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2018 Reflection

December 17, 2018

 

When I first started to think about the year I put together, I did nothing but beat myself up. We are, after all, our own toughest critics. In my eyes, I had one good performance, many failures to launch, a struggle to get going, and arguably the worst off-season I have ever put together in the sport.  In fact, this was my worst athletic year ever. But I also have to remember that this was my rookie year and I accomplished the majority of my 2018 goals.

 

I started the year off with a bang. I did my first road race since January of 2015 and my first road half in 4 years. I secretly dedicated the race to my Grandmother who had passed just 2 months prior. I came out of that race with a 4th place overall performance and PR, which, when you have been running as long as I have, doesn’t happen often.

 

From there, I went into the off-season struggles that are well documented in Let's Geaux . Raced Raleigh and Eagleman, which is where I had my best performance on the year.  I followed Eagleman up with a

tour of Florida for vacation then peaked for my A race in Augusta and followed that up with Waco to raise Awareness for Epilepsy.

 

2018 was, by far, the most I have raced since college, but we struggled. Mentally, physically and emotionally. In the grand theme of things, I struggled to find that work home balance.  My work load increased, which pulled me away from home more, which was not conducive for putting my best effort forward. Due to the consistent lack of effort, I struggled to compete at the level I expect myself to be at. Therefore, I lacked the confidence I needed in the dog eat dog world and went back through the cycle. I have no one to blame but myself, thus the buck stops here. But, if we dive slightly deeper we find some hidden gems.  

 

I set 3 physical goals this year. 1) Come out of the water with the first chase pack. 2) Re-qualify for my card 3) Finish top ten at an ironman event. I am happy to say that we accomplished all but goal number one. Goal two and three where accomplished at Eagleman, but goal three was a terrible goal in the first place, I had absolutely no control over it.

 

Not only did I accomplish the majority of my goals but I also had my strongest year mentally. I didn’t crack like years past when the race wasn’t going my way. I saw power numbers spike to an all-time high, which in most races allowed me to get back into the race. Lastly, I got a peek at what it takes to compete at this level.

 

So what happened with goal one? Well frankly, I was not good enough this year. I swam four times a week and five times during the off-season. I swam roughly 15-20 K a week, but again that was

not enough. Now do not get me wrong, that is way more work than I was putting in before and my swim greatly improved, but it was not enough. As much as I hate to admit it, I did not put in enough work in the water and I will be changing that. It is funny how much perspective changes once you achieve something. For me, swimming is going to be a three-year commitment until I get to where I know I can and should be.

 

2018, my worst athletic year, and yet I still saw PRs in all three sports. I raced my first year as a professional and I learned how to race at that professional level. My freshman year is over and I cannot wait to show what I have learned as a sophomore.

 

Keep Grinding, 

JL

 

 

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Greenville, SC, USA

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