The Countdown Begins

Sometimes, my timing is just impeccable.  I don’t always have a say in when things go into the calendar, but this week, race week, looks like a bit of a doozie.  Tomorrow sees the start of another school term — the kids are going back after the Easter holidays.  Wednesday, I’m giving a lunchtime concert.  There’s the usual smattering of lessons throughout the week and a bit of part-time work to squeeze in.  Oh, and my first triathlon on Sunday.

Great Yarmouth isn’t a million miles away from us, but rather than get everyone up in the darkness, bundle them into the car, strap the bike on the back and chuck the rest of the gear in the boot, praying that nothing has been left behind, we’re opting to drive up to Norwich and spend Saturday night with my in-laws and wake up slightly less early (though still plenty early for this non-morning person) on Sunday.  This will hopefully lower the chances of my driving off into the sunset without a crucial piece of kit.

In anticipation of the craziness of the week, I have been preparing a checklist for race day.  I am a list person.  Making lists, especially when packing, makes me feel less anxious about potentially forgetting something.  I may be going overboard with the spares, but I do feel the need to pack an extra sports bra (my running-specific bra doesn’t chafe when wet and fits really well under my tri suit), pair of socks, swim cap and goggles.  I have thought about what I might eat at stupid o’clock in the morning before we set off for registration.  I had toyed with the idea of toe clips for my pedals, but I simply haven’t had time to buy them, let alone try them on one of my rides, so they’re out.  I read a brilliant book about triathlon (I highly recommend it to anyone considering triathlon, especially those who don’t consider themselves athletic, like me), and the author wisely suggested that you give a cap and a pair of goggles to your husband/wife/partner/cheerleader on race day, as transition closes before the start of the race, and such things can easily be left behind there.

I feel prepared, I think.  I’m most nervous about the cycle leg, mostly because of the looks I get while riding up and down the busway on my poor bike.  I’d like to wear a t-shirt emblazoned with “I know your bike is nicer than mine” just in case some of the snooty cyclists I encounter think I ride in blissful ignorance.  I anxiously envision a transition area chock-full of shiny, fancy, fast racers, my old clunker sticking out like a sore thumb.  I ought to remind myself that while I have cursed my bike and felt a little ashamed of her over the last few months, she has carried me for many years and many, many miles.  (She doesn’t have a name, though she is definitely female.)  I’m a little worried about feeling lost in a sea of lithe, fit, overly serious folks in fancy Spandex with nary a first-timer in sight.  The triathletes I’ve encountered in the pool have had palpable egos (though not the swim skills to match) and have looked like fitness models.  But I’ve done the work.  I’ve put in the time.  I’ve tested my kit.  I’ve read (and re-read) the race information.  (I’ll probably read it a few more times before the race, just to make sure that I have fully absorbed it.)  Nerves aside, I feel good: fit and excited.  Training for this race has kept me sane through a lot of stress and change, and in the spirit of thanks, I shall try to take a cue from wise Swim Bike Mom and race with gratitude.

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~ by slowrunner on April 21, 2014.

2 Responses to “The Countdown Begins”

  1. Have a great race! You’ll do great! Like you said, “But I’ve done the work. I’ve put in the time. I’ve tested my kit. I’ve read (and re-read) the race information. ” That’s ALL it takes to have a great race. Race with a happy heart, and you can’t go wrong. I’ll be looking for the race report. Smooches.

    • Holy cow! I’m having a fan moment. . . I love your book and your blog, they’ve both been incredibly helpful and inspirational. (Calms down, starts breathing normally. . .) Thank you so much!

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