Waiting to exhale

May 4, 2007 at 9:23 pm (getting physical)

My birthday on Wednesday couldn’t have been better, but on Thursday, the fear set in. I am now thinking about the race every second of every day. When I should be typing, I’m planning out my transitions (again). In the middle of meetings, I sit making yet another checklist. As I shower, I think about technique. I worry that I haven’t trained enough. I worry that something will break. I worry that I’ll be lost, or late, or just plain weak.

I know that I shouldn’t do this to myself. This obsessing will hurt, not help me on race day. But knowing that rationally just has me thinking about how I shouldn’t be thinking about it. And that’s worse than thinking about it.

You would expect that after months of training – months of running, swimming, or biking nearly every day – I would relish this taper week. My run was supposed to be a 20 minute run/walk. My bike was supposed to be 20 minutes on flat terrain. My swim was supposed to be 15 minutes with 30 second rests every 100m. And yet I find myself pining away for long runs and brick workouts. Today at Avery, the water felt like a bath – warm and welcoming compared to the chilly day. My stroke felt natural and comfortable, straight and even. My shoulder felt good. I swam a couple hundreds with my eyes closed, thinking of murky open water. And it was what it was supposed to be. But 20 minutes (I just couldn’t limit myself to 15) isn’t enough. I need more. I need miles and miles of road and lap after lap of swimming. Because it is only when I am actively working towards this goal that my mind can wander to something else. And what I want most right now, what I need most, is to breathe and not think.

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