Norseman 2018 – the failure

Norseman 2016 ended in an ambulance and last years Norseman ended with the runner-up spot, a spot Lance Armstrong or people like him would call the first loser. My performance last year was very good, but I knew I had bigger potential and should be able to give Lars Christian Vold a better fight. I had a reason for being slightly disappointed.

This year I won with a good margin. From a performance perspective, I executed better than ever, at least until a few kilometres up the mountain. After roughly 3km in Zombiehill, I got the message that I was more than 21 minutes before the next guy. My killer mindset slowly changed to the mindset of a pray. Instead of keep on pushing myself to the maximum of my physical ability, the main goal for the race, I started calculating if it was possible to lose my lead. Instead of being offensive, I got defensive. The same thing happened in 2017 when I gave up on hunting on Lars Christian way too early. This year I would keep my killer mindset until the end. It turned out I could not. I failed. I was happy with the result of Norseman, but my subjective feeling told me it was a failure.

By this point, I was still feeling like million bucks and wanting to increase my lead by more and faster. I was in hunt mode. Photo: Ola Morken
When entering the Sherpa steps, the last hundred meters of Norseman, my internal hunter was long gone. The only thing I could focus on was that is soon going to be over. I was in the mindset I worked hard to avoid.

From that point, I knew measurements had to be taken. If I am able to «beat myself up» for the few things not going 100 % as I wanted in Norseman, to a degree that it felt like a failure, I would never be satisfied with my own performance. It would not change if I won Ironman Hawaii or the Olympic games.

I remember a chat I had with Dave Scott, who was coaching me for a few months. He had a post-race talk with Chrissie Wellington and asked how everything had gone. She replied that the swim was poor and she rode slower than planned. The race was Challenge Roth and she just had set a new Ironman-distance world record, but her focus was on the things that could have gone better. This is very typical for high achievers, A-type, personalities. Always looking for ways to improve and do things better. You might say it is our genes, but I think it is more a «modus operandi», a way to work. I also think it is possible to change.

In general, I would describe myself as a satisfied and happy person, yet have very difficult to be fully satisfied with my own performance. Regardless of that is my «performance» as a triathlete, process technician, husband or father. It can always be done better. Of course, this is true. Perfection does not exist. It is also something I should accept. Instead of striving for perfection I should strive for good enough. In my blog post «Du kommer aldri i mål» I have written in Norwegian about how triathlon is all about the journey, and not the finish line. That is also true for life as a whole. The ultimate finish line is death, so no reason to rush to get there.

With this fact established the work of changing my mindset begins. There are several ways to do this, but as with my training program, I know it is something I should outsource to experts. For that reason, I have hired a mental coach, Adelaide Goodeve. How we are working is subject for an own blog post, but I am rather optimistic about the outcome. I believe it is going to enable me to perform better. More importantly, it is going to make me appreciate my performance as a whole. I am going to make me acknowledge the factors I could improve, not bury myself in them.

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I am a 33 year old PRO triatlete. My goal is to swim, bike and run as fast as possible, and enjoy the journey. All my adventures and triathlon related stuff is well documented on this blog.

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