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I love your attitude, Barbara!
I accept your challenge… During my first Peasantman outing, I came in second-to-last… only beating a veteran who had been injured and was out of commission for about 30 minutes before finally rallying to finish the race!
While some members are racing for podium slots and most are hoping to improve from race-to-race and year-to-year, some of us are just hoping to survive and finish!! The important thing for us is not having “perfect” training or perfect nutrition or best gear or best skills (though each of things are critical building blocks), but rather overcoming the very obstacles you’ve described: injuries, damage or loss of some equipment / gear, interruptions to our training, family or work or personal issues or any number of other obstacles during the journey.
And those obstacles can come months before a race or weeks before a race or in the days and hours before a race… and, there are always obstacles and unexpected hurdles that suddenly develop within a race–from feeling ill to losing some piece of your equipment to dropping your nutrition/hydration to cramping up, etc., etc. (I’ve experienced each one of those! Once, I lost my goggles on a ferry before having to jump into the ocean to swim to shore for a race!)
That’s the battle within the battle! We should mentally prepare for anything and everything, but in the end it comes down to mental toughness and the willpower to persevere. Its awesome when fellow racers help us out and cheer us on, but… in the end, personal grit is required–every step of the way… from first place to last place to every place in between.
Keep training and keep overcoming!