It was last year after Sally finished the Coeur d’Alene Ironman that I strongly recommended she hire a coach. It was a very painful race for her as she had no race plan and consumed fewer than 1,000 Cal the entire race day, including her pre-race breakfast. It was no wonder that she “hit the wall” at mile 70 of the bike ride. It was a testament to her inner strength and motivation that she even finished that race. So she hired a coach, started counting her caloric intake (making sure she was eating enough), going to bed earlier, training consistently, setting goals, and making sure her life was in balance. All of these are important ingredients to not only a successful Ironman race, but vital for the race of life I discussed in my last blog.
Check out the difference a year makes because of a coach who helped her see what she can do. For one year the coach has helped Sally focus on the above ingredients to a successful race. The plan on race day last Sunday was to swim the 2.4 miles in about an hour. She swam it in 1:06. The plan then called for her to ride her bike SLOWER than she is capable of riding. Her coach told Sally to leave her ego behind and allow others to pass her. She was instructed to ride to a target heart rate and not a certain speed. This would preserve her energy for the run where the race is won or lost. She did this even though there were times she was very frustrated by the slower pace that resulted in being passed by many other racers. The coach expected her to complete the ride in 6:30. She finished in 6:31. Pretty good!
And then came the all out effort on the run. In mile 13 she shouted, “This is sooo much fun!” as she ran by us. What a difference it makes to know what you can do. She ran the marathon in 4:01 improving her time by nearly 45 minutes from a year ago resulting in a finish time for the Wisconsin Ironman of 11:48:54. She did so well because she was not racing against other participants but rather herself. When you think the race is against others this is when you try to do more than you can. Sally’s coach gave her a plan that helped her see what she CAN do, which is more than she thought!
What a life lesson. Have you ever tried to do more than you can do because you’re comparing yourself to others? It ends in disaster just as Sally’s Ironman in Coeur d”Alene last year. She was sick for over 3 months. Do you try to overcome sin in your own power? Are you trying to go through life without a mentor? Do you have a devotional plan for your life? What are your goals for your race of life?
God has a plan for your life. Get a mentor who will help you ask the right questions of yourself so that you are training according to God’s plan, not your own. This is the only way you will not try to do more than you can. But with God’s plan, you will always be able to do more than you thought possible. So be intentional about knowing God’s plan for your life. Get a mentor. Train hard.
Paul says it like this in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”