In less than 48 hours (I hope), I will be basking in the glow of accomplishment, with some awesome new bling around my neck.
Right now, I'm shaking in my boots. Except I'm barefoot at the moment, so I'm just shaking in my skin. Whatever...the bottom line is I'm thinking about the race and getting scared. In order to conquer my fears, I think I need to identify exactly what I am and am not afraid of happening. So here goes!
THINGS I DO NOT FEAR:
1. Being slow. I just am slow. I've made my peace with it.
2. Coming in last. This sort of goes with #1. If all goes well, I don't think I'll be in very last place, but you never know what can happen on race day! As long as I finish, I honestly don't care if I'm dead last...just as long as I'm not dead.
3. Looking ridiculous. (There is one narrow exception to this, which I will cover in the next section.) I know I look rough when I run, and I'm pretty sure I make a bunch of odd, pained faces on the bike. Some of these ridiculous expressions might be photographed for posterity. Such is life.
4. Taking breaks. I took breaks during my open water swim practice, so I'm prepared to do it in the race also. And obviously I'm going to need some breaks on the bike, and I've accepted the fact that I will have to walk parts of the run as well. Whatever it takes to get to the finish line...I will slow down to catch my breath, but I will keep moving forward.
5. Drowning. If I can swim in the Bay, I can swim in the lake. It might be unpleasant, but I'm pretty sure I can survive it. Probably.
THINGS I DO FEAR:
1. Crashing on my bike -- into another bike, into a car, or just all by myself. Bike accidents can be serious and I don't have a whole lot of experience yet, so this scares me.
2. Wardrobe malfunction -- my tri shorts are tiiiiight. I know they're supposed to be tight, but on me that spandex is working overtime, if you know what I'm saying. And you're not supposed to wear underwear in a race because they'd get wet during the swim and then not dry. So my fear is that I will move the wrong way, and the spandex will cry "Uncle!" and I'll end up with a gaping hole in my shorts that introduces the general public to way more of me than anyone ever needs to see. This is the exception to #3 above, and if it happens, I may have to live as a hermit for the rest of my life.
3. Forgetting something -- I will rack my bike tomorrow, and then bring the rest of my gear Sunday morning. I will make lists and practice transitions and check my bag a zillion times. I will still forget something. I just hope it's not something super necessary, like my timing chip. Or running shoes. Or helmet. Or MIND.
4. Panic -- I have some very specific fears, and then I'm also trying to mentally prepare myself for any number of other things that could go wrong. I want to stay relaxed and roll with the punches, but I'm afraid that something completely unexpected will happen, and it will throw me off my mental game and I just won't be able to cope. Unfortunately I'm not a very laid-back person, and I'm rather inclined to panic. This could easily be my undoing.
5. Vomit -- I hate to vomit. I'd rather keep the feelings of nausea for hours on end than vomit and feel better. I've always been this way. I'm a little nervous that race day jitters + physical exertion could = vomit. Scary.
6. Getting disqualified -- There are a lot of rules in this race, especially for the bike portion. I've read over them a few times and tried to commit them to memory, but I'm afraid I will accidentally do something stupid and end up DQ'd. I hope they are generally pretty patient with first-timers!!!
I think that about sums it up. At least I'm not afraid of everything, right?