As I look back at my training posts from this year, or really all my posts, because I feel like it's mostly what I talked about... they seem a bit negative. It's been a tough training cycle, which I haven't been shy about. And here I am, under a week to go, and all of that is starting to shake away and I just feel happy.
I've done everything I can do to prepare, with 6 days to go, there's not much else left to do. I've put in the work to get my body where it needs to be. I've started to organize my things to take with me. I've been focusing on the mental aspect, relaxation, and positivity. I have my major gear prepared. And I am feeling ready.
This weekend I had a lot of fun, and with lighter workouts, I felt less pressure on myself to have my whole weekend be about training. It did end up being tons of race prep stuff, but I felt more relaxed and less anxious. I went to the opera for the first time ever on Friday night and saw Romeo and Juliet. The whole thing was sung and it was all in French. I wasn't sure if I would like it, but I did. And I put on a flowy dress I've only ever worn to a wedding and black heels and pulled out a shawl I hadn't worn since I lived in Italy. I felt pretty. I felt strong. I drank a glass of champagne and caught up with a friend who has nothing to do with triathlon and I don't think has any idea I am doing this race next weekend.
On Saturday after my workout, I met friends for lunch at Ponce City Market, something we've been talking about for weeks but schedules haven't allowed it. I planned for the day to be my "high calorie" day of the week, so I ate what I wanted without worry. We tried out a Moroccan restaurant and I had kebab, pita, beet salad, eggplant, sweet potato fries, and then a chocolate sea salt popsicle from King of Pops for dessert.
My two friends and I wandered around and sat outside, enjoying the sunshine and beautiful day and talking. I was with Brick and Janet, who are both friends I have made through running but whose friendships have transcended to much more than running. It was comfortable and easy and I am hoping for many more days like this in the future.
It was a good weekend.
I food prepped for the week, started to organize my things for the race, made lists, did laundry, and put together piles of things I need.
I feel calm and relaxed and so excited to take on this race.
When I was hanging out with Brick and Janet, Brick told me she was telling someone about my upcoming race and they asked how long I had been training for it. She said her reply was, "I think she has been training her whole life for it."
In a sense that's true. I have always been a swimmer. I went about trying to run a 5K with the idea in my head that I wanted to do a sprint triathlon. That is why I started running. I never imagined I would be purely a runner. A triathlete is what I aspired to.
When I was on my bike on Saturday, and it was such a gorgeous day out, I saw a vision of myself doing another Half Ironman for the first time. I felt a little surprised, laughed to myself, and thought to myself, "Oh, lord... not again..." because that tiny seed was planted for the first time. Seriously, had you asked me any other single day before Friday, and I would have told you - absolutely not. It is too hard and too much of a time commitment. This is it for me - one and done. I am not doing an Ironman and I am not doing more than this race. But the seed has been planted for another race and I haven't even done this one. This is how it starts :)
Earlier this week I also started to get excited about the idea of doing group rides and group swims and training again. I think I am going to join a local triathlon club AFTER my race is over. Backwards and crazy you may think? You're probably right, but I guess I just need my own way of doing things.
I am excited for this race and to see what I am made of and what I have in me. I'm also really proud of myself. I feel like I finally see clearly about how much work I really did put in and how hard it was and all that I had going on while training for this race. The day is almost here and I am really excited. I have prepared and trained as best I can. Just 6 days to go!