well, it’s the day after the race and I’m feeling pretty good. Well, good mentally. Physically, not gonna lie, I’m a little sore. But it’s one of the best “sore”s ever! a week or two ago (ok, since the last race in September) I really didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. It was about a 1/2 mile swim, a 12 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run (which I walked).
Hard to say what leg I was most freaked out about. The swim was longer than I’ve done and in the open ocean. I wasn’t afraid of the not seeing the bottom part and “what’s in the ocean?” flutters that others get. It was more about the current and wind and waves. And the fact that I couldn’t find a wet suit that fit properly. It was also further than I had ever swum before. My pool workouts lately haven’t been the greatest. I’d have a good day and then completely F up my whole rhythm the next outing. Very frustrating and I think it was mostly nerves. I wasn’t too nervous about the bike. 12 miles didn’t seem like a whole lot more than the 10 I had done in previous tris. I regularly do 10 miles on my rides and spin class usually has me doing 12-14. Turns out, I should’ve worried more about it but more on that later. then there was the 3.1 miles (5k) run. My running hasn’t been going well. Had a few failed attempts in October before I decided to concentrate on walking this one. My plan was simple. Walk 5k 3 or more times a week and just try to increase my time every outing. That worked pretty well. Except for the fact that I did it more like 2 times a week. All in all, my workouts leading up to yesterday were far from the quality and quantity I had been hoping for. A lot of it was self sabotage. An “If I’m not ready, I can’t compete” type of mind game. Well, thanks to Dave, Brad and Bill, I was competing no matter what.
This past week was all nerves and bad thoughts. I know, I know…You have to have positive mental thoughts. I’m working on it. I really was an absolute mental mess leading up to the start of the race. But something happened this time. Other than the first few yards of the swim when I was hoping to get attacked by a shark (seriously), my whole attitude and mental chant was (I can do this). I didn’t have any of the usual thoughts that go something like this: the night before the race: “Hey, if anyone needs me, I’ll be at the top of this rickety staircase wearing roller blades” or during the race: “I hope I accidentally drown” “man, I would give anything for a flat tire” “I hope one of these homeless guys I’m walking past mugs me” Then I’d have legit excuses to drop out and not finish. I’m not saying all of these thoughts were completely gone. I’m still me after all. They just weren’t as persistent as they were in the past. It was only a little bit in the beginning of each leg. Like the shark thing in the swim, the bike was ok til I got to the nasty headwind (esp on the 2nd lap) when I kinda wished a car would veer into my lane and the walk when I started with AWFUL shin splints and I kinda hoped I would step off the curb and sprain my ankle.
RACE ZEN (sort of)
Something funny happened in the swim, that had never happened before. I passed people! like 5 of them. Doing that gave me the extra juice and confidence to carry into the bike. Even though most of them passed me on the bike. Though I only passed one person at the beginning, I settled right into the race. All I cared about was finishing. I just sort of put my head down and went. And I ended up finishing. I learned a lot about how I need to race both mentally and physically and my goal is to do the Sprint Tri at the college in March and my big goal is to run the 5k part, not walk. We’ll see! Stay tuned and thanks for the support!