Thursday, July 19, 2012


Anxiety before a race, especially a big one is normal. Some of it—most of it—is self-manufactured. I’m especially good at worrying about things over which I have no control. It’s a talent that runs in my family.

How bad will the heat be? Logically, I know it does not matter because absolutely no one can control the high temperature on July 29. Odds are it’s going to be hot, but it could also be rainy, windy or both. It doesn’t matter because it is going to be what it is going to be. I’m trying to put this out of my mind.

Have I trained enough? I can ride over 56 miles and still have something left. I’ve put something like 1000 miles on the bike since mid-March and closer to 1700 since I decided to commit to a 70.3 back in October.

My average running pace has improved from the mid 9:00 to the mid 8:00 range in the last three months. I’m also about 10 pounds lighter than I was in the early spring. I’ve done interval runs up to 10.5 miles at 8:37 pace. I’m also fully prepared and expect to run/walk the run portion of the race.  Nevertheless, I’m still worried about being overheated and then overwhelmed on the run portion. I have terrible visions of it taking me over three hours to complete.

What about mechanical problems? My tri bike recently broke down on a training ride. The threads on the derailleur hanger stripped out and the derailleur came detached from the bike. It’s been in the shop since last Saturday though I’m hopeful that it will be back with me by this weekend. But I’m still worried about something else going wrong. Check out this DC Rainmaker post about losing a crank during a ride.

 What if the race sucks? By that I mean, what if they, in their first year of doing this, are totally disorganized and ill-prepared to stage a race? I just got the Athlete Guide this week and it’s actually fairly impressive. That reduces the concern quite a bit Just like a mech problem, there’s nothing I can do, but I worry because I’ve invested money and a lot of time.

Okay….I’m being a little pathetic. Poor Paul, he has to worry about competing in a race he couldn’t have come close to finishing just two years ago. Here’s the world’s smallest violin playing the world’s saddest song for me:

At this point, I’ve done all I can do. I’ll ride a time or two more, I’ll run at least once more and I have a couple of open water swims planned. But none of that is going to make me more prepared. Nope. The time has come to race, ready or not.  My biggest whine: waiting. Getting out there and racing may be a relief just because the anticipation will be over.

Thanks for reading!

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