Monday, March 25, 2013

"Where you at?"

I am the one hidden behind the guy in the white shirt.  Notice the Batman socks.

Race season is almost here! In just under two weeks, I will be traveling down to Galveston, Texas to race the 70.3 there. This will be the first race of the season for me, which makes me nervous.

The race is one giant question mark. Having not raced since November (my local 10k Turkey Trot) and having not done a complete 70.3 since Word championships in September, I am not sure where I am at physically and how well I am going to do, my age group is a stacked with plenty of stellar athletes from across the country and some international blokes also making an appearance. The caterpillars of doubt, who have been wrapped up snuggly in their cocoons since last year,  are starting to emerge as butterflies in my stomach (and I still have two weeks left till race day!). My feelings of doubts and nerves hit me particularly hard and it felt like there was a mass hatching yesterday during my long run followed by a local 5k.

I typically like to listen to podcasts on my zone 2 runs and, especially, the Rich Roll podcast. Today, however, although the podcast was playing, my mind was miles away in Texas. "Who was going to be at Galveston?...Are they faster than I am?...I bet they are...There is no chance I will race well...I haven't ridden outside in months, just miles on the trainer...I am simply not ready...maybe I don't have what it takes..." and so forth. I noticed that with each successive thought I was pushing my pace and my heart rate began to creep up. Then, as if in response, Rich (we are on a first name basis because we are bff being both from the Bethesda area) said (and I am paraphrasing here):

"You shouldn't train where you want to be or where you think you should be. You have to train where you are at."

Once again Rich has it right. I cannot get caught up about where I want to be rather, I have to accept where I am at currently and train at that level. There is no point in pushing yourself to a level that you are not capable--at that time. I  would love  to swim like Andy Potts, bike like Chris Leito, and run like Pete Jacobs, but I am not there right now. That is not to say that I will never get there; I hopefully will but that is in the future and thus unknown. What is known though is that I am progressing in some manner, which is far better than regressing.

Later on that day during my 5k (more on the race later), Rich's words continued to resonate with me. I definitely was not the fastest one there but that was alright. As the lead group slowly pulled farther and farther ahead of me, I just let them race. I was pushing my pace to the maximum (check out that heart rate!) and that is all I could ask for. I may have been faster in the past but that was me then and this is me NOW.
You can see where Rich's Intervention

I finished the race with the time in 18:20, which is a pretty solid result given that I had run 17 before (18 if you include warmup), and the course was .25miles  long.
Taking it to volume 11. 

Those are excuses. Even if I had not run before or the course was different, I should be pleased with that time because I know I pushed myself to my (current) max...but thats just my two watts.

Bring it, Galveston!

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