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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Triathlon Update: Some Final Thoughts.

Well, the triathlon is this weekend. I'm excited, and I'm scared, and I'm nervous and I can't believe it's here. Well, I can, because it's been forever since I got it in my head to train for this, and I'm so sick of swimming twice a week, getting all chlorinated and wet and having to shower at the gym and towel off and leaving looking like a drowned rat with snarled up hair and goggle imprints around my eyes like I'm some sort of bloodshot raccoon.

Um, but I digress. Even though it's been a long time, it is daunting that it's here already. I haven't done a single workout this week due to putting myself on a screeching halt of a taper due to my knee issues (I'm not even wearing high heels to work to give it a rest), so I feel restless and nervous. I've shaped my life around this event for the past several months, so it is going to feel really weird Monday afternoon when I'd normally be headed out for a four mile run to prep for the tri. What will I do instead? Will I lose my steam now that I don't have a super intimidating goal in mind? I guess bikini season will do the trick, am I right? Ha, ha.

I wonder if I will cry after I finish it. I always think I will cry after a race, but I'm usually too amped up from the adrenalin kick that comes from sprinting to the finish, and too close to wanting to vomit to actually cry. This time, though, I'm not sure. It's a huge accomplishment, I know that, even though it's just a sprint triathlon, and it represents me sticking with the training, this idea of becoming a triathlete. So will I cry? Will I fall into my husband's waiting arms (well, he better be taking a shit load of photographs) and whisper "I did it"? Will I scream "HELL YEAH JILLY PUPS 2012!!" and projectile vomit into a trashcan? Who knows? Only time will tell.

What am I scared about? Why am I so anxious? The transitions between the events. I know what to do, and I know what I'll need but I will be so nervous, and will likely be shaking from the exertion of swimming, and later, from biking. So will I mess up? I hope not. It will go like this:

1. Swim my butt off.
2. Get out of the pool.
3. Dry off quick, quick like a bunny.
4. Put on my pants, socks and shoes.
5. Attach my ipod to my pants. Maybe run the earbud cord under a strap of my swimsuit so I don't accidentally yank it out.
6. Helmet, sunglasses, gloves.
7. Slather on lotion or sunblock (the pool makes my skin itchy) and add a coat of chapstick.
8. Grab the bike and GTFO


9. Bike my butt off.
10. Return to transition area, hop off bike.
11. Rip off helmet, sunglasses, gloves.
12. Take a big swig of water.
13. Hit the road and GTFO

So, thirteen steps. I hope I nail them. I hope I swim fast, bike faster, and don't walk during the 5k run. That's all I want.

I'm also scared of biking with 300 people in one lane on the streets of Tucson. I am thinking of having Todd write "TRIATHLON NEWBIE DON'T HURT ME" on my back in permanent marker. Oh God, it's making me so nervous, just thinking about it.

And you know, I'm a wee bit nervous about my knee. I don't want pain to get in my way and I also don't want to permanently mess it up. I am not stretching enough, that's true, and I'm not icing it either because I'm super dumb. Another thing about the knee, is that it means I probably can never do a triathlon again. I could but, it doesn't seem like a super rad idea, considering the knee issue has been a slow build up throughout the training. And that brings a touch of sorrow to the whole thing. This is my one shot at it.

I have to get up at 4am on Sunday. How the hell am I going to get any sleep? How am I going to just lie down at 9pm and tell my brain to shut off? I slept before my wedding, but there were copious amounts of ouzo and a super late night of giggling with my bridesmaids involved. There will be no boozing and gossip at 1am Sunday. There will just be a woman, in bed with her husband and her thoughts, and her hopes and dreams and nerves and wishes and fears, waiting for the alarm to go off, for the flag to drop, for her heart to leap in her throat as she pushes off the wall of the pool, taking the first of 1,000 strokes, the first move towards the finish line.

I'm going to nail it. I'm going to nail it. I'm going to nail it.

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