From the Daily Camera
Just about a year ago this time, I was standing near the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles with a large crowd of running fans watching the exciting finish of the women’s U.S. Olympic marathon trials.
Early leader Shalane Flanagan was faltering in the heat, and Boulder’s Kara Goucher looked to have chance at a top-three finish. (She ended up an oh-so-close fourth).
We were not the only ones watching.
Joanna Zeiger, Boulder’s seven-time Olympic trials participant over three sports, was just about to begin her final six-mile lap when she heard the loud cheers for the fast-approaching leaders.
“I decided to wait and cheer on (winner) Amy Cragg ,” Zeiger, 46, said in a recent phone interview. “I hung out to see who was in the lead. Amy was amazing and seeing her gave just such a chill up my spine and motivation to get through the last lap.”
There was really no need for Zeiger to finish. She could have easily joined the roughly 50 women who pulled out of the marathon that day, done in by the near-90 degree heat. Zeiger’s spot in triathloning history is secure. There was, however, no way she was not going to finish the marathon.
“I knew it was going to be a major struggle,” said Zeiger, who has suffered daily debilitating rib and nerve pain ever since a bike crash in the 2009 70.3 World Triathlon Championships. “I was prepared for a long, tough day; every time I saw a runner walking back to the finish after dropping out, it strengthened my resolve, and I thought, ‘I am going to get through this.'”
Get through it Zeiger did, fueled by her “champion mindset,” which, appropriately, is the name of her new book.
On March 10, Zeiger will talk about “The Champion Mindset: An Athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness” at Flatirons Running in south Boulder. She will also show footage of her Ironman World Championship win.
In a nice coincidence, “The Champion Mindset” is one of three new books by world champion female triathletes with local ties.
Long-time resident and former world-ranked No. 1 and 2001 world champion Siri Lindley, now a coach of elites based out of RallySport, tells her riveting story in “Surfacing: From the Depths of Self-Doubt to Winning Big & Living Fearlessly,” while four-time Hawaii Ironman world champ Chrissie Wellington, a native of England who lived in Boulder during her top competitive years, is out with “To the Finish Line: A World Champion Triathlete’s Guide to Your Perfect Race.”
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