Sometimes we are so focused on the end goal, that we lose sight of how the process leads to success in many aspects of life, including entrepreneurship and athletics. Friday I set up and executed a couple of process goals and finished the Grind one second off my 2010 season best of 41:46 minutes.
When we prepare and place our intent on the process, we reach our goal. Think of driving from home to work. We when we keep our attention on the road and the traffic around us, we arrive safely at our destination.
Part of why I am so focused on achieving a sub 39-minute Grind is that it marks a point when I am at my peak fitness after leaving competitive Biathlon. Being fit also helps me obtain high performance standards in my business.
In preparation for a Friday morning Grouse Grind, I did two things. First, Thursday evening I reviewed a video on the top ten nutrition tips of high performance athletes while eating a high carbohydrate meal and drinking about 24 oz. of water. Second, I set up my training plan on my Garmin which was a race practice with increasing heart rate zones with each quarter.
Not everything came cleanly together in the morning. I slept in so I didn’t get my morning stretch or quite enough pre-event hydration or food. However, I did arrive at the Seabus in time to get up on the Grind by just after 8:00 AM as planned.
My mantra of the day was, “Quick Short Steps, Feel Light, Stay in the Zone.” With this in mind I completed my warm-up of jogging, arm and leg swings, high knees, heel kicks, side-steps and cariocas (cross one leg behind and then in front, traveling side to side with hip rotation), then set out on the Grind.
I much prefer the occasional beeping of my heart rate monitor while I am outdoors than sitting at a computer playing video games. My Garmin kept me on pace letting me know if I was under or over my target heart rates.
As the burn in my legs built up, I found it harder to keep in the upper zones. This was especially true during the last quarter when my heart rate was supposed to between 175-185 beats per minute. Admittedly, I did look at my watch occasionally, but had it set on laps to know how long I had been going during each quarter.
Each finish for me is not at the top timer, but instead around the back of the chalet after swiping my timer card. That last part feels really strong and after pushing myself close to my limits, I felt like my lungs were going burst out of my chest. It took a couple of minutes for my heart rate to come down to 120 bpm and get the “Workout Finished” chime!
Heading back into the chalet, I was thinking I would feel good with sub 42 minutes. I overheard someone talking about who was out on the trail and my name was mentioned. Looking to my right, there was Jason Chong who recently completed 300 Grinds for Kids! I also saw Amy, another multi-Grinder on the way up and Mark – who I am chasing time-wise, coming down.
I waited for the timer display to scroll back through to my name: 41:47 minutes. It was a bit of a challenge not to be slightly disappointed with the time because it was so very close to a new season best. Although, when I thought back to what I accomplished, I knew that I stuck to the process and executed my plan very well.
My belief is that being great is about being consistent. The consistency of my times over the last two weeks tells me that my training is going well and my times are about 3-5% faster than the same time last year.
After each training session, I analyse what in the process I did correctly, what I could differently, and how I could improve for the next time. This is how I adapt my plan for the next run.
To execute my best Grouse Grind, everything including what I do in the seven days prior has come together. The elements in this process are training over the next 5 weeks, nutrition, recovery and pre-race preparation on the evening before, the morning of and finally, what happens during. The next step is to develop a comprehensive plan for the BMO Grouse Mountain Race on September 19th.
Invest in the process and execute the plan to achieve success and reach your goals.