Monday, February 1, 2016

Consistent High Performance Racing

In 2015 I competed in three long distance races (70.3) and three full distance races (140.6). I won two long distance races and podiumed in all but one of the others (finished 7th in my age group). After this season, I am sitting here with a glass of bourbon and a cigarette. Okay, I am just kidding about the cigarette.

How do I race that much, race that well and not end up divorced and destitute? I use my favorite word: no. And I use it all the time, because time is my most valuable asset!

Racing on a world class level has required me to get used to imbalance and become skilled at project management. I own multiple businesses. I volunteer to serve my community and our sport. I keep all these balls in the air at once, but I do so at the pace and time that works for me.

Some examples:

  • Outsourcing. Everything from household duties to travel planning.
  • Automating. Everything from retirement/investing to bill paying.
  • Institutionalizing. I save all emails. The best part of Gmail is the search function. I use project manager software to manage different businesses. I don’t leave anything to chance.
  • Delegating. I have a team that is willing and ready to complete tasks. I search for the right people to do the right jobs and pay them well.
  • Relegating. I release things. I don’t keep doing things because that’s just the “what we have always done.”

One of the keys to my success is knowing when to stop. I take breaks after major races. I work hard in the build and I release in the recovery.

I could not do any of this without the love and support of my spouse. It is the foundation for every part of my success. As Sherry Sandberg shared, “The most important career choice is who you marry.” An axiom true for your career and your hobby. How do I take care of our marriage?

  • I complete all training by 5pm.
  • I make dinner six nights per week and we sit down together for it.
  • One night per week is date night.
  • We travel together a minimum of four weeks a year.
  • We have frequent “State of the Unions” -- usually during date night. We grade every aspect of our relationship and adjust course as needed.

Want to perform at a world class stage? You must be intentional and decisive in your life. Distill what is important and act on it. I have found that dedication to triathlon has made me a better spouse, parent and business owner. Oh and a decent triathlete too.


Sue started her triathlon journey with a 50 pound weight loss and continues as a multiple Kona qualifier. In 2013, she was named the Overall Ironman All World Athlete Champion in her age group and in 2014 won her age group at Ironman Texas. As a successful entrepreneur, she believes that, “You can run your business like your training and your training like your business!” As a coach (USAT Certified), she helps athletes to develop success in all areas of their lives: family, health and work. She blogs regularly at fewoman.com. You can find her on Twitter @fewoman.
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