Officially Becoming a Triathlete

Officially Becoming a Triathlete

by Sarah F.

THURS – Little over a week to go.  Coach Suzy is already working on my schedule for next week…I’m excited to see what race-prep workouts she’s going to lay out for me.  Nerves are starting to get in my system and butterfly-feeling hits whenever I think about the race.  Ran 1200’s at track workout tonight.  Wow, those were tough!

FRI – Swam in open water tonight.  Could feel hips sinking and hear Coach Suzy in my mind telling me to “picture those hips rising!!”  Practiced tri-sighting…almost ran into 1) a kid, 2) a kayak, 3) a dock.  (So much for sighting!)  Body’s still aching from some tough workouts this week.

SAT – Recovery day!  Spend some quality time with the family…it seems limited some days from all of the training.  Feeling blessed to have such a supportive husband and family.  Phil graciously takes on solo-parenting duty a lot when I’m off doing workouts.

SUN – Exhausting Brick today.  Suzy said it’s my last tough workout before the race, thank heavens!!  Legs are tired and fatigued beyond belief!

MON – Nerves are getting the best of me, stomach is churning constantly, and I am doubled-over half the day.  Went for open water swim tonight, but feeling nervous overall!

TUES – More of the same.  Where did that feeling of excitement for this race go?!  I’m now feeling so sick to my stomach that I’m feeling like I might not be able to race at all.  Maybe a good night’s sleep will help…

WED – Finally broke through today, and reminded (tried to convince, at least!) myself that I am doing this for FUN!  No other reason!  Who cares where I place, or how I do compared to all the other athletes?  Am feeling much better with this realization.  Now if I can just keep convincing myself of this until Saturday.  (Suzy reminds me of this when we speak on the phone tonight, that this is for “fun,” period!)

THURS – Recovery day!  Phew!  Feeling pretty relaxed.  I am now looking at Saturday’s race as a really cool workout!  And that is it—nothing more!  This seems to be working…

FRI – I travel to the race site with my family, and meet up with my parents.  (My dad is doing the triathlon with me; it is also his first time doing one!)  We check out the transition area, and the lake…  Wow, there are actually little whitecaps on the lake, and the wind is blowing pretty fierce!  We head to our B&B, and change into our swimsuits for a swim clinic being held at the race site.  It’s freezing when we get there.  Thank heavens the water temp is still reading around 77 degrees!  We meet Suzy and Joe after the clinic—hooray!  I’m so excited to see my coach!  We pick up take-out dinner on the way home, and suddenly the night starts taking a downturn.  My dinner isn’t what I ordered, so I end up eating a cup of Lucky Charms.  The kids are tired & so am I.  Phil and I put the kids to bed, and our youngest decides she doesn’t want to sleep.  It’s now 1 a.m., and I’m curled up on the floor of our room, sobbing.  Lily is still awake and LOUD!  I can’t fall asleep, but I am so exhausted.  “How am I ever going to get through this race tomorrow?” I keep asking myself.  Mentally, I can’t possibly be in a worse place.  I’m ready to throw in the towel & head home, except that Suzy and Joe drove all the way to this race to cheer me on and support me.  I just can’t let them down!  Finally sleep comes for 45-60 minutes then I’m up again.  Ugh, this night really sucks.

SAT – Up before the alarm clock!  3:55a.m.  May as well get up and face the music.  Feeling completely drained and tired, and mentally exhausted.  I eat some more Lucky Charms, and then my dad and I drive to the race.  We get there fairly early, so I get to take LOTS of time setting up my transition area.  Aahhh…now I’m starting to feel better.  Then Coach Suzy is there, and starts helping me get my mental game going.  I’m feeling calmer, though I’m also ready to start crying at pretty much any moment.  I’m SO emotional this morning!!  Suzy reassures me it’s an emotional day, so this is okay.  Before I know it, I’m lined up with my start wave.  We just saw my dad off in his wave—how cool to see him looking so excited!  (I’m so proud of him!)  Suzy gives me a final hug, and a few more words of encouragement and keeping things in perspective (The swim is my warm-up!  Take it easy out there!  And remember, this is all about having FUN!)  The horn blast goes off, and I’m swimming into my first full triathlon experience… and I am hooked.

Enjoy the Evergreen Triathlon photos at ET Photo.

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