Dealing with the Jitters

Posted: June 12, 2011 in In Transition
Tags: , ,

Finally, my triathlon race season begins tomorrow and, at last, I get a chance to let the big dogs run.  The last few weeks have been somewhat tedious as I have begun a slight taper for the Welland Half Iron in another couple weeks at the end of the month.  Therefore, most of my workouts at this point have been at a slow, easy recovery pace. There have been some good fast tempo and speed workouts here and there but, mostly, I’m just maintaining my fitness level now before the Big Show.

Time to beat: 17:48

Tomorrow, however, is my first ‘official’ triathlon of the season, so it’s my ‘tune up’ event if you will. It’s only a shorter distance Olympic course (1200m swim, 33k bike, 7.5k run) which is something I rarely have a chance to do anymore being more of a long course guy now.  So, tomorrow, I get to do something I seldom get to do – go fast!

Finally.

Last year I competed in this same event with two of my lighter, fitter training partners, both of whom caught and passed me on the run course (not too surprising really). But I’m 28 lbs. lighter now and have worked hard on my run over the past few months, being able to now maintain a pretty steady pace – on tired legs no less. In addition, I have dedicated lots of focus to my swim technique in recent months as well as being on the right path to successfully figuring out my ideal race nutrition strategy. Furthermore, I’m way more skilled on the bike.  Winning.

So why am I so nervous?  Seriously, forget the ‘butterflies’, my stomach feels like it’s full of pissed-off pterodactyls.  This is particularly odd because I’m usually much more relaxed than this before race time.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been weaning myself off the herbal delights lately, or maybe it’s because I’ve placed more expectations on myself this year.  It’s no longer ‘compete to complete’ as the saying goes, now I’m competing to kick some serious ass, and that’s a significant difference.

Time to beat: 1:01:20

As you may recall, one of my secret ‘fitness goals’ this year is to whoop, err, stay ahead of my training peers.  I have an immense amount of respect for the people I train with, and they consistently motivate me to get better; go faster; travel longer; you get the idea.  As such, my ability to shorten that time in which I finish behind them is constantly in the back of my head as a different means of measuring my own personal fitness level.  I wish them all well, of course, and I will be equally pleased for them should they manage to catch me, but, secretly, I want to finish ahead of them this year – even if just once – and this is probably going to be my only opportunity to go for it this season.

The game plan, as of this morning, is to get out front early in the swim and then stay out front. Given the way my training has been going lately, those same peers will need to be ready to suffer if they ever want to catch me. To boot, there’s a good chance of thunderstorms tomorrow and, as much as that might suck for some, I tend to perform well in the harsher weather conditions given that I am a glutton for self-punishment in that I train in all types of weather all year round anyway.  I wonder how confident they feel cycling into the eye of a storm, or running in a torrential downpour, because that’s just another average training day in my world.

Time to beat: 41:46

But be all that as it may, I’m still full of nervous excitement and anxiety for tomorrow’s race in Woodstock, Ontario.  I am really looking forward to race this course again as it’s a great ‘season opener‘ for me.  As of this morning, I shaved my ‘taper beard’ so I’m all nice and aero now in the facial department (Sorry, Tim), my gear is all sorted and packed, I’ve queued up my pre-race ‘pump up’ soundtrack*, so, really, it’s just one more spaghetti dinner, perhaps a slow stretch this evening in the garden and an early morning wake up before it’s:

“Flight Phat420, this is Mission Control, prepare to initiate launching sequence…”

* Tomorrow’s pre-race warm-up soundtrack:

  1. Knight Moves  by Gonzales
  2. Lose Yourself  by Eminem
  3. Mercy  by Plants & Animals
  4. Hells Bells‘  by AC/DC
  5. Sgt. MacKenzie  by Joseph Kilna MacKenzie
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Comments
  1. Doreen says:

    Good Luck Terry, I am sure you will do well.

  2. Kelly says:

    Good luck tomorrow Terry ! I’ll be rooting for you 🙂

  3. Lori Pajtasz says:

    Looking forward to the race report.

  4. Aquaman says:

    Best of luck to you. Let’s see all of that work pay off 🙂

  5. Jeffy Rhodes says:

    best of luck terry … was wondering when i ran it was ahrd to pick out a playlist to go with the pace Is that what you do with your playlist to adjust your pace ?

    • Sometimes Jeff, but not always. I run to my heart rate so pacing in music isn’t so important with me. Today’s soundtrack wasn’t about getting into pace so much as it was getting into my head.

  6. Ellen Eastwood says:

    It’s very refreshing to hear you so honest about wanting to beat your training mates. Go get ’em, Terry! ee

    • Thanks Ellen, I promised myself to be honest through this process, and that is one of my fitness goals. It’s good that my training peers are as gracious in defeat as they are in victory, although no one really looses…it’s more a pride thing on just having made it to the starting line. On any given race day, things can change and go very differently…

  7. Carolyn H. says:

    Terry, I’m really impressed with the amount of hard work and dedication you’ve put in to your training. I’m sure you will kick serious ass today. Your head seems to be in the right place and your drive to annihilate your peers is so strong, I’m sure you’ll succeed. Looking forward to hearing how it goes. Carolyn

  8. Roger says:

    GOD SPEED TO YOU MAN

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