I went ahead and signed up for the Lake Royale Sprint Triathlon this Saturday, despite the long list of reasons why I didn’t think it was a great idea.
I’ve been out on the bike twice this week and I’m stronger than I was in my first race–I’m working in my big chain ring now, anyway.
Plus, I bought new shoes and a new pair of compression shorts, and Hans drove out to check out the lake with me last Sunday and it’s much less scary than Lake Washington was. It’s smaller and friendlier! Mary and I are going together to packet pick-up tomorrow night and we’ll have a chance to get in the water to see how cold seventy degrees really is. I’ve spent lots of time visualizing myself being relaxed and purposeful in the water and successfully completing the swim. I’ve also spent a little bit of time feeling the panic rise in my body and mind and visualizing how I will calm myself down if that happens for real on Saturday.
I’ll be starting in the last wave, composed of all women age 35 and older. I would have preferred to have the race waves ordered from older to younger the way Danskin does, so that I wouldn’t be the slowest racer AND starting in the last wave. I wrote to the organizers to tell them I think I’m likely to be the last finisher and that I would prefer they not hold the awards ceremony on my account, but one of them wrote back and said, “don’t worry about it; just have fun.” Yeah, like having 299 participants and all the organizers, support, and families waiting for you to finish is fun!
But we will see. Maybe I won’t be last. Maybe I’ll surprise myself. Maybe I’ll remember to keep my body relaxed and efficient. Maybe I’ll keep my breathing more controlled at the beginning of the swim and maybe I’ll stick to my run/walk schedule instead of allowing myself to walk whenever I feel discouraged. Maybe I won’t feel discouraged. Maybe I’ll speak to myself (in my head and out loud as may be needed ;)) in supportive, encouraging ways. Maybe, I’ll choose to have fun.
I think I can choose that.