Not Quite Abject Terror

Posted: August 3, 2007 in Friendship, Health, Idle Nonsense, Sports

Tomorrow I do the first of three races scheduled for the month of August. This one is the Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon in Benton Harbor, Michigan (that’s 70.3 miles). My preparations have been perhaps less diligent than I would have liked in the last two weeks, especially after I fell and scraped by leg pretty horrifically playing softball. That wound is healed well enough by now to do the swim leg (1.2 miles) on a relay team for the Steelhead event. My boss, who roped me into the whole triathlon thing a year and a half ago, is doing the bike leg (56 miles), and a coworker (stepping in at the last moment for our injured teammate) is running the half marathon at the end (13.1 miles).

My typical workout in the pool is 2600 to 3200 yards. The race distance is about 2000 yards, so I’m OK with the distance except that I usually do intervals of no more than 500 yards and get to turn at the walls and push off. Blasting all the way through 2000 yards will be a different sort of challenge. I just recently bought a wetsuit (knee length and w/o shoulders or arms) and have practiced in it a couple times, which is like wearing a corset. (Yes, I cut a strapping figure in the wetsuit — not.) So my middle upper back is sore right now from the extra strain of breathing. My arms and shoulders are fine. The real benefit of the wetsuit is increased buoyancy.

What really interests me this go-round is that my boss and I both admitted to partially sleepless nights last night, and all day we’ve been nauseous and nervous in expectation of the pains we’ll suffer doing our races. (The runner is more experienced and hasn’t copped to any trepidation.) Having done several 5Ks and the Chicago Triathlon last year, I might have anticipated being less weird about it. However, my mood has been awfully intense all day. I can’t speak to what soldiers must feel going into battle, or cops busting through doorways, but I’m surprisingly and unaccountably nervous, perhaps a few notches short of abject terror. I know some get that sensation in musical performance or public speaking (neither of which pose difficulty for me). The best thing I can say about it is that the experience offers me another aspect of the range of human emotion in a safe environment.

  1. Jennie says:

    I think it’s good to get “outside” your comfort zone. That’s the only way we grow as human beings. Many kudos and applause to you for getting in the triathalon. Hope it goes well! :)

  2. You can do it! (Be careful.)

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