Relaxed was the key to this race and the words " I am sure it will be fine" seemed to be my mantra! I noted yesterday that after racing, yes my fitness could be better because I am tired at the end of the bike and I am tired at the end of the run BUT although my training has been limited - it is keeping my fitness consistent. I am not getting any better but I am not getting any worse. I am very OK with this. VERY OK. Coming into a season that I wasn't even sure I wanted to race and sick of spending so much time training, this has been a great season! I plan on racing once more this season and then moving over to boot camp, yoga, and just running. I found this winter that I LOVE bootcamp and looking forward to getting back to some strength training. Stewart will be training for his very first marathon so I am sure I will be getting my long runs back up to run with him. I do hope to hit the trails this fall and winter as trail racing is my all time favorite.
Stewart and I spent the night in Arkansas. Yes, it is a short drive but we are not morning people and rather than stress about getting up, leaving on time, and getting to the race. We opted to stay in a crappy hotel to not worry about this. As per seasons pass, I had no pre race anxiety. My throat didn't hurt, I didn't really give the race much thought. As we put my race wheels on the bike, Stewart said go test them out. This would be the first time I muttered " I am sure they will be fine." Under Stewart's guidance, I did do a quick pre race check down the street and back. They were in fact fine. Now, don't get me wrong, I still go into a race to do and try my best. I feel like nothing is worth doing if you are not giving 100% but the perspective is all different. Not once this year have I beat myself up after a race wishing I was faster, stronger, done this differently, etc. I take each day for what it is. I did my best on that day and that is all I had. It does not effect who I am just because I was not the fastest I could be. I have learned that there are too many, many great things in this life instead of worrying about swim, bike, run. It took me a long time to realize why yes this is just a hobby, I am far from being a pro, it is something I enjoy and it keeps me healthy. I also had a great time seeing lots of friends yesterday as this was my first local race this season.
As Forrest City is not a hopping metropolis the dinner choices were slim. We chose Don Jose.... Mexican and beer the night before the race. I first said hmm.. I don't know if this is a smart choice but then muttered I really have no stomach problems " I am sure it will be fine". We had a great time at dinner. We never run out of ways to entertain each other, hit up the dollar general in the hood which was interesting to say the least and went back to the room.
On race morning, we hit T2 to drop off our run shoes. I say to Stewart this is where I usually do a quick warm run up here before leaving because we won't have shoes up in T1. Thought about it for a minute and said " Our legs will be plenty warmed up by the time we reach here. I am sure it will be fine". Dropped our shoes off and headed 13 miles up the road to T1 and the start of the race. This is where I felt my only moment of panic because we were having trouble pumping my tires. Sure, I am relaxed but I still would like to race on tires with air. It was also taking quite a bit of time and I was having flashbacks of 4 years back when I got T1 and there were no spots left for my bike.
We got the tires pumped -( I hoped ) and got on the bikes and rode up to the swim start. When we got up there, everyone was taking their bikes out for a warm up. I said " Do you think we should go do a warm up? Well, we did ride our bikes up here so I guess that can count." And I bet you can guess what I said next " It will be fine".
I then grabbed my brand NEW goggles... never worn before today and headed for the lake. I did want to get in a lake as I have not raced in a lake all year. Once again, I questioned should I wear new goggles on race day but concluded it would be fine.
It was actually cold exiting the water as we waited for the race to start. This was glorious in July!!! We stood on the dock and watched and cheered on others as we were numbers 233 and 234. It was finally our time to start and the swim was great. The most relaxed I have felt in a sprint swim ever. Yes, I was about a minute slower than the last time I did this race but I sure felt good and I was swimming pretty much on track. I veered off at the very end but caught it before I got too far off track. Tom O'Kelly did swim by me with about 100 yds left and gave me a huge mouth full of water but gave us something to talk about as we exited the swim together.
The rest of the race was uneventful. I was racing from the back which I love! Gave me lots of people and groups to focus on and it all went by very fast. Stewart exited the water right after me and passed me on the first hill and I loved getting to say hi. I heard him finish as I made the block to hit the finish myself which was fun!
I finished 7th female, was happy to be in the top 10.
Pleased with my times, had fun hanging with friends, ate great Cracker Barrel biscuits on the way home, so excited for Stewart to be First overall in the beginner category, hung out with my kiddies the rest of the day, and then had a great night with Stewart and Riley and guess what....
It was all fine.... in fact more than fine!!