Stepping into the water. Oh dear god. IT'S F*&*(ING COLD!!!!!!!!! Put your face in. Pulling it back out, gasping for air. Deep breaths. Think about all those cold showers. Just think of it that way. It will get warmer if you can start moving. Front quadrant swimming. Don't take that next stroke too soon. Get through the other swimmers. Steady pace. Oh god it's cold. Getting through the swim...all those 500s are paying off. Steady pace, getting easier. Wish I would've swam in the bay a little. Getting distracted. Back on track. Heading toward the beach. Getting anxious about taking the wetsuit off. Do I have to pee one last time? Here we go...
Running into T1. Breathe, Sarah. Breathe. Wetsuit off, one foot at a time. I've got to find a way to be faster at this. I wish I could learn how to do the shoe on the bike thing. Too scared of falling. Wish I could bike without socks. Could I? What about the arm warmers? My arms are still wet. Arrrgh, can't...pull...them...on...wasting time. [I'm secretly hoping that the weather will be okay but Paul says plan on arm warmers] Okay, off we go. 2:45, my fastest T1 yet! Sweet!
First 10 minutes, spin it out. Spin, spin spin don't try to muscle through it yet. It's okay that people are passing. You'll catch them. Do your thing. Get your breathing back. Take in some fuel. Bike legs coming to. Feeling more powerful. Add a gear and off we go. Hills are no match for me. I'm strong and I know it. Flying past people. Feeling fantastic. Turning over the pedals gracefully and quickly, with power and strength. Upper body steady. Smile on my face. Turn on the power for the hills...muscle up them...back off and enjoy the descent. Determined to do this quickly and efficiently. Coming into T2...
Yes! No mechanicals on the bike! 2 down, 1 to go. Home stretch! Easy 13 miles and I'm home! 2 loops, stay focused. Quick cadence, proud posture. Stay conservative in the first have. 8:05 mile - don't push it past that. Stay disciplined and you will be rewarded. Steady breathing, don't forget to walk through the aid stations. 20 seconds. Remember to smile. Are we having fun yet? You bet I am. My training worked! 1 loop down, 1 to go. 6.55 miles. That's nothin'. Push the pace a little, see how it feels. Yes! Mile 10, the dreaded mile 10 - feeling great! Last mile...pick it up a little for 5 minutes...last 3...this...is...it. Done!
Okay...so that was a rough idea of what I've been doing all weekend (especially since my long run and ride were both done INdoors...booo). My heart is still racing. My palms are sweaty.
WHY AM I SO NERVOUS?!?!?
-Fear of getting stuck in T1 because I can't get my wetsuit off (which is a ridiculous fear because that has NEVER happened to me)
-Fear of mechanical on the bike
-Fear of blowing up on the run
-Fear of not being as strong on the bike as I normally am and realizing it halfway through
-Fear of not being as strong swimming (though I have a good feeling that WON'T happen because I think I'm stronger now with my distance free than I ever have been; my IM of course, sucks, but this isn't an IM event, it's a distance free. I've been doing lots and lots of sets of 500s and 400s and the fact that I'm comfortable holding a 1:34 pace for multiple 500s and it doesn't even make me out of breath is a great thing; I can't say that's ever happened for me, even when I used to swim with masters more often)
So yes, I have these fears. But I must remind myself that at the end of the day, I just want to have fun. I want to go out there and enjoy each sport, enjoy my fitness and ability to compete at this awesome event, and I want to enjoy being out there with people who love it just as much as I do. I get so competitive in my head and I start worrying about all these things, which just sets me up for disappointment.
It kind of reminds me of when I used to perform in plays as a teenager. I knew my lines. I had prepared well and I had gone through the routines endlessly. Yet right before that curtain went up, I would get SO nervous. If I could remember to remind myself that I knew what I was doing, I was well-prepared and that I was, in fact, doing this because I ENJOYED it, then everything else would follow and my performance would come off without a hitch.
So there, then. That's all I have to do. But my heart is still beating rapidly...
12 days and counting!!!!!