Endurance, Mental Toughness & USMA Pride


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Two Races:
Maryland Duathlon Challenge
     - July 16th – Sprint Duathlon
     - July 17th – Olympic Dualthon
27th West Point Sprint Triathlon - Aug14th

The Maryland Duathlon Challenge was a back to back Duathlon with the sprint on Saturday consisting of 2 mile run, 13 mile bike, 2 mile run followed on Sunday by the Olympic du consisting of a 2 mile run, 26 mile bike, 4 mile run. I have done both races before – always a month apart. The bike is scenic but rather hilly. These DU’s are challenging all by themselves without putting them back to back, but since I have done them separately several times, I thought I would give the Challenge a go.

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The Sprint race on Saturday was uneventful and I took it easy. My run times & transitions were pretty much the same as the previous 2x’s I did the sprint and I knocked off 4 min off my bike time.  I didn’t feel beat up, sore or overly tired. I went home to rest up for the next day.

The Olympic race on Sunday was a true test of not just my endurance but more so my mental toughness. The opening run was on pace for ME, but it had me DAL coming into transition. It is one of the most demoralizing things EVER to come into transition and you see you are the ONLY bike left in transition. FML.

I get on the bike and I settle into my game plan…My race, My pace. Catch someone – anyone on the second loop.


That 1st loop was SO DAMN LONELY. Just me and my thoughts. Just me and the road; one hill at a time; keep pedaling. As I approach the start of the second loop, passing people already on the run…KILL ME NOW!…I shut my mind down to all my surroundings; dig for my “one word” when you are about to go dark – mine is RELENTLESS – I go aero and decided – believed – that everybody could NOT be that far in front of me. I WILL catch and pass SOMEBODY! I will be relentless in that pursuit. I dug in. Approaching the double up steep hill at mile 3…I saw my opportunity. There were 3 riders. Relentless! Passing left not once, but three times.


I was alone again. Where is the pack? Pedal. Push. Climb. Climb again. There is another rider…take em. That’s four. Still no back of the pack, but I’m not last anymore.


I approach the end of the bike, I roll into transition and I forgot that I had passed four other riders – didn’t matter- it looked like I was the last bike into transition. DESPAIR. It had to be all over my face. Yet, before the first tear could fall – there was my coach – Coach Suzy. She nipped that mess in the bud with a quick fierceness that snapped me out of the black hole I was about to sink into. “STOP IT, LISA! You are doing great! Now Finish It. RUN!”


So I put a smile on my face and RAN! Well, it was more like a fast wog, but this girl was runnin’. 4 mile. Get it done.

And I did!


I put my two best race time on this course together and compared it to the back to back race total time. I couldn’t think of any other way to make a reasonable comparison. There was a 16 min difference (16 min longer) between my best two races separately and the Challenge. That seems like a long time. Maybe. Compared to whom? Compared to what? For me, I achieved my goals. Finish. Finish standing. Finish strong. Believe you can. Endure. Don’t go dark.


I did every single one of those. WINNING!

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Next up was the 27th Annual West Point Triathlon. My goals for this race was to move up the podium and to ensure that the other West Point Women I suckered convinced to do the race with me (either individually or as a relay) had a great experience for their first race.

I achieved both goals – placing 2nd in the Athena Class and watching my friend and fellow WPW89’ CRUSH it at her 1st competition, placing 1st in the Athena Category. JUST WOW! So proud of her.
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The WPW89’ Relay Team was out there crushing it as well. And my girl, Kay(runner relay) got her kids to register and they were out there getting it done as well. Best line ever – “I have two spares in case something goes south.” I cried.

As for me and that 2nd podium finish…I attribute knocking 9 min off of last years race time to an awesome swim and knocking 1 – 1/2 min of each transition time. TRANSITION. TRANSITION. TRANSITION. Get in and get out!
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                  2015                       2016
Swim         28:03                      21:46
T1               3:23                        2:26
Bike        1:01:39                   1:02:59
T2                4:42                       2:11
Run             47:16                     47:33

Total        2:25:01                  2:16:53