It’s no secret that I am swinging violently between 1) feeling sick and fearful of the race on Sunday, and 2) being super excited to finally put my training to the test and see whether I’ve got what it takes. Sometimes I am experiencing both extremities at the exact same time.
I have struggled with the blogging this week because of it. I just can’t make my mind up what I am trying to say – am I sh*t scared and whingeing? Or am I absolutely stoked and spreading positivity? I am both. I am neither.
This morning I completed my final training session – a swim that started hard and fast, and then progressed into breast stroke and enjoyment, in a last-ditch attempt to convince myself that I love and adore swimming. It kind-of worked.
I will take the dog on a walk tonight but tomorrow’s schedule is complete rest and relaxation (aka cleaning the house and mowing the lawn)
Side note: This morning my swimming cap did not pop off my head, for the first time in about 3 weeks. I was overjoyed. The swimming leg has been (and probably always will be ) the hardest part of this sport for me. Sometimes when I imagine myself stumbling out of the water at Bribie, after completing the swim part, I get tears in my eyes. Because even envisaging it feels like overwhelming, pie-in-the-sky stuff. I am not ashamed to say that I will be trying to make a deal with the Triathlon Gods in the lead-up to Sunday, to give me some kind of a break in the water.
So that’s it, no more training for Bribie. It has been a long and eventful roller-coaster ride and I feel a bit sad to leave this first stage behind. There have been obstacles, there have been challenges, there have been mistakes, there have been doubts. If you missed it, check out the highlights.
I haven’t worried too much about resting up properly or checking final fears off my list for this race – there has been a lot of other ‘life stuff’ going on and I haven’t had the time. I also don’t think it’s necessary for my baby Bribie race – the careful planning of rest and relaxation (officially known as ‘The Taper’ in triathlon land) will be more important for phases two and three – Straddie and Noosa.
One thing I should mention is that, in checking the Bribie Tri website this week, I noticed that the bike leg is now 10km – not 6km. So 300m swim, 10km ride, 3km run. I don’t know when this changed (or whether I just read it entirely wrong when I first signed up?? Seems unlikely) but it I am glad I found out before rocking up on Sunday morning. That may have freaked me out a bit.
It’s still not a huge bike leg, and the website clearly states it’s a flat and fast course so I don’t think it will cause me any issues. I did two 15km hill sessions on the bike this week just to up my bike fitness a bit in preparation, but I am confident I will be fine. The only niggling doubt in my mind is that the 10km mark is usually past the point that I get thirsty if I am pushing hard. But then again I am also prepared to get a little dehydrated in the race, because it will be over so quickly and stopping or slowing down for water will be a waste.
Yesterday I finally made my list for packing – one for the bag of stuff that must go into Transition, and one for the bag of stuff that I will need immediately before or after the race (mum’s bag)
Frankly it was lucky that when I first signed up for triathlon I was so excited about the whole thing I made some packing lists then. Because I really wasn’t in the mood for it this week and I needed some help from former-me. AKA naive me.
In the transition bag, we have the following:
Running Socks (in case I want to change out of my sweaty cycling socks, which hopefully I wont because that will waste time)
Race belt and number
In mum’s bag:
Spare swimming Cap and the race-supplied cap
Goggles x 2
Clif Bar (energy bar)
Camera (for photos for the blog!)
Chewing gum (because I will need something to take the taste of seawater out of my mouth when I am done)
Change of clothes
Tonight I will pack both the bags and put them to the side for checking approximately 782 times before Sunday morning.
So what’s the plan? Well I can pick up my race pack tomorrow from Bribie Island if I want, or I can just grab it the morning of the race from 5.30am. I haven’t decided what option to choose yet – I’ll see how I feel tomorrow morning.
On Saturday night I have selected fish and chips for my carb-loading tea – baked whiting just done in the oven and a huge helping of sweet potato chips. Then a custard tart for dessert, to really pile on the sugar carbs.
On race day itself, I will leave the house at about 5 after a bowl of porridge, aiming to get to the race precinct at about 5.45. I will then have 45 minutes to check-in my bike, have my numbers written on my arms and do any last-minute preparation such as scoffing a Clif Energy Bar. I might pump my tyres up in this time just to be confident they’re fine.
The weather forecast is sunny with light winds – so you couldn’t ask for better really.
At 6.30 the athletes have a race briefing, and then at 6.45 the gun will go for us baby-distance racers. So hopefully mum will arrive sometime before 6.30 to take my bag of crap that I can’t run around with and don’t need in transition.
With the gun going at 6.45, I am planning to roughly finish by 7.45ish, so if you follow me on Instagram you can look out for a picture of a hot and sweaty mess collapsing onto tarmac at about that time.
I am then not allowed to take my bike out of transition until about 10am, so rather than hanging around we are going to go to breakfast at the Sandstone Point Hotel, where hopefully they will seat us outside so that I don’t stink the place out.
Then I will head back to Transition to pick up my bike and belongings, and take it all home to bask in my glory.
Before I sign off I would just like to reiterate that I still absolutely suck at Triathlon. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but there are still people out there who think I am secretly really good at this and I am just over-stating my uselessness. That is simply not the case.
I know I wont be the worst one there, because I know of people who have done this race in the past and didn’t do a single training session for it, so I expect there will be a few like that out there on Sunday. But I also know at least one person who is doing the race on the same day as me, as a warm-up for a proper triathlon they are doing the week after – and they are an absolute freak superstar who you may miss crossing the finish line if you blink.
So I’ll likely be in the middle, or maybe the back of the middle.
Training has been a blast and I am grateful to have got this far. All I can hope is that nothing goes wrong externally, and it all comes down to me. Because it is time to see what I am made of.