Danielle Sullivan of Iron Fit Endurance raced Ironman Mont Tremblant this season. After the race, she sent out a recap to her athletes. Since it focused on the state of mind during the race, I felt compelled, with her approval, to post. Here it is:
I raced Ironman Mont Tremblant.
In my 25 years of racing, this race will go down as one of my best from start to finish. Although it was not nearly my fastest (in my head I still think I should be as fast as I was at 34 years old, but the reality is that at almost 46 I’m just not😂 haha), it may have been the best.
The positive self-talk and encouragement started from minute one and continued until 11 hours 6 minutes. The swim…I usually dread it. This time I stayed positive and happy… It was my best swim in MANY years. Throughout race day, I constantly monitored what I was taking in, what I needed to add, what I needed to change, etc. I do that 100% of the time! I am flexible..sometimes plans have to be adjusted according to how you feel!
I have been struggling with a bad hamstring and had to walk T2, I couldn’t run. I started the run with “baby steps”. I told myself that I didn’t care how slow I ran, I was just never going to stop the entire 26.2 miles, and I never did. The hamstring ended up working out as best it could and I was able to run more comfortably. The self-talk to “keep going”, “you will not stop”, and “you can do this” was constant.
During the run, I must have taken in 10-12 gels, 12-14 salt tablets, 26 cups of coke, and 24 cups of water. I thought of my friend Simon CONSTANTLY (Simon is an Ironman who is supposed to do his 30th in Kona this year. He is dealing with the loss of his wife who just passed last night), “Simon and Ingrid are in more pain than you” is what went through my head the entire run, I thought of my athletes that inspire me, I thought of my parents who were there (I started Ironman, 24 years old, with my parents there and this was the perfect weekend, just the three of us). I thought of my partner, George, and all the support and encouragement that I get throughout my life with him, with whatever I want to do.
I NEVER LOOKED AT A RUN SPLIT!
The watch would beep and I wouldn’t allow myself to look at it…I ran completely by feel. I asked my parents to never tell me what place I was in. I wanted to do this race as I could and as I felt from start to finish. I wanted to have a great day and I did.
After 19 Ironman races, and 25 years of racing I am truly in awe of the willpower and strength it takes to get through these races.
I commend everyone for getting out there and racing whatever race you choose to do, Ironman, 70.3, sprint, Olympic, swim races, run races, etc.
Good for you for getting out of your comfort zone, doing something that scares you, and finding that satisfaction after pushing yourself past your limits.
On to Ironman #20, back to Kona!