I had my ‘holy crap, what was I thinking’ moment last week. I was showing a friend my race report from the Gateway Olympic distance I did in the spring. The swim and bike reports are good and then you get to the run report which starts like this “Holy Mary Mother of God. This run chewed me up, spit me out and took my dignity.” Then it all came back, the pain and agony of my last ‘long’ triathlon, the run was only a 10K or 6.2 miles. November 7 I will be running 13.1 miles! Because of my injury during training for this race my longest run was 8 miles and that was back in August. Thoughts of DNF (Did Not Finish) came creeping in my head.
Making matters worse this past weekend Ken, Cory and I did the Katy Firethorne relay. I swam, Ken biked and Cory ran. I am not great at swimming, biking or running but swimming is by far my favorite and most comfortable for me. However, the swim this past Sunday was my worst tri swim ever. I was in a wave with Clydesdales (men over 200 pounds). Don’t get me wrong, I love the Clydes, I just don’t like them swimming on top of me. I was swam over a few times, took a few body shots and at one point a good sized guy in front of me switched to breast stroke and I took a heel to my jaw. This swim was all about survival, not speed. My pace was 2:22 which isn’t horrible but certainly not what I was looking for. The wetsuit was also an issue. I am not a fan of clothes in general so a wetsuit is like torture for me. Most triathletes LOVE the wetsuit and the phrase “wetsuit legal” is music to their ears. Not this girl. I thought about going without but thought it would be good practice for Iron Star. Not so much. It’s not fun panicking in a cold, murky subdivision lake with a 300 pound man on top of you while you are convinced the suit designed to keep you afloat has taken on a mind of its own and is conspiring to choke you to death.
You can do this Keri! An endurance race is more mental than anything. I see constant parallels with birth and endurance sports. Preparation is extremely important, the mental game has to be there and your support team is invaluable. My body was built to give birth and I have done a very good job of it five times now. I’m not sure my body was built to do a half Ironman but I know I can do it.
I had a nice chat with my coach last week. We agreed the run is going to be a suffer-fest. It will suck. It will suck at mile 3, 6, 12, we are not sure when it will really start sucking but it will. Going into labor drug free I knew at some point it would suck and suck pretty bad. As a good friend of mine says “embrace the suck” knowing it is going to happen, acknowledging when it is happening and knowing I will get to the other side is the battle. I have 11 days to get my mind right…. To channel my inner Snoop Dog I’ve got my mind on my race and my race on my mind.