We’ve trained for the NYC Triathlon for 19 weeks. 133 days (or roughly 62 more days than Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphries were married). Over a third of a year. After spending this much time preparing for one day, there’s a lot of emotions as it gets closer. The race is now on Sunday and here are our final thoughts before we head into the Hudson.
The hardest part of tapering for me is having all that time to think about all the training that I wish I’d done, but not being allowed to got out and really do anymore. Sure, I could go out today and bike 30 miles of hills, but I’d only be hurting myself at this point.
I keep thinking, “Should I have done another open water swim?! What if I freak out in the Hudson?!!! Did I do enough hills?! What if my legs poop out mid bike?!!!! Should I have done more bricks?! Will I end up walking the whole run?!!!!!!! AHHHhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!” You know what, I probably will freak out a little during the swim, but I’ve trained for this, so I will do the things I’ve learned help calm me down, and then I’ll keep swimming. I will almost definitely feel exhausted on some of those hills on the bike, but I will make sure I am in my low gears and then I will push my way up while chanting to myself “use your butt” as I always do on hard hills, and then I’ll enjoy the coast down hill. I know the run will be hard, and I will probably have to take a few walk breaks, but I’ve trained on pacing myself and running on tired legs and there is no way, if I make it to the run, that I am not going to finish.
In one of our final pep talks from the coaches this week, one of them said, “remember, you are all trained athletes!” It’s time to stop worrying over every little thing I could have done better and trust my training, so I can focus on important things that I can control now like making fast transitions and what to order at the celebratory post triathlon brunch.
Our coaches talk a lot about the nuances of tapering. You’ve become to a certain level of activity, distraction, nutrition, etc. and now that level is decreasing so you can recover and feel fresh and spry on race day. With tapering comes taper brain. It’s the irrational concerns and fears. The DREAMS. I already had a dream where the Hudson dried up midway through the swim, we didn’t know if the race was still on so I went shopping on my way to find a race official and when I finally got to T1 my bike was missing and everyone else had finished. This would NEVER HAPPEN, but it seems reasonable enough in my taper brain nightmares.
I had a minor panic that 2 weeks wasn’t enough time for me wash my Tri socks (they’ve now been clean for 10 days). I am on the verge of vomiting or crying at all times. I think about everything that needs to happen before Sunday. I need to check my saddle bag, bike alignment, wet suit, goggles and pack like 6 gels just in case. I feel under prepared even though I’ve swam 1500m in most of my swim practices, biked well over the mileage of the course, ran 6 miles multiple times and even did a brick in the freaking Palisades. While I may be irrational, this proves one thing to me. I’m doing the right thing by competing in the NYC Triathlon. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. Also, no matter what happens it’ll be Katie Mozeleski’s Tri PR. So bring on the race. These irrational feelings may not go away, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.