Elizabeth James: From Preseason Project to Kona Qualifer

This week, we’re proud to celebrate TriDot coach and athlete, Elizabeth James! 

Elizabeth joined TriDot in 2015 as a Preseason Project athlete. Like all new athletes, she spoke to training advisor, Cindy Reeves, who matched her with Coach John Mayfield. “It was supposed to be a 30 minute call,” she remembers, “but John and I talked for almost two hours. I felt so supported and encouraged after that call. I knew TriDot was the right fit for my first Ironman journey. ”

In September 2015, the Dallas-based school teacher crossed the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin in an incredible time of 13:35. “I wanted to finish my first Ironman with a smile and I totally did,” she recalls. “I also knew that I had more potential in me to do even better next time!” 

That race fanned the flames for improvement and she spent most of 2016 working on her run to qualify for Boston, which she successfully did last September. “I still followed my TriDot plan while training for the marathon,” she notes. “Cross training made me a better runner and a more well-rounded athlete.” 

James returned to Ironman racing this past April at Ironman Texas. “I wanted a big PR that day and I knew it was possible based on my RaceX predictions and conversations with Coach John.” Not only did she land a huge PR, but she finished 3rd in her age group with a 10:44! (Holy Smokes!) Unfortunately, there were only two Kona slots in her age group, but she knew she had it in her sights. 

She and Coach John discussed races that would benefit her strengths and weaknesses, and they settled on Ironman Chattanooga on September 24th. 

Swimming is Elizabeth’s weakest leg, so the current-assisted swim would work to her benefit. (She finished the swim in 55 minutes!) She relishes the bike and run portions and knew that the course would play to her strengths. Participants at Ironman Chattanooga bike four extra miles, making the day a long 144.6 mile journey. Trusting her race plan, Elizabeth executed her day to perfection by WINNING her age group with a time of 10:51 and punching her ticket to the 2018 World Championships in Kona! 

Congratulations, Coach Elizabeth! We can’t wait to watch you on the Big Island in 2018!

 

How Did She Do It? 
Coach Elizabeth Dishes on Her TriDot Tips for Success: 

Build a Community of Coaches, Teammates and Friends Who Support Your Vision. 
During Ironman week, I sat down and wrote a list of 144 people (one for each mile of the event; the last .6 is for me) that helped me get to the start line of IMCHOO. Training and racing truly is a team effort and I am so blessed and thankful for the people that I have met that impacted my journey.

Show Gratitude for the People Who Believe in You. 
I just had thank you cards made that I will hand delivering and dropping in the mailboxes later this week that contain the following quote: “The key is the keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best” -Epictetus 

Know Your “Why.” 
One of my main “whys” in racing is to give my students a positive role model and example of grit, perseverance, and the power of yet (I can’t do that…yet). It was such a joy to return to school last week and share my experience with the students and remind them to dream big and chase after those dreams! 
 

Become a Student of the Sport and Trust TriDot. 
I can count on one hand the number of times I skipped the assessments or didn’t follow the plan as written. I trusted the system and let science do what it does best. TriDot has transformed me as an athlete and I won’t ever train or coach without it!

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