Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't burn down the Barn

T minus 36 hours till liftoff.
Musselman time!!!
Even though I have mixed feeling about this race, I can't help but love the weekend as a whole.  Am I ready?  Meh.  I'm not as fast as I was last year.  I'm not as muscled (musseled?  Eh, I made up the word anyways).  I was sidelined for 7 weeks with a busted foot.  So I'm not sure about the whole 70.3 (57.2?  Is that what you call an aquabike?)
I hate tapering.
Like most athletes, I take the week (or several, in the case of 140.6) to rest and try to recharge before racing.  To drink copious amounts of fluids (last year it was 96-97 degrees and humid for the race.  Gotta get in that edge where you can).  To put my legs up.  To stretch out.
I know it's necessary, but I have decided that the taper only serves to do 3 things:
1.  Make you feel bloated/heavy (no, I don't carb load.  (Well, okay, I carb load all year long).)  But with the reduced activity, lower fiber foods and ample liquids, you end up gaining a few pounds (water weight).  I already have about 10 extra post Ironman "water weight (heh)" pounds.  I don't want 2-3 more.
2.  Make you feel out of shape.  I had the worst bike of my life last night.  Granted, it was hot and humid.  I had my race wheels on, which I haven't rocked all year (how is this my first race?) and the indexing seems off.  The chain fell off a few times, and the flow (for lack of a better word) felt strange.  I had issues holding 16....on the downhills.  WTF?  I know this is an equipment issue still freaks me out. Which leads me to #3...
3.  Makes you second guess everything you've done.  Okay, granted, I know I am not in Ironman shape.  Not in PR shape.  But I have put in several 2-3 hour rides, 3000 yard swims, and even a few 3:30 rides (in lieu of bricks, which were not happening because of my foot).  I know I can ride 56 miles after a 1.2 mile swim.  But I feel right now like a half hour ride would be a struggle.  Not really how I want to go into the race.  And that, of course perpetuates the mind f^%k that is taper....
Am I ready?
Did I train well enough?
I should have lost those last 5 pounds!
Can I really do this?
Maybe I shouldn't race.
Maybe I should "sneak" in one last session.....
And that last one is hands down the most dangerous!  I need to trust in the fact that I CAN do this.  Will it be my fastest ever?  Nah.  Not expecting that.  But I've done the training to the best of my ability.
I can't do anymore.
But I can undo it.
One of my fellow athletes put the art of tapering eloquently, and I find myself repeating the mantra every time I feel swollen, tired, or doubtful.
The hay is in the barn (I have put my training "hay" into my body "barn")
Now all I have to do is not burn down the barn. (Cram in an extra bike, try to fit in one last run, not get enough sleep, water, rest etc.)
Deep breaths.
Today is a rest day.  Have some light yoga/stretching planned, and that's it.  Getting the bike ready (bike, please cooperate).  Getting my stuff together.
And then feet up.  Couch time.
Welcome, Mussel weekend!


  1. Good luck this weekend!! Have a blast and finish strong. So happy to read that your back on your feet again!!

  2. Tapering sucks, but you're almost there Good luck this weekend - can't wait to read all about it!