MC: It takes a little of the pressure away.
PNF: Yeah, it’s a better way to think of it, because you put it in perspective. There were so many times that – she obviously is a very gifted runner – and people would say, “You should be running better than seven minute miles.” We would always go out to the Energy Lab during the week and do a run we would call our reality check. Because in the hype and the build up – and social media can be a bit destructive at times – some people are playing it up and some are playing it down. You never can tell where people really are. Everyone would say, “So-and-so is running so fast!” So we’d go out to the Energy Lab and have our reality check. We’d run out there late in the morning or early afternoon and we’d say, “God, I hope I can run seven minute miles!” We would always go out for our reality check to bring us back to exactly what you talked about – look at the facts and figures on paper in Kona. Not at Roth, not at Austria, not anywhere but in Kona. You come back to what’s there. And you go: This is what’s there, and that’s why. It’s always good to go out and be a little bit humble. You can build yourself up, everybody else can build you up, and everybody else can build himself or herself up. But you know what? You start to look at the top 10 and it’s the same people, every year the same people. Similar splits. Every year it’s pretty much the same. The men are the same way. It’s all the same. So I always encourage people when they’re training, I say, “Just write it on the blackboard, what’s actually happened for you. This is what I’ve got. This is my biking. This is my running in an ironman. This is what I’ve got in Kona.” Just start with what you’ve got and take that step from there. Because everybody else is going to tell you your ideal split. They’ll say, “Come on, you can run 2:46.” Really? Most of the men haven’t broken three hours. I always say to go back to the blackboard of what you’ve done and what is reality. Because reality sometimes gets chucked out the window in the hype. And there’s going to be some brutal hype this year! I mean we’re sitting here now talking about the hype. That’s all I can say to you – it’s in there and you’ve just got to go inward. Remember that you’re looking for the feeling. Not the speed, not the watts – the feeling. You know your nutrition, just stick to it. I always say to people, “You know how to handle anything. You know what a shitty day feels like. You know what an average day feels like. You know what a great day feels like. And you’re going to have a little bit of everything that day. So if you hit the average part, don’t come apart. What did you do in training when you hit an average part? Find your place and go with that. You work through it. Same thing if you get a flat tire. You don’t just sit down and cry, you fix it and go. You know how to handle the best and the worst, and everything in between. You do it every single day in training. So just go out and handle the best and the worst and just chug through.” It’s funny; it’s like the Olympic games. People expect something so different from what happens every day in training. Ironman is a long catered training day. And that’s all it is. Just go out there and do what you do every single day, and just hope for the best of your training days. And you’ll be shocked. I think you may shock yourself.
PNF: Don’t look at your log from last year. Put it away. Because you don’t know it – I’m just telling you, you don’t know it – but it will grind you down. Get a new book and just start there. Don’t pull baggage. It’s baggage. It’s gone. It will never be the same as it was last year. Put it away. Look back at it in a couple of years.