Thursday, April 28, 2011

A different racing mindset

I have a race, St Anthony's Triathlon, scheduled for this Sunday and I'm not ready to race. I haven't run due to various injuries in about a month. The air temperature in St. Petersburg (the Florida flavor not the Russian flavor) is supposed to be about 90 (not so perfect for a north easterner that hasn't seen heat vapors off the asphalt in quite some time). The race website says the water temperature is currently between 80 and 81 so prepare for a non wetsuit swim. I've raced non wetsuit swim before (see 2010 Eagleman70.3) and I really don't want to do it again (full disclosure: I am a fairly confident swimmer with a wetsuit but a mental wreck without one). Seeing that my foot/calf injuries have limited the amount of kicking I can do, it won't be pretty without neoprene.

StA is flat and racers are rewarded from spending time on the bike aero. Before I shipped my bike the other day I went for a ride with the expectation of staying aero for a while. I realized this was the first time that I tried to ride in that position on my race bike since I broke my wrist last summer. Luckily (or unluckily based on your perspective) I found out that my left wrist no longer was able to be in the position with my aerobars comfortably. Off to the bike store I went and we found some new bars that seem to work. We'll find out for real Sunday.

A month ago I would have predicted that I would have expectations/mindset of setting PRs and the like. I would be getting all nervous since my weight isn't where I want it to be. I would be freaking out on minutia that I couldn't control (like the temperature of the air and water). This would be not a happy place. So, why am I even doing this race?

I'll be swimming in open water on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (during the race). Mrs. Rock Star is joining me for the weekend (the kids are staying with Grandma and Grandpa) and we might take in a Rays game on Friday night. I'm doing this race with Team in Training (my 17th event with the team) so we have all of those festivities throughout the weekend too.

But somehow, my mindset is "I get to race, I don't have to race." I'm going to do what I can do and learn from it. If they let me wear a wetsuit with the non competitive folks, I will take the trade of starting in the last wave for a wetsuit. If it is too warm for that option, I'll slog through the swim. I'm going to bike like there is no run afterwards. With the run, DrLarry - who has ARTed up a storm on my leg - recommended to start slow (potentially even walking out transition) then see what is there. It is a different race mindset for me but I think the right one given where I am physically.

Of course it is possible that a cold front will come in, drop the water temperature 5 or 6 degrees, the air temperature about 10, miraculously cure my calf and my ankle. If that happens, great. If not, still great.



10 comments:

Kate said...

What a great perspective to keep in a situation where the ONLY thing you can control is your mindset. Have a great weekend and a great race!

Karen said...

Have a great race! I have a couple of friends heading down there to do it as it is a relatively short drive from Atlanta. Wetsuit or not, you will do great - don't let not having neoprene get in your head!

Caratunk Girl said...

It is funny how when we hit the reset button on our outlook on things how much it helps. Good luck in the race and stay healthy!

Deb said...

Have a great race! And great is largely defined by your attitude towards it. Not every race can be a PR and sometimes we learn more from the tough races then the easy ones.

Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

Heather said...

Have fun this weekend and do good.
"You get to race." That reminder never gets old!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Have fun and enjoy it!!!

Al's CL Reviews said...

I love your outlook! You get to race! And don't forget, have fun!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

The only thing you have control over is your attitude and that is race ready!

Teamarcia said...

It sounds like you've thought this race thru very well. Best of luck with it!

Julie said...

Hi Rock Star,
Well, at least I am not the only one not ready for a race:) We will enjoy the benefits of character building moments. Good luck to you!