11 June 2008

Pre-Race Anxiety

It's three days before the BAM triathlon and I have some serious pre-race nerves. I was planning on writing this up on Friday morning, but instead, I decided to go ahead and write tonight with hopes that I may be able to calm myself down a bit. So, here goes... I have alot of different thoughts rolling through my head, so this may end up being somewhat or alot random...

It snowed here in UT today. The high today was around 50 degrees and it's chilly. It hasn't been warm and sunny for at least a week. The water temperature for Saturday is supposed to be 56 degrees and wetsuits are being required. The temperature at the start will be around 45 degrees, but will warm-up to the 70s at some point. This weather is totally stressing me out. I haven't been able to do any open water swims because it's been so cold, so I'm feeling a bit stressed about stressing out in the open water. I'm worried about my wetsuit feeling weird and I really really really don't want to freak out during the swim.

So, what can I do about the weather?!? NOTHING! I have absolutely no control over the weather and I can't change the conditions that I've been training or not training in and I can't magically get the water temperature to rise. I guess that means that I just have to accept that fact and move on. I can only control how I respond to the situation, which means that I need to do some serious thinking/planning on how I will respond.

This is my first tri that is longer than a sprint and I'm really not sure how I will handle that. I know that I can do all of the distances. I've done them several times. However, I haven't done them all together. I haven't done them in race conditions. I know that I'll finish. That isn't even a worry. However, I would like to finish strong, so I have placed that pressure on myself.

I know that I can do this race. I'm not even concerned about that, but I am worried on how I will perform. My training hasn't been going as well as I would have liked the past 2 weeks, so that's playing a role in this worry as well. I guess that I need to just not even kinda worry about this because there are so many factors regarding training and performance on race day that I, once again, don't have any control over.

I'm a little concerned that this race has two transition areas, which is definitely a new and different experience. This is something that I'll have to mentally prepare for as well. I think a good way to handle this is to spend some time at both transition areas on Friday afternoon and get a feel for how things are laid out. That will give me a better idea of how I will carry out my transition...especially since I won't be laying anything out...which is so weird.

I'm a little worried about nutrition, but I have a plan, which I'll mention later. At tri-camp, Chris and Chris said that non-A races are great places to try out nutrition plans, so that's what I'll be doing. I have been practicing drinking on the bike, so I should be good to go with that and I'm thinking that I'll just be doing the liquid nutrition for the bike portion and maybe a Gu for the run portion.

I'm worried about the course, altitude and hills, but I'm planning on driving the bike course to get a good visualization plan in place for Friday evening. I'm sure I'll be using that while I sleep. The run is all up and down hills, but I dig hills on the run, so I should be fine.

So, these are a few of the things that I'm worried about, but like I was hoping, I'm feeling a little better. I'm thinking that tomorrow night may be a good time to lay out my plan so that it's in place and I can start or continue mentally preparing for this race.

One other thing that I wanted to mention...I've mentioned my anxiety about this race to a few people and they've all said the same thing. "You could always just scrap it." The first time it was suggested, I thought to myself, "That thought never even crossed my mind. Why would I do that?" The second time it was suggested I thought, "Wow...apparently that really is an option...but certainly not one I could ever consider." I talked to my parents about this tonight and my dad just looked at me and said, "Why would you even think about not doing the race?" My mom just laughed and said, "Yeah, right..." I've spent most of the day thinking about this and wondering why/how this even came up and could this even be an option for me. It's not an option. I may not sleep well for the next few nights, but I will show up on Saturday morning ready to race...nervous...but ready to go. Not showing up is not even an option. So, in spite of all of this nervousness, I'm still going to be at the starting line on Saturday morning.