I was camping recently and talking with my wife about this blog. She asked me the title and I told her I was thinking of calling it off-season. She said that's great, I'm glad you're taking the season off. I became confused and puzzled. Her interpretation of off-season was I was taking the entire year "season" off. To me it meant a season. There are 4 seasons in a year!
I did reassure her I would be focusing more on improving this year and not doing a full Ironman until next year. She was relieved. Over this past ''off-season'' I have done a lot of evaluating on my previous year in Ironman races as well as my life. I believe we should all take time to review what we have done and what we can do to get better. That works in life just like in my Ironman races.
When I sat down to write this blog, my focus was going to be on all the things I did learn and how I am applying each one this year to improve for the next season, as my wife would understand it. This means next year! As I did write, the blog became longer than expected. What I have decided is to write a series of blogs on the things I learned and I am applying to be better. The topics I will be discussing are Pacing, Adaptability, Sometimes You Win and Sometimes You Learn, The Big Picture Should Keep Getting Bigger, Live Today but Think About Tomorrow, Move Forward Courageously in the Midst of Uncertainty, and lastly, Realize that Today's Best will not Meet Tomorrow's Challenges. Now let's get started on our first topic, Pacing.
You have not heard from me in a while because I had to take the time to re-evaluate the pace I was living my life. Remember my blog 'Marbles'? Well I decided to use my Marbles differently. My priorities changed, which increased my pace of life. I was working out twice a day, working my job with approaching deadlines, and working on my investments on the weekend, all while attending my kids cross country, football, and soccer games. I had reached my limits but I got through it.
What I have realized about my pace of life is that I am in complete control. You are also in complete control of the pace of your life. Our pace is dictated by our priorities. This off-season I am re-evaluating my priorities and slowing my pace. To help with my pace, I have taken the last 3 months to evaluate my plan for this upcoming season. Planning ahead on the things I want to work on and improve will help me to keep my pace steady and consistent.
For example, when I did my last Ironman in Haines City, I started the first loop of the bike and was faster than I planned. I felt if I kept this pace up on the next loop I would not complete the run in a good pace. I backed off and still met my goal to finish under 6 hours on the bike. I also started out too fast on the run. I had to back off because I knew I would not maintain this. I was running sub 9 min miles. I then walked for about 2 miles just to get my composure. At that point I set the pace at 12 min miles. I did this for the rest of the marathon and finished in 5 hours and 23 minutes. My goal was 5 hours. If I had started at 12 min miles I may have met my goal.
Rely on speed but thrive on timing. Speed is a great asset if you learn to use it properly. I could have kept going as fast as I could but that does not mean I would finish the race. In the above example I would not have finished faster but slower. Coming out too fast I would have exhausted all my energy too quickly and would have had to walk the marathon.
The same goes in life. Too many times we want things to happen quicker in our life and business. Instead, keep things steady and consistent. Evaluate constantly. Speed up and slow down when necessary. It is about the journey, not the destination. What is your pace?