Signing up for a race is always a really big step for me, it’s the official sign of commitment and when I hit the “submit” button I’m promising myself that I’ll do the best I can and RACE. No matter what I say, or write for that matter, I don’t race “for fun” and I don’t decide to sign up “for the experience of doing it”. I register for a race because I want to do the best I can do, and unless I walk away feeling as though there’s nothing that I could have done better given the circumstances I walk away still hungry. Starving, even, and probably crabby, too.
My coach requires that all new athletes fill out a questionnaire, and one of the first questions is to describe your goals. I stated my primary goal as: Complete IMC 2012 with a smile on my face and having raced at my absolute best. I want to feel good and strong through the whole race, but when I cross the finish line I also want to feel unable to take a single step further. My favorite part of racing is the feeling of knowing that at the end I couldn’t have done one bit better (gone one bit harder or faster).
In my brain I don’t truly believe that the all or nothing is the best approach, but in execution that’s how I function and try as I might it’s not something I’ve been able to change. The moment I decide that I’m in, I’m much more like IN and despite unstoppable forces I’m quite likely to find a way to make things happen. Is not being able to walk post-race smart? No, but if I can walk too well my mind translates that as energy that could have been better spent.
I just registered for my first 70.3. It’s in 9 days. For the past couple of months I’ve been telling myself I could off-the-couch it, but now that my credit card has been charged and my name is on the registrants list I’m nervous. Very nervous. Completing the race isn’t good enough for me anymore. I want to keep my momentum strong and I want to race well. Heck, I’d like to actually place well too if we’re being honest!
This tentative race has been what the training calendar has been leading up to since August, but now that it’s real and here I’m nervous that I won’t live up to my own hopes and expectations. I’ve been working hard, really hard, but have I been working hard enough? Have I made every bit of training count? Have I put in the effort everywhere I can? Any normal person would undoubtably say “yes” to all of the above, but I can’t, yet. I have 9 more days to stick to the plan and then hopefully I’ll be able to report back with a non-crabby race review to prove to myself that I too can answer “yes” to all of my own questions.