2010 Season Review and 2011 Preview

2010 was my most successful year of racing since I entered into the sport of triathlon. I finished 4th at Memphis In May, I smashed my course record at Elkhart Lake International Triathlon, finished 5th at Ironman Wisconsin and set personal best numbers all season long.

Though hugely successful, this season did not come without some very low points.  In fact, I briefly contemplated laying down my sword after a terrible race at Ironman Lake Placid. I was not meeting my expectations and things were continuing to go exactly how I did not want them to go.

After the race I took a week and visited my brother, hung out in New York and got completely away from the lifestyle and sport.  On the way back to Wisconsin I asked myself why I chose this sport as my career. The answer was because I LOVED IT!

Everything else aside, when it comes down to it there is nothing I would rather do than get out there and swim, ride and run; push my body to it's limit and see just how much I can make it hurt. I didn't do it because I needed to go 8:xx in an Ironman or 3:xx in a half ironman.  YES, I am competitive, YES I want to win, but if I competed for those reasons alone, I wouldn't last very long.

In addition to my own performance, I also thought about the satisfaction and reward I get in passing along what I have learned over the last decade. In short, I also do it for my athletes and the community.  What I see people achieve and the self belief that this sport instills in them is unmatched.

I came away from that conversation with myself and decided that I needed to approach my next Ironman in a new way.  I needed to take the workouts that I knew worked the best for me and that I believed in the most and do them.  Then I needed to address what I knew was a limiter of mine; my head.  I sought out Bobby McGee for some sports psychology (one of the best in the world) and learned more about the mental side of triathlon in 6 weeks, than I had in the previous 9 years.

What resulted for me was my best ironman finish to date and a foundation to build upon over the next decade.  All of this came after a build with setbacks that included a crash 5 weeks out from the race and a trip to the ER just 3 weeks out from the big day. Sometimes we shine in the face of adversity.

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2011 is going to be a huge year for me.  It will mark the 10th anniversary of Ironman Wisconsin, I will turn 30 and I will hit the 12,000 lifetime training hour mark!!  Needless to say, my focus for the year will be shining in front of the people who mean the most to me.

To add to this, I have launched a multi-sport team here in Madison that I am very excited about.  I will have opportunity to work face to face with 24 athletes and personally help them achieve their triathlon goals.

Outside of sport I have a few goals as well, but I will keep those to myself! ;)  Life is great, I am thankful for every day and am excited to see what the future will bring!

Blake

ps - If you are free this coming Sunday (December 5th) from 6:00-8:00pm, come to the Trek Store Madison West and check out what the team is all about.  Come meet the other team members, their families, sponsors and get details on everything!! Email me for more information or if you cannot make it.

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