Maybe Just a Little...
I was beginning to think the new pre-race apprehension I have experienced with my last several races was going to follow me to this race as well. Being side-lined for a couple weeks was super-bad for my head, but I'm coming out of my funk. I did take a moment to remember all challenges I had. Between surgery and injuries, it is enough to make anyone feel less than positive about what is to come. However, after a good training weekend, I'm secure knowing I am not only capable of finishing, but definitely capable of doing better than I did before.
The plan now is to focus on all things positive and the things I can do to ensure I'm prepared and ready for race day. I've got checklists and packing to do, and it always seems like it's so much more when it's a destination race. It can be a little overwhelming, but fun too.
I think it's great to do destination races with a bunch of other athletes, and we have something like 22 athletes going between my tri club and coach's athletes! It's going to be good times, for sure. I love the camaraderie, the spirit, the BuzZzZzZzZ, but it is all too easy to lose focus on one's plan. For me, I work best when I rely upon myself -- take control of the things I actually have control of. Get myself where I need to be, when I need to be there. My itinerary is done, which has proven to work for me, so I am not just following a randomly assigned plan for the sake of convenience or doing things as a group. Sounds a little snooty and maybe anti-social, but it's just me taking care of my business.Word :)
My training buddy isn't able to race because of an injury, which is a complete bummer, because he was on pace to have a killer first 140.6. While I feel for him, but also applaud his desire and spirit to still come to the race to provide support and root everyone on come race day. He is being smart about his choice, because there will be another 140.6 for him. Very soon.
I get excited about the unknown. Tapering has always been a thing I am never sure about. When I first started this triathlon, I never got that "springy" feeling in my legs I hear so many athlete's describe. Occasionally I feel like "I gotta go do something!", but never just springy, full of energy! LOL So there is always worry in the back of my head that says, "Did I rest enough?" "Will my legs feel loose or heavy as iron on race day?"
It is a strange mix of having confidence in your plan, the hours of training, and anticipation of the unknown. It's having faith at the start of the bike that once I get a few miles in the legs will feel better. It's knowing full well that the first 2-3 miles of the run will start out tough, but it will get better. It is keeping focus; doing what I can do, to the best of my ability, in each moment.
No complacency on the swim, no coasting downhills on the bike and running smart.
Whatever the day brings, I know I'll bring my best. I'll roll with the punches. I know you never can be 100% ready for everything that comes your way during a race, but I also know one doesn't have to run an 7 minute mile to be "quick on your feet" to overcome challenges either.
OC once told me, "From the moment you decide an Ironman race is your future, even if it's years from now, that's the very moment you start training for it."
Every race I finish, every race I might falter, brings me closer to that ultimate goal.