So this is it. On Sunday I will compete in my first ever half-ironman. I am pretty much scared shitless right now. I am also really excited and psyched to see what happens. I feel like I am under-trained for sure, and I don’t really know what to expect.
My main fear is drowning in Lake Michigan. I was doing so well with the swimming throughout the beginning of training, but when things got hectic with the wedding and the summer, the pool was the first thing to go. It also doesn’t help that the last two times I have gone to the Y to swim, the pool was closed. What really worries me most, though, is that I have done exactly zero open water swims. I am afraid that once I get into the 66 degree water with all of the other people and the waves, I will forget everything I know about swimming and just hang on for dear life. I know I need to just stay calm and find a rythm, so that is what I will focus on.
The bike I think I can handle. It won’t be fast, and I will probably be the only one there without aerobars (I don’t have the coordination and balance for that), but I know I can make it. I do have an irrational fear of getting lost out on the bike course, but I’m sure that is nearly impossible. My other fear has to do with the whole grabbing of the full water bottles while riding situation (see above about the coordination). I feel like I got in a good number of long rides, and I can go the distance.
The run is sort of a crapshoot. I did do one 56 mile bike to 5 mile run workout, and it went ok. I felt like I could keep up a slow running pace for quite a while. I also did one 13 mile run and felt pretty good. If I can manage to take in enough calories on the bike and not get sick, I think I will be ok. It may not be pretty, but I am confident I will cross the finish line, and hopeful that I will learn a lot about myself. I have no expectations when it come to finish times. I have an approximate time in my head that will be doable if everything goes well, but I will not be disappointed if I don’t make that time. It is really just an estimate, not a goal. My goal is to finish and have fun.
I tend to be scared of the unknown, hesitant to try new things because I don’t know if I will be able to do it. In these situations I’ve found that I just need to get over myself and go for it. I am not the only one who will be doing this for the first time, and everybody has to start somewhere. I keep telling myself that I don’t know what I can accomplish until I do it, and I oftentimes end up surprising myself. I will return early next week with a race report and hopefully a finishers medal.