Posted by: pursuingsub17 | July 28, 2010

Small scale experiences and visualizing get you ready for the Big Race


I’ve been working out less and visualizing more this week. I’m excited but at the same time, I’m not sure if it’s hit me yet. It’s the feeling you get before going on a big holiday to some place like Australia – something you’ve only thought was a big dream and now looking forward to but the week prior, what you’re about to do hasn’t sunk in.

I think it will hit me when I get to the Westin on Friday. At first, I thought rolling into town around 4 or 5pm would do. But now I want to be there around 2 or 3. I want to take everything in but relax at the same time.

One thing I’ve realized – as I go over in my mind exiting the water, taking the wetsuit off to the waist and have the wetsuit strippers do the rest, get my T1 bag and go through the order in which I put on my bike gear – I am so glad I at least had a few sprints in first. A half Ironman distance is big and can be overwhelming enough without having to learn new things. Oh, yes, some people can do it. But I am usually a bundle of nerves trying something new. So going through the motions, logistics and processes of a triathlon race on a smaller scale has definitely helped me feel a little more experienced going into this long distance race.

I know the most effective way to get through both transitions. I know that tapering really is more beneficial than going into panic mode and squeezing in workouts that only make me tired. I know what works and what doesn’t in terms of nutrition. I have a very good idea of how much water I need, when to take my gels, etc. I know how my legs will feel after getting off the bike and heading out into a run. Iknow how to control the pre-race jitters….oh, and yes, I FINALLY learned how to change a flat!! After that, it’s just putting in the distance.

At this point, the physical training is over and the mental skills I’ve developed over the last two years kicks in. I know how to visualize – and man, does that help. Believe me. If I could offer one piece of advice, visualizing is a lot easier when you’ve done a race prior or at least physically practiced it over and over and over.

The race may be a big one and at a distance I’ve never done before but I know what to expect through a combination of actual experience (even if it’s small scale) and visualizing.

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