So track me, maybe!
That will be my bib number for IM CDA this Sunday!
As I was pulling through a relaxing swim set this evening (well, as relaxing as swimming in bath water can be when there is a heat wave!) I got to thinking about what my mantra for the race would be. I find it very helpful to have a catch phrase of sorts for long training blocks, and then on race day I draw on that. This training block was a little different. Leading up to this weekend there were no time goals written on my bathroom mirror. No quote about how much you can learn when you’ve broken yourself down. I think one of the biggest reasons for that was, unlike the past 2 IM races I’ve completed within a year, I was prepping for this one alone. And no – by no means was I an island of one for all my workouts – but, I didn’t have Ryan or any of my other triathlon friends in Baltimore with this race on their calendar. That changes things. I am lucky that I still had company fairly often. But, I was left to do a lot of the long hours on my own.
To get through a lot of those hours I had to take my eyes off of the long term goal of the race itself. I didn’t worry about what my time goals were. I didn’t worry about the fact that for a month straight I would be falling asleep before 9, constantly hungry, and unable to comprehend anything other than tasks at work or those that had “swim,” “bike,” or “run” and some kind of pace suggestion. Instead, I just focused on each day, one at a time. Sometimes one workout at a time. Sometimes one stroke at a time.
I’m certainly not the first person to discover this secret, but this is the first time where week after week I was focused on the short term rather than the long term. And in doing so, I found that I was really able to be within each workout. I enjoyed the process of training more because I wasn’t constantly stressed out about what was around the corner.
When I thought about this, it brought me back to one moment from last fall. This is a moment I still get goosebumps when I think about, and when I close my eyes I can see still Hillary jumping up and yelling over the metal barrier. She had just learned that I had a flat on the second loop of the bike, and was yelling at me to keep my head in the race.
The words helped take me away from a world of thoughts of the time that I had lost, girls who had gone by, and the hours still to come. It put me right back in the moment that I was in. That is my goal for this weekend – to stay in the moment and keep focused on what I am doing, right then. Moment by moment I will build my race.
And I can’t wait!