T minus 5 days until Lake Placid Ironman! Tapering and carb-loading are well underway (and in my case have been since about mid-June). Although there are always some fears and butterflies, I cannot help but be totally amped for the event. There will be no better glory than crossing the finish line after 140.6 miles in the hazy July heat. I have a few friends competing in the race this year, and as race day gets closer, the anticipation builds. The day we have been talking about for the past year is quickly approaching, whether we are ready for it or not…
Last week while at a friend’s house, we began talking about the upcoming event. At the same time another friend texted us saying she was "headed to a mental strategies seminar” hosted by a few sports psychologists and asked if she should pass on any strategies. Of course I responded “sure.” I mean who doesn’t need a little mental help (mental help should be given for free to anyone who signs up for the race) prior to the race. I shared my strategy from last year: getting drunk the night before and doing the race with a hangover, in which case you are more concerned with the pain of the hangover than the race. Not a well-received strategy.
Next topic: “You can do this. You have done the training.” Hmmm. All the way around--not really. I'm pretty sure that my longest run in the past 3 months has been 8.5 miles or roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes; kind of enough for a marathon but not really. Then of course the pity party began. Which of us was actually the least prepared for the event? Between me and my two type A friends, I'm pretty sure that this type B gal takes the cake for least prepared.
And finally: "Name 3-5 of your strengths to use as “trigger” words when the race gets tough". I think among the three of us, we all had some variation of the same three--stubbornness (or tenacity), commitment and toughness. I am sure that these 3 qualities run rampant among most triathletes; you have to be stubborn or just crazy to hang in there for 140 miles in the dead of summer! Even if you decide that your training schedule is more of a suggestion than what you should be doing to prepare, you are still committed to the race. How could you not be after kissing that 750 bucks goodbye? Brutal mountain conditions, hours upon hours of straight exercise with disgusting nutritional supplements/drinks, physical and mental exhaustion...Clearly anyone who attempts this feat is tough.
As I sit at my 9-5 job, I cannot help but day dream about the big day. I'm not sure if I will use the same pre-race day strategy as I did last year. I don't know if the little amount of training that I did will suffice to reach my only goal of beating last years’ time. But I do know that my friends and I are all tenacious enough, committed enough, and tough enough to have a spectacular and glorious race day.