There is less than one week left to go before the race and my nerves are, understandably, out of control. I’m trying everything I’ve been told to try: visualizing the course and race day, reminding myself I can do this, focusing on other things, and embracing the fear and anxiety because they will be with me for the next six days. What is striking to me in this last week is how much the final challenges are mental, and not physical at all. We have stopped training hard and are letting our bodies rest, but now have to get our minds in the right spot. I took on this challenge because I was used to completeing difficult cerebral tasks, but not so good at those of the body. In the end, however, I am finding that my biggest hurdles are still all in my head and I am having to try and fight demons that plague me in all areas of my life (being overwhelmed at large tasks and not being able to break them down and focus on one piece at a time, anxiety over the unknown, general self-doubt). I am sure that I will learn these lessons in time, but having to tackle this part of myself is certainly an unexpected consequence of completing this goal. I am glad I have to be so introspective–as it is where my strengths lie–but I also wish I was able to break away from that for a few minutes and focus on the reality of the world around me: work, errands, meals, chores. Instead, I am totally and completely in my head and imagine I will be until sometime Sunday morning (mid-way through the swim maybe?)
Anyway, this is a total, stream of consciousness rant I probably won’t even go back and edit. I am trying to capture what this feels like so that, before furture races or months from now, I can remember exactly how nervous I was and exactly what the first time felt like. So, expect more of this un-polished, less humorous me for the next few days.