DON’T PANIC

Don’t worry…

…about a thing…

….’cos every little thing…

…is gonna be alright…

If I needed a mantra right now, this is it.

I was reminded by my mum (who still hasn’t had a reply to her text because I remember about her whenever I’m on the way home from work, which is when my phone has no battery left) this week that when we’re tired we can’t see the whole picture. We accept our first conclusions about people and situations because we don’t have energy to spare to recalculate or consider other options.

I’ve been in a bit of a dip: the 70.3 race is starting to crown on the horizon, and reality is setting in. Here’s a typical stocktake of my tri-related thoughts during the day:

I still haven’t spent that evening I promised myself drilling myself on inner tube changes (total changed in lifetime: 0).

Should I get those gatorskin tyres if they’re as hard as people say they are to change? But then maybe I won’t get a puncture?

My Wiggle wish list. It gets longer each day as I bung stuff there to consider later. It’s never later and I need to work out which CO2 canister is best, and I haven’t added extra gels to it but I need them soon so maybe I should go to the running shop for them. When do I have time to go to the running shop?

I spent the whole two hours of the journey home from the weekend when I wasn’t driving (we often share it) researching open water swim venues for my next weekend away.

I survived my first bike ride clipped in this weekend. I should be celebrating, but instead all I do is berate myself for being such a rookie. And experiencing the same level of panic that I experienced before surviving 2 hours of foot clamping white knuckle riding.

I’m shit at sighting in open water and I’m going to time out on the swim because I’m swimming zig zags all over the place. (Actually, although I have done a bit of the zig zagging, but I’ve only swum in open water three times and have been gradually improving. The third swim was in a lake with no course, just trees to aim for, so what would you expect anyway?)

Most of all, there’s a video that plays in my mind’s eye, over and over, with slightly different settings. I’ll either be in the water, or just about to leave it, or on my bike, and I’ll be asked to stop and return my timing chip. I’ve run out of time and I’m being asked to leave the race. All the training wasn’t enough, and I’m not cut out to be a half iron person this time.

But all these thoughts happen when I am tired. Or am concentrating on too many things (work, a personal email I remember I haven’t responded to, a reminder to self that I absolutely have to leave on time for the four extra hours of freelance work I have on top of day job today. Or hungry. I am getting better at nutrition but am slowly realising I’ve not done myself too many favours over the past few months.

I should know better. I know that negative mind movies precondition you for a negative outcome. So I need to find some energy – re-channel it from somewhere else – to say NO! to that movie. No thank you, I’ve brought my own movie along:

I swim the course smoothly in 55 minutes, reaching with each stroke and rolling easily from side to side. I sight regularly, rhythmically blended into my breathing pattern. My well-practised transitions are as quick as the top age groupers (because they aren’t about fitness or power, and I know how to practise. I’ll count the steps to my bike). No lost bikes or forgotten bananas for me because my muscle memory knows where to go. And I cycle the 56 mile bike course with enough time to spare to allow for one puncture repair, which I am confident I can do myself. All this ready to nail the run, my comfort zone, and to enjoy every step knowing I am half an iron person, and I deserve to wear that medal.

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