I’m really struggling to get out the door today. I had an opportunity hours ago to get out on the road and complete my long run for the week. Yesterday I had a slight detour with a planned 60 mile ride ending up being 110 miles. My legs are tired, my skin is burned, and my body is drained. In reality, no one would know if I didn’t do this run but me. No one would have any idea. No one is asking what I am doing day after day. I’m not posting my Garmin files on my facebook page or updating my twitter every time I get out the door. I have no training partner that I need to text to say I am bailing. It is just me.
Despite this reality, I will make it out the door just as I always do. I will start this training session and most likely just a few minutes in I will be stoked to be out and running. Even though I have nothing holding me to the training, I have done it all, eighteen hours this week, week after week, month after month. Just today it is taking a little longer than usual to muster the inspiration. While no one would know if I skipped it except me, I am the only one who matters. I want to go into competition with confidence in my preparation and with everything I have done so far, I will have no doubts in my ability.
Just a couple days ago I had a breakthrough run with my strength training showing its effect. My stride felt strong, controlled, and efficient. “In a House, In a Heartbeat” by John Murphy pumped away in my ears with connotations that only a zombie Apocalypse movie can inspire. My breathing fell in rhythm with the song and I imagined the upcoming race, the goal split, the controlled effort, and the zombies chasing me down. I realized what powerful of a tool music is thanks to my new Mp3 played my dad just bought me.
This year I have unintentionally adopted a different attitude towards racing. I am racing Olympic Distance Nationals in August and with the exception of one tune-up race in mid July, that is it. With being offered a job working with the Setup Events crew, I will be busy most race weekends working instead of racing. It is a blast working with them and so much fun spectating the excitement of the triathlon atmosphere. As much as I love racing, it is refreshing to have a break from the 12+ races I have done year after year for the previous six seasons. I have a different attitude towards racing as well. This puts a lot of pressure on each individual race. I know the exact dates of when they are and I know the courses well. All my training has one particular focus rather than a unseen endpoint. It’s exciting to be this excited for a race that is over a month away.
On the flip side, with all my training focused on one race, a poor performance could be difficult to handle. A flat tire or a rough day could be devastating mentally. With two races in sight, I pray that everything goes well. My preparation is there though so I have to abandon worry about everything else and take care of everything that is in my control.
I spend all weekend looking at results from the races all over the country. I see my friends absolutely crushing it, taking the podium spots. It is teasing and I want to race but it really makes me excited for July 15 and August 18. I feel like I’m lurking in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to strike. If I can race even close to as good as training has been going, I am going to have some fun in those two races.