Hey, y’all. Sorry for being relatively absent here lately. There was the wedding in the Hudson River Valley a couple weekends ago, plus a few lectures about the Silk Road at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and a 20-mile charity walk last weekend. I’ve been occasionally dragging myself out of bed at 5:00 AM in order to keep up with my training schedule, so I’ve been going to bed obscenely early (for me). All that adds up to not much writing here.
On top of that, about a week ago I got some kind of “real people” illness that started with a fever and quickly progressed to a sore throat and fever, accompanied by fatigue. After a few days with the sore throat — and the nagging worry that I was going to be sick going into the last week of training for the triathlon — I went to the doctor who diagnosed me with an upper respiratory infection and strep pharyngitis, which was later downgraded to plain-ole pharyngitis. I feel much better and hope that by Sunday I’ll be 100%.
After finally buying a wetsuit* (at a significant discount) and trying it on Monday night, I’ve gotten myself into the headspace where I feel pretty okay about what’s coming my way this weekend. Getting the wetsuit was really the part that made it the most real. It’s the acknowledgement that, yes, I have everything I need to get into the (chilly, chilly, 55ºF) water, make it to the other end of the 1/4 mile swim course and do what I really feel confident doing: riding my bike and running like a fiend. It’s been a long process from thinking I would never do a triathlon to actually looking forward to it.
I’m at the point where I know there are a bunch of things that I don’t know and that I will learn on Sunday and that (at some point) I will be “that guy,” the FNG, the newb, the one doing things the wrong way. It’s a hard place for me, but I think doing all of this incremental learning despite being pretty confident that I’m going to mess up on a bunch of stuff has been good for me.
In fact, all of the little things that I’ve done recently to make this weekend more “real” have really helped my confidence. I put the cleats on my new triathlon bike shoes and the pedals on the bike. I rode the bike portion of the tri course on Sunday. I’ve been swimming lots all autumn, winter, and spring. I’m faster than I was at this time last year, and I swam 1.25 miles a few weeks ago, just to see how that felt. (Not bad, actually. I can totally do one quarter mile.) And I did the half marathon in March and the 5-miler last month.
Furthermore, the last couple weeks of morning workouts have been really good diabetes-wise. I’m hoping to replicate that as much as I can . . . although I know that it’s going to be all different because of adrenaline and timing and running around before the start. I’ll try my best.
And last night I attended a newbie session at a bike shop in Arlington hosted by the folks putting on the triathlon. They went through the whole triathlon, from what to do a couple days beforehand to everything that’s going to happen on race day. There was a ton of practical information and they answered a lot of questions from the 30-or-so other people in attendance. (And even one diabetes-related one from me afterward.)
But mostly I’m feeling pretty confident because, as Lisa keeps reminding me, I’ve been training a lot:
* — It still feels really odd to be wearing anything in the “small long” size.