Your alarm clock didn’t go off on time, you forgot to pack your transition bag, and your car needs gas! Have you ever had a race day that started this way? Did you let incidents snowball because of your poor disposition, or did you look at the bright side squashing problems as they popped up? Making a decision about your attitude can make or break your race experience. “It's not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it” (W. Mitchell). There are going to be those days when things are less than perfect. Your attitude can truly help you recover, regroup and get moving with a smile. If you channel your thoughts to the positive route and focus on how well you know you can do, you will have your best race ever!
Instead of worrying about being late, focus on what you will need to put in your transition bag and get out the door. While you are driving, go over what you will do when you arrive at the race to get prepared quickly. While you are setting up, keep repeating whatever positive mantra you use to keep your mind positive and happy. What? You say you don’t have a positive saying in your bag of tricks? You can borrow my favorite, “I’m the best in the world!” I used this one fine day when I woke up for a race knowing I would not have my usual spectator/friends there to cheer me on. I arrived at the race site alone without knowing a sole. I kept repeating my little happy quote over and over. Soon I made some new friends and started seeing some familiar faces.:) During the race I was after one particular competitor (as we usually are). She could normally beat me easily on other courses, but the swim was canceled this race, turning it into a duathlon. So I looked at it as an advantage instead of whining about the two runs ahead. The course was flat and I didn’t have to swim! I just kept telling myself, “I’m the best in the world! I’m the best in the word!” I stayed ahead of my target competitor, and managed to hold her off in the second run (her strongest event) and won the race in the women’s division.
I know in my heart that if I would have joined in the complaining about the swim cancellation, or the two runs, that I would not have done as well. Using your energy to look for the negative only takes away from the energy needed during the race. The next time your race day seems foiled because of one mishap or another, focus on the positive and what needs to be done to succeed. Keep the negative thoughts at bay and a put smile on your face. Food for thought: “The negative principle accepts defeat. The positive principle goes for victory.” (Norman Vincent Peale)