Feeling a bit under the weather this week (week 2 of a 3 week taper). It started off with a cough last week and despite copious amounts of rest last weekend, it’s not gotten much better. The fact that it’s taper time makes it a bit more difficult to rest too. Now I feel like there’s no impetus to get to sleep early for morning swims, so it’s very easy to not get enough rest during the week.
Since the first few days of taper, I haven’t really freaked out or gotten nervous about the race at all. Part of this is because its not my first rodeo. Another part is because I have the utmost faith that what I’ve done is enough to get me closer to where I want to be1. I’ve had a few moments of stupidity: for instance, I looked at last year’s times for the 25-29AG. As for why that’s stupid? Well, in a sense it takes me out of racing my race and trying to match the times of others, even though I have no idea what the conditions were last year or what the quality of the competitors was. I do have some idea of what I would consider a disappointing finish (provided that nothing I can control (e.g., pacing) goes wrong), but I don’t really want to think about what I’ll do if that happens.
Desire, conviction and knowledge have played a huge role in my training this year, especially since I returned from Wildflower:
- The desire to be better (however you define better). In this case, the desire to be competitive at a higher level, and the desire to put in the work to get there
- The conviction that the path you are following is correct, and the choices you have made are right. Boiling it down, I’ve got a firm belief that I’m doing the things that are making me better and I’m trying not to second guess myself on them
- The knowledge that what you are doing is making you better. This is really an after the fact thing, but it’s the affirmation that you are getting better through race results, key workouts, etc. I look at my 1/2 Mary PR and 5K PR happening in the same week during a normal training load with a 20 miler thrown between the two. I must be doing something right. I’m not cracking the top 1% yet, but I’m continuing to get closer.
Anytime I wish or think that I should have been doing this during college, I stop myself. Yes, I might be faster if I had been a competitive swimmer/cyclist/runner in HS/College, but I might have also gotten burnt out on them. And the fact of the matter is I wasn’t, but I’m here now. I can either regret that I didn’t know this would be a large part of my life (and yeah, sometimes I do, I’m human), or I can accept that everything I’ve done, everyone I’ve met has put me in this position. So I’m going to keep on doing what I enjoy doing now, keep on moving forward, hopefully at a bit faster pace than before.