Sizing it Up

Ryan | Friday, April 29th, 2011 2 Comments

Mike, Tia and Chris, pickin' up packets.

I’m  in Paso Robles at the La Quinta Inn with my friends Chris, Tia and Mike, winding down our preparations for tomorrow’s Wildflower Long Course triathlon.  It’s 8:30 p.m. and we’re going to bed for a 5:15 a.m. wakeup call.

It’s been an exhausting two days.  Yesterday, I took the day off from work to focus on race prep and getting my head straight.  Instead, I worked from home and completed two upcoming articles for Lava Magazine Online — one of them ironically dedicated to stress management.  I went to bed last night cranky, tired and felt bad because I took it out on Stephanie.  It’s the taper, I told myself.  But still, there’s really no excuse to be a brat.

My mood continued through this morning, when I rushed out the door in a blur after submitting both articles and arriving late for our scheduled 9 a.m. caravan time.  I was frazzled and couldn’t have been further from my desired mental place a day before racing.  I needed quiet time. Badly.

However, when you travel with a group anywhere, that’s not what you’re going to get.  So, taking a lesson from one of the professional triathletes I interviewed for the stress column, I controlled the situation as best I could and got quiet within my own mind.  I thought about what I could do to have a great race, the important steps to enjoying a great race.  For once, I tried not to think about hitting a specific timeframe, which is difficult for someone as competitive as I am.

While I’m not sure how this approach will play out tomorrow, I do know it helped me today once my group and I entered the Wildflower expo area. G-d and G-dess bodies abound at the lake.  Everyone is ripped, dressed in their pre-race compression gear and looking ready to absolutely crush the course.  My friends noticed several competitors and called them out to each other, questioning whether they could beat them.  I remained silent.  I can’t control their performance.  Or anyone else’s but mind.  It doesn’t matter who’s faster than me.  What matters is did I run the best race I could, and how can I ensure I achieve my potential.

I am nervous for tomorrow morning.  Who isn’t before a big race?  But I feel prepared.  I know I belong here, along with the athletes who might look the part better than I do and even talk the talk better.  I am aware, but I am not afraid.

So for once, instead of sizing up the competition, I’m simply sizing up myself.  And, despite a hectic two days preceding the race, I like what I see.

58 days and counting.

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  1. tribeccato says:

    It is your race tomorrow! Give your race everything you have. You are prepared to be there! Perfect lead up to CDA! Enjoy the day tomorrow and I can’t wait to hear about it!

  2. TrevorD says:

    Those with kids will appreciate this more but my wife and I always joke that sometimes even adults need a ‘time out’. She would love to be sent to her room with nothing more to do than read a book or watch TV (as would I!)

    Take some time post-race and give yourself a ‘time-out’ :)

    Will be awaiting your race report. Go get ‘em.

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