I thought I had all the time in the world to get race ready. But, just like every year, the first race of the season has crept up and surprised me again. This Saturday I will be racing at Apple Duathlon along with some of the best talent in the state. And I am not sure if I can confidently say that I am ready.
While last year was my Ironman year, this season is a complete 180 from what I was training to do last year.
My workouts have been short. They have been aggressive. And they have pushed me to the edge more times than I can count. But the edge this year has been so different for me. While last year it was about tackling distances I have never fathomed, this year it has been about hitting speeds and times that I didn't think I was capable of.
Another key difference is that this year I have decided to take the pressure off of myself. While my race season goals this year are monumental, my focus is to keep my head clear of the unnecessary pressure that I always seem to place on each race.
The first step towards that was traveling around and enjoying my life. And not stressing about missed workouts, or nutritional slip ups. I will admit it, I am a complete control freak. Which makes me both a great and terrible triathlete. My meticulous attention to detail keeps me on track during race season, but those neurotic tendencies tend to drive me to the edge of sanity more often than not.
As a last hoorah before race season, I traveled to Europe with my amazing boyfriend for my 33rd birthday. We flew into Amsterdam, where we sampled Stroopwaffles and wandered the red light district. Then we rented a car and drove through Belgium as we made our way to our final destination of Paris. We enjoyed a Labor Day street festival in Antwerp as we passed through, but also made sure to try some of the famous Belgian chocolate I had always heard of. And this whole time I did not go for a run. Or do laps in the pool, or even hopped on a bike. And that was ok! I was having the time of my life in a beautiful country with an incredible partner in crime.
We arrived in Paris and I got to enjoy ALL the croissants, and ALL the crepes and ALL the pastries that a girl could dream of!! And once again, the calories and the lack of working out were not even close to my mind. I did try to run one day in Paris, but it was so congested and the streets were so narrow, it felt much more like a brisk walk than a run. I took that as a sign that the Universe was saying I should throw in the towel. Which I had no complaints about!
But here I am, back at home, staring out on the horizon of the beginning of my season, and I don't feel nearly as ready as I did this time last year. Ive raced a couple of running races, and actually had a PR in the Get In Gear 10k this year. So maybe my "wing it" mentality may be the key to a great season this year. Plus I am the happiest and healthiest Ive ever been, so that is a win in my book either way.
Aaron and I conquer our fear of heights by trying to climb the Eiffel Tower. Spoiler alert: We didn't make it to the top!
Quintessential tourist photo of the Eiffel Tower
Whatever happens tomorrow I know that I will give it my all and push myself to be the best athlete I can be. I still have my goals in my sights, and I still plan on breaking in to the Elite category this year and crushing the competition at Nationals in August.
Let's just hope those Parisian croissants were the carbo loading that I needed to get me to the top tomorrow.