competitive self – which leads to my best results.
First thank you to Trek’s Mark Andrews and Ray Waxham. What a difference to have you guys in my corner! xxoo
Thank you to AVIA for designing the Mantis and for being at all the races. Adam, Shawn and Ed, you are awesome.
Thank you to my local team: Jamie Grimes, Paul McIntyre, Markus Blumensaat and Alex Forsythe for essentially, fixing me. Thanks to Procity Trek Store and Wiink2 out in Millstream for outfitting and styling me. Thank you to Mike for delivering the hugs when I was getting too crazy.
Thanks to the coaches and athletes that helped me to train: Cindy Maybe and the Island Swimming superstars ( especially Sam for being funny and Molly for helpiing push me on best avg sets), Clint Lien and all of the morning tri group for putting up with my lateness, Carolyn Murray and Pat Kelly at the NTC and all those little NTC rippers (well, they aren’t that little), Houshang Amiri for the awesome cycling group, Jon Brown for the good running group, Marilyn Arsenault, Hillary Stellingwerff and Ian Hallam for waiting for me constantly, Zeke Cabell and the Catalyst crew, Scott, Tammy and Maia (until we abandoned our training for watching The Bachelor) and the other athletes I train with: Katie Button, Sara Gross, Annie Ewart, Jason Binab, Jamie Cameron (and the Procity teams), Paul McIntyre (no idea why I put you in here as an athlete but there you go, haha), Jodi for all the awesome swims here and all of Housh’s amazing athletes including Nik and David that pushed me on group rides and all of the other people i train with that I haven’t specifically mentioned: you probably crushed me so I am still getting over it. Just joking!
Also thank you to my amazing homestays this year: Dave and Kelly Rideout, Jay Paul, Mark and Dianne, Rose and Madi Serpico, the awesome Sara Tarkington, Kevin Deighan and family, and my Park City family Rob and Linda Karz, and finally my Hawaii aloha crew, Jodi Jackson and family along with Dr Aaron.
Big thanks to all of my sponsors: Trek Bikes and Bontrager, Greg at Shimano, Chris at Rudy Project, AVIA, Gina, Wayne and Chris at Polar USA, David and Natalie at Powerbar, Roni and Scott at Champion System, Wolf at Nineteen Wetsuits, and also thanks USANA, Esi Grips, TP Therapy, Sable Optics, Powertap/Cyclops and Genuine Innovations. Thanks to the crew at Team Unlimited for putting on these awesome races.
So incredibly thankful. I want to do you all proud.
The www.xterralive.com website is going off with GPS trackers on all of the pros so you can follow the race from there. Also, there is a bunch of cool social media initiatives you can take advantage of with XTERRA World Champs Twitter hashtag #xterraMAUI. Join us from home.
So I hope that my story from last year inspires you all to have your best performance possible on Sunday. I am really proud of my performance last year at the World Championship and what I want is to deliver the best that I have on the day. Focus on reaching inside to get the most out of yourself without a lapse in concentration during the entire event.. That will allow you to execute your best race.
Go get some.
It is very humid in Hawaii right now hence the crazy blonde afro I am rocking at the moment 🙂
From Triathlon Magazine Canada January 2012:
“If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through.”
On October 23, 2011, I fell unconscious yards from the finish line at the XTERRA World Championship of off-road triathlon. Nearing the finish line what looked like a sure win turned into an utter disaster. It was both the best and the worst moment of my entire racing career.
On that day there is no doubt that I was absolutely 100% in terms of performance and commitment to my best race on that day. It obviously turned to the worst moment as I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It is always a knife edge you ride at your peak performance.
I would like you to keep in mind that I have done just short of one trillion triathlons and most of those are of this off-road variety. There is no shortage in experience in my arsenal and yet I still made a critical error in my preparation going into that day. Even putting that into words makes the control freak in me cringe and start to obsess, just a little. When I am really cruel to myself I ask myself why I need to keep learning at this point in my career. Can’t I just start to get it right?
The answer is no. Excellence is a continual journey up a staircase where there is no top step. Every time you think you are getting closer to the top you are presented with a new, and better, potential self. Sometimes you can’t even see what you could become until you take another step. Who you are today is nothing compared to who you could become tomorrow. You just have to keep focused on looking up to find that potential. You will only find your maximum potential when you stop trying to improve.
At the start of the event I was essentially carrying a perfect season of off road triathlon racing in my pocket. I wanted every single ounce of anything I had in me from a great lead up to the event to be displayed at the World Championships. I was racing no one but myself and the race course. I tried to race at a new level and in taking that risk was defeated by the all of the other participants and by the course itself.
Fast forward to 2012 and I know what I am capable of. I remember my preparation, my mindset and my mistakes. I wouldn’t change anything about how I actually performed that day as I simply went for it with a bloodthirsty mind. I will get myself back to that raw and real determination. That is how you win.
When I prepare for races I am only concerned with preparing myself. I don’t look at the competition. I look to how I can be at my absolute best, using my greatest strengths and hiding any weakness. I use some of the competitors around me to gauge my effort or to create more advantage but I am not trying to beat any particular competitor at any given moment. I am simply emptying the tank in a brutally methodical way. When I get to the finish line the tank should be empty at which point I would check the scorecard. That is how you give it 100%. That is the way to ensure that no matter what, you are exposing your true potential in racing.
Fear of failure is a funny thing. It is like a governor on your body that will always prevent its top speed. You will never, ever, know how fast you could be unless you put it all out there. You might think that you believe that you could have done something but unless you really go for it, you don’t know. You have to go out there and show yourself what you are capable of. Even if it means you fail. Who cares about the lesser expectation you might have achieved? It was less.
My mind is trained to turn my body’s complaints regarding discomfort off. Racing to unconsciousness is basically indicating that I have the ability to use my mind to push my body further than its actual limits. I am completely stoked to learn that I have that skill in my arsenal and I plan to use that strength to full advantage in future events. When I toe the start line again at full strength don’t you agree that this ability might instill some confidence in me and fear in my competitors? Who else is ready to race to near-death, honestly? Bring it! See you next year.
They say that everything happens for a reason. My science brain says that my meltdown obviously happened due to overheating or a salt imbalance in my body and thus the mystery has been solved. However, that little hippie that likes to live somewhere in the back of my mind says that there has to be a bigger reason for that disappointment to happen. I don’t know what that reason was but time will tell. This experience has absolutely solidified my resolve to continue to strive to be even better in 2012. You should never underestimate the power of disappointment.
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
– Dalai Lama