We've all been out on a training ride, run, or swim, feeling surprisingly good, and thus we continue to increase the effort. Next thing we know, we establish a PR. This type of PR is always a pleasant surprise. I've had several season PR's go this way, in fact, I think the majority of my PR's this season are happenstance. The happenstance PR is win-win. If you get one, great! If not, you weren't supposed to get a PR so you didn't fall short of anything. Yesterday, I went out and earned a PR the hard way.
The schedule called for a strong effort ride with hard efforts on two climbs. Since I've been claiming how fit I feel of late, I knew I had to back up this statement. There is no reason why I should NOT believe that I should get a PR. I'm three weeks out of my A race for the season, and I feel well prepared and ready to rock and roll! I should be in the best of shape and well capable of a season PR. The PR where you plan and then must execute is much tougher psychologically. The difference is the element of failure. But I had no time to think about failure, I was too busy working on believing in my capabilities. As luck would have it, I had read the article on Lukas Verzbicas, the high-schooler who just set a national record for the 2-mile (8:29:46), just before my ride. In the article, he said, "Setting a goal time is the first step in a record assault. I knew in my mind I had it the whole time, belief in oneself is a very powerful tool in my opinion." And with this thought in my head, I set out to set some PR's.
The first climb went off without a hitch, and mentally, I was in it to win it. The result was a minute plus season PR and about 30 seconds off my lifetime PR. Approaching the second climb, I was in a tougher place mentally due to fatigue. I found myself beginning to cushion myself for possible failure. Kiet, it's okay if you don't get this, you ran 16+ miles two days ago. I started to come up with excuses as to why I would not set another PR. And all of a sudden, the word "BELIEVE" popped in my head. I BELIEVE I can do this! And I spoke this word over and over again, all the way to the top of the climb in a season PR. As I was rolling home, I also realized that it was great that I got that second PR, but even more important than earning the PR, was believing I could do it and going for it. Believing in yourself and putting yourself out there to succeed has nothing to do with the outcome. You've succeeded the instant you decided to believe in yourself and go for it! I love this type of reflection when I'm out swimming, biking, or running. And this story was for you Libster.
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