Monday, November 1, 2010

Starting to sink in

Over the last couple days, the obviousness and closeness of the Arizona Ironman has become exceedingly clear. If it's not the ridiculously long bike rides, it's most definitely the appearance of my pre-race triathlon dreams (as-in, REM sleep dreams/nightmares).

Let's start with my unconscious and see what all the amateur Freuds have to say...

Typically, within a week or two of a race, I start having 'race dreams'. They are never at particular venues I've actually raced before so I'm not sure the location is very important. The recurring theme is these dreams/nightmares is my lack of organization and forgetfulness when it comes to race time. In order, here are the most frequent issues I have in these dreams:

  1. I have misplaced my bike (neither with me or in transition)
  2. I have forgotten every running/biking accessory (visor, shoes, race belt, etc) and am frantically running around the expo trying to buy or barter for it all
  3. I'm standing in the water waiting for the swim to start and someone asks me, "Where is your wet suit?"
The fear of being under-prepared must be more prominent and worrisome than actually competing/doing the race. Maybe I should have finished that psych-major in college...

The second thing I FULLY realized this weekend is that I am in for one hell of a race. (I'm calling is race still because it is timed and you're competing against others, but mostly, I'm competing against myself.)

At mile 100 of my long bike ride this weekend, I wasn't feeling so hot - gluts on fire and my neck straining from 6 hours in the aero position. All I could think about was "how in the hell am I going to run a marathon after this bike ride?"

Surprisingly, between miles 110 and 112 I was feeling much better (Snickers is an amazing power food BTW!). When I got home, I still had the lingering question in my mind of whether my legs would take me another 26.2 miles. I know that running 26.2 miles even without a 112-mile bike ride is hard. I guess that's why not everyone does an Ironman.

At the end of the day, my pre-triathlon dreams and insecurities about being able to run post-bike ride are simply things I'll have to overcome. I've known that this was going to be hard. I've known that there is going to be pain. Up until this weekend however, I just did not have the perspective for how much.

Even still, I can't wait.

"Do or do not. There is no try."

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