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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Augusta 70.3 - T Minus 7 Days

I am going to try something different for this race. I am experiencing a lot of anxiety for some reason, so to combat this I am going to attempt a 7 day entry countdown to the race and just get down in writing the feelings I am having. We will see if this works.

I have to say that the race has been in the front of my mind all day. Even while watching my beloved, yet frustrating, Dolphins go down to the hated Jets, my mind was occupied on my mental "list", making sure there was nothing I was missing. 

Have I bought enough nutrition?

Do I have the right kind?

Do I need to have another ear plug back up?

Are three sets of prescription goggles enough? Should I have bought a fourth pair??

I haven't worn my wet suit in a race since St. Anthony's. Should I have worn it in the pool to make sure it is good to go?

So much to think about ... 

I have my transition mat laid out in my living room already and have placed items on it I know I am going to need but that I am not needing to use for the next three taper days. So far it has my wetsuit on it, my timing chip ankle strap, two pairs of ear plugs, and my TNT visor for the run. I will keep adding to this over the next three days, and Wednesday night pack everything up. I will go over what is being packed three, four, five times, and I know I will still forget something. That's how races go, and that's why they have the Expo's for days beforehand. For people like me. 

We received our taper week schedule from KC and will be dialing it down this week. Just some light spinning and running and swimming, all based on time and not distance. Just keeping the muscles loose and ready to go. Nothing done in the week before a race is going to effect your race performance. The 5 months leading up to this is what matters. We went and did a metric century ride yesterday in Clearwater, including 12 bridges. It was a hard ride, but one I needed to do. I know now I can power up a bridge, even when my legs are screaming at me, and my energy stores are at zero. It does wonders for your psyche to get it under your belt. At least for me ...

... unless it's the swim of course ... 

I can do miles of swimming in training. I have no problem with the distance. 2000 meters (1.2 miles) is easy for me. I have swum twice that distance ... 

... in the pool ... 

Doing this in a race has always been a problem. For the last 5 months I have been told by many people that this swim is not a problem.

"It's in a river and it's downstream JC. This is easy!!"

"You'll be in a wetsuit ... not even an issue!"

"Everyone is 5-10 minutes faster than their normal pace JC. You'll be fine!!"

And yet the swim still scares the hell out of me. I know this is stupid, but I have had a weird "premonition" since I was very young that I was going to die by drowning (probably why my dumb ass joined the Navy). It's a real fear of mine. I hear others say how they panic in the water too, but they are able to get their face in the water and swim. When I panic, my breathing ... well ... my breathing STOPS. And once that happens it is impossible to get it under control. I have dealt with this in other races by being able to get in the water and acclimate for a good amount of time before the race starts. That was my main issue at Florida 70.3 this year. The first time I entered that nasty water was when I was getting ready to start. And this is no different. There is no pre-swim. When it is time for your wave, you jump in off the floating dock, and 1 minute later the horn blows. God help me.

So, bear with my ramblings for the next few days as I lead up to this race. I am sure that once the race starts and I am deep in it I will be fine. I have done my training. I know my run sucks, but I am pretty certain my bike is good, so I should be able to finish. My main goal is to beat my Florida time (8:37:14). If I meet my pace goals I should beat this by an hour, but if not ... oh well ... 

There's always next season right?