The first triathlon of the season is almost upon me, New Orleans 70.3. I have had such a weird mix of emotions leading up to this event. Excitement. Anxiety. Nervousness. Confidence. Stress.
Excitement – I’m always excited about a race, but the first one of the season and IM Louisville always get me the most excited. NOLA, being my first race of the season, will give me an opportunity to test my fitness gains made in the off season. All those countless hours on the trainer watching things on Netflix and Hulu. The countless laps in the pool swimming with the Lakeside Seahawks. Braving the frigid temperatures outdoors this winter to run training in. It’s all coming to a big test. Tests and good competition always gets me excited.
Anxiety – So, I just said the good competition gets me excited. Well, it also causes a bit of anxiety. Going against those that have proven themselves to be world class time and time again makes me anxious. Especially when there is a whole slew of them. I became anxious after looking at the start list and saw names like Trevor Wurtele, Andy Potts, and Chris McDonald to name just a few of them. These guys are super fast, but also a good way to see how I stack up against the best in the business.
Nervous – Some nervous energy is good. It means that you care about what you are doing. However, too much of it will drain you. I am doing my best to not let things get out of control. There are a lot of variables out there that can happen on race day. I can only control myself, nothing else… so why worry about them. I have a game plan for Sunday, and if I can execute the plan (especially during the swim portion by coming out with some of the lead guys), the result I desire will happen.
Confidence – There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I hope that I never cross that line. But, after doing a lot of work in the off season in the pool, the bike (almost entirely on the trainer to gain maximal improvement), and running, I know that I have improved. I am confident in that, and can’t wait to see how these improvement will effect my time and place in the 2014 season.
Stress – Similar to nervousness, stress can be good and bad. Stress is a motivator, but it can also cause the body to be withheld from its potential. Being an athlete for a “living” naturally brings with it the pressure to perform well on any given day. I think a lot of the stress I place on myself and therefore can either create more stress or lower the amount of stress I feel.
NOLA 70.3 is just a few days away. And the work has been done. The plan of execution has been developed. Now it’s time to put it all on the line and see what the new limits are for 2014 after a long off season of hard work. If you want to follow my progress on race day, go to www.ironman.com and click on live race coverage.
My bib number is 10. Thanks to everyone that has already done so much to help me get to the start line.