“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place”
I just finished up one of my final “long” training workouts before next weekend’s triathlon. With less than a week til the big day, my nerves are starting to hit and I’m at that point where I need to focus on the mental side of the race, no longer just the physical.
One thing that always helps me mentally prepare for a race is reflecting on past races – almost self-storytelling of successes and failures, the hilarious moments and the ones that taught me something valuable. Some of my favorites:
When preparing for my very first triathlon, I became pretty good at lap swimming – in a pool. I had no clue how different it would be in open water but I quickly found out on race day. The upside of swallowing half of Big Detroit lake, being kicked and scratched by fellow swimmers and treading water several times amidst panic I’d never finish? I learned what to expect and how the most important thing I can do is keep calm.
There’s a saying that goes something like, “Triathlons are one of the only sports where you get faster with age…because you can afford a nicer bike.” Truth. I’ve always had a reasonably nice bike (a hybrid) and I’m excited this year that I’ll be riding a true road bike because it makes a huge difference. I’ve been passed by riders with super nice bikes and, conversely, I’ve cruised by riders who are struggling on mountain bikes. Granted, I’ve trained a lot harder this year but I’m looking forward to seeing how the nicer bike affects my overall race time.
I was never concerned with the running portion of a triathlon. Running is my thing. I just do it, without thinking. Kind of like I’m on autopilot. So it’s not surprising that there was one time I started to leave the transition area for the running portion of the race, still wearing my bike helmet. Guess I was in the zone!
As I mentally prepare over the next few days, it would help to read more of these types of stories. I want to hear from all my blogging and social media friends – something funny or great or embarrassing has likely happened to you while training or during a race. Whether or not you learned from it, I want to hear it! I’d love for everyone to comment below or, if it can be told in fewer than 141 characters, tweet me @runlikeagirl311.