Tuesday, October 1, 2013
It’s official. I have registered for my first sprint triathlon. I really had no choice given the investment I’ve made over the past six weeks. Not only have my finances taken a sizable hit, I have put a lot of hours in at the pool and on the bike during that time. Not following through after all that would be silly. Through I was tripped up by being forced to become a USA Triathlon member. Seems like this should be reserved for people who actually consider themselves triathletes.
With just under four weeks to go until race day, I already have a reasonable level of anxiety. The swim is going to be a mess. I’m doing much better in the pool, but I just know I’ll freak out and struggle to get into any type of rhythm to keep my breathing in check. This will mean my heart rate will be off the charts as I exit the pool. From there, I will need to settle down before I even consider pushing hard on the bike. It is going to be difficult to throttle back I know.
Part of this anxiety might be due to the fact that I’m already playing out the race in my head. After running for so many races, I normally develop my race strategy for a half marathon the morning of the race based on my training and how I’m feeling. Marathons get more attention, but I no longer have butterflies as I belIeve I have experienced most possible scenarios and know what to do in each case. This, I’m afraid, is something different.
After pushing myself to 27 miles on the bike this past Saturday, I was totally spent. It was an eye opener. When I started my training, I assumed my running background gave me enough lower body strength to make cycling extremely easy. I was wrong. My body hurt all over for two days.
The longest bike ride of my life was a wake-up call. I realized that I have been suffering from over confidence. The individual distances of each discipline are really short and completely doable. I guess deep down I thought I’d just muscle through it.
So now I’m left with only about 2.5 weeks of training to gain confidence and improve technique before I taper for race day. While I’m feeling a little burned out (hey, I’ve been burning white hot with enthusiasm since mid-August), I’m really excited to finish up the training and jumping in the water. I need to simply remember that I’m preparing to do something that I never thought I would be able to do. That will be extremely fulfilling. Let’s just be sure to pray that I live through the darn thing.
Run in Peace, Rest in Grace