1. Execution, not fitness. I believe this one. When we are doing the half Ironmans, I find myself passing people on the run who appear to be more fit and probably more experienced than me. I think I am pretty good at execution. I try not to get too wrapped up in who is passing me, trying to keep up. Mentally, it may make me feel badly, but I don't push myself harder than I plan going into the day. I don't get caught up in the hype.
2. The Line. I LOVE this. They talk about the line as being the place when it gets really really tough. You spend the whole day preparing yourself to perform at your best once you hit the line. The Line comes on the run.
3. The box. This is the space you create that allows you to mentally get through this long event. You can't have your mind all over the place. I refer to this as "the now". A good friend told me "don't focus on what's next, focus on what's now". I believe this is important in life as well. You can spend the entire day thinking of what happened already and thinking of what is next. So much energy can be used up with this. Instead, create your box and stay in it. They said to keep the box as big as you can for as long as you can, focus on only what is in the box. Practice decision making in the box.
4. The one thing. This brings tears to my eyes. They said to determine the one thing that put you in this race. I think for some, this is super clear, for others it can be fuzzy. For some it is monumental (fight against cancer, honoring a loved one who is sick or has passed), for others, it is less dramatic. But for all of us, it is the one thing. No one thing is more important than another. I know what my one thing is. I'll blog about it at some point.
I have started mentally preparing for the event. I am spending much more time visualizing about the day, about each discipline, about them all strung together. I figure the more I do this, the more familiar the day will seem to my body when we get there. And there you have it...the 4 keys...just that simple, right?