Friday 25 July 2014

No Regrets

So the big day is almost upon me.

Months of training over, recent crisis of confidence over, Kit check list checked, smelly trainers packed, bike checked, double checked and triple checked, nutrition eaten, more nutrition bought .... and eaten, then bought and packed. I will have forgotten something, but my list should overcome my absentmindedness (I hope). Planning is all important for me to tri (!) and keep the stress levels down. I didn't even get stressed at work this week.... just strolled through the week.

The past two Taper weeks have gone well enough. The expected onset of poor enthusiasm, feeling devoid of energy, (slight) worry that I haven't done enough and the realisation that I probably have but I'll only find out on race day are all emotions that I've read up about over the last months. I didn't experience anything like this last year for the long MTB race of Half Distance, but then I didn't have the training plan to stick to or the self-imposed expectations of the Creme de la creme of Tri distances.

I can't do any more now, so although I have done the odd training session (mainly bike at weekends and a few mid-distance runs (getting shorter) I've made a conscious effort to place myself under absolutely NO pressure with achieving times or distances. I even had a crap swim on Wednesday!! I'm still left in a really good place mentally, so I'm confident that I'll finish at least ...... that reminds me, I've only checked the bike over twice!

Any quality time I've had has been focused on relax and visualise, trying to place yourself in the day and imagine everything working smoothly. No panic in the pool (big pool!) and tagging on to a blindingly fast set of feet. Constant tail-wind on the bike would be perfect thanks. Twinkle-toes on the run with plenty of Light Blue cheers.

Yep, that's exactly how its gonna be :)

The really big think over the final week has been controlling the emotions. One minute its SHIIIIIIIT!!!! and the next its BAH, only a longer tri!! Now, I think that I'm quite a steady type of guy. Maybe I should give the keyboard over to the Missus to respond to that one! so coping with the constant ups and downs has been a bit weird to say the least.

The strangest feeling was on Monday morning this past week. A Team Mate (Name check deserved although he is Northern - Step up Mr Peter Walsh - Respect is due) completed Ironman UK in Bolton in 13:40 (dis bite a crash on the wheels). Now, reading his tremendous exploits on FB, seeing the pictures, his reaction to the experience and invaluable advice and imagining 13:40 against my name under the Finish Banner actually left me completely numb-legged. Seriously ... numb-legged. I was proper nervous and excited at the same time. That has NEVER happened to me. Never!

Keeping my mind busy has helped, so I'm pleased that I didn't take any time off work prior to this weekend. I have about 20 minutes of packing left to do now before I can take an early night ready for the early drive up tomorrow morning (Saturday).

Team Mates have been bouncing words of encouragement around FB, text and email for the last couple of days which is fabulous. Sally came up with some Limited Edition Tee-Shorts for us all, each with an individual Nick-name. Mine is The Chinaman. Reference to the bike purchase I think. Perfect :)

One almost last minute disaster for mate Ben who fell off him TT bike and along with personal injury (is there a claim there Ben?) bent the frame on his bleed'in bike. Really tough luck. Hopefully he'll have Adrenalin shots instead of Gels to see him through.

Hopefully the Live Tracker thing on the OneStepBeyond web site will show my progress. My bib number is #616.

I'll be posting images and a few more posts in the coming weeks after, so stay tuned ........

One thing is for sure. I have absolutely no regrets about starting out on this journey, the way that I’ve approached it and what (little) has had to be sacrificed by me to do it. I didn’t think that I was the type of guy to get hooked on things, let alone ‘hobbies’, but Tri isn’t only a pass-time or fad, it’s a way of life that I’ve slowly sunken into .... and I love it, so no, no regrets.

Time to put my head over the parapet and see what happens.


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