“The more I practice, the luckier I get…”

photo(1)“Good luck” was the last thing I heard before plunging my head into the River Ouse at the start of Sunday’s Monster Middle Triathlon.

Which got me thinking… How big a part did luck play on race day?

I was “lucky” to get a good, clean start, find feet to draft off and avoid too much of a beasting during the swim.

But I’d practiced mass open water starts, I’ve worked on my pure swim speed and practiced drafting in the pool and lake. I’ve learned open water skills to manoeuvre my way out of trouble. I positioned myself realistically on the start line…

I was “lucky” that my wetsuit felt comfortable and not restrictive.

But I’d taken the time to pull it on properly, unhurried, and flushed the suit through with water before the swim start. I’d done shoulder mobility warm up drills…

I was “lucky” to climb out of the swim with a clear head and no dizziness.

But I’d endured countless SwimForTri special “vascular shunting” sessions – involving swimming hard then ungracefully climbing out of the pool and standing up several times per session…

I was “lucky” to remove my wetsuit easily and find my bike in transition quickly.

But I’d lubed up well and had been regularly found stripping off speedily after lake swims all summer long…! I’d familiarised myself with transition and done a pre-race run though…

I was “lucky” not to have a mechanical.

But I’d looked after my bike getting it professionally serviced regularly and doing  pre-race check of tyres/chain/bolts…

I was “lucky” not to fall off.

Yes OK maybe luck does come into this a little. But so does judgement and making the decision to ride cautiously and having the confidence to adjust my riding intensity in changing conditions, to relax, dial back the effort and change the race plan mid-ride with the goal of a safe, clean ride, despite seeing sub-optimal power numbers urging me to ride more recklessly…. The stability of the ENVE 6.7s in the cross winds definitely helped too…

I was “lucky” not to suffer from an upset stomach.

But I’d practiced my race day feeding plan many times in training and worked extremely hard to change my mindset about fueling around training. I’ve come out of my comfort zone of mentally safe foods and eating habits and embraced a new way of fueling which is having a positive impact on training, racing and (most importantly) everyday health.

I was “lucky” my legs felt loose and light on the run.

But I’d traveled 6 hours on the Friday before the race to get my “pre-race reset” and alignment session with Caroline Kremer. As I have been doing all season…

I was “lucky” to have a strong overall performance and finish 2nd female and 7th overall amongst some very classy competition.

Screen shot 2014-08-20 at 16.30.56

And YES, sometimes shit does happen. Of course it does. But if you’ve controlled all the potential hiccups along the way, when adversity does strike, it’s less likely to be quite so catastrophic…

So I guess… “The more I practice, the luckier I get…”

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