Saturday, October 10, 2009

Go the distance

I have been struggling and stressing about the Longhorn time limits these past couple of weeks. Here are the rules from the Longhorn website, with the anxiety producing part in bold:

SWIM: The swim course will close one hour and ten minutes from the start of the final Swim Wave. All athletes who have not crossed the timing mat at the swim exit by the cut-off time will be disqualified and will not be permitted to continue the event.
BIKE:The bike course will close five hours after the final swim wave start. All athletes still on the bike course after the cut-off time will be disqualified and will not be permitted to continue the event. Also, any athlete not reaching the third aid station at mile 36 on Hogeye Road by 4 hours from the last wave start will not be allowed to continue the bike. The athlete will be removed from the bike course and transported to T2.
RUN: The run course will close eight hours after the final swim wave start. Runners still on the course after that time will be disqualified and given the opportunity to unofficially finish the race. Further, any athlete not making it to the start of the 3 lap by seven hours and thirty minutes from the final swim wave start will be disqualified

So I have calculated from previous races and think I will finish in 8 hours, 30 minutes. I had hoped to improve my speed during the training, but it hasn't happened. But I have really improved my endurance and feel pretty confident I can complete the distances. I was waiting to find out the swim waves, because that was really important. If I got an early wave start, I could have up to an extra hour to finish because with so many athletes, it can take 60-90 minutes to get everyone in the water. If I got a late wave, I would be pretty screwed. But I did have a back up plan, as I can race age group or in the Clydesdale/Athena category. This category was created for the big guys who are fit, but can't compete against the smaller guys, and just another way to hand out more awards. So it's for men >200lbs and women >150. I figured I could just change my registration as soon as the waves come out to the category that went earlier

Turns out I'm pretty screwed. I am wave 12 out of 16, which is women 30-34, and Athenas. It's the last women's wave. There goes my original and back up plans. And it's 20 minutes from the last wave start. So if my predicted time is correct, I will be 10 minutes short of the cut off, and will be disqualified. I can still finish unofficially, but still, what a letdown.

So I have been really worried, thinking of all the possibilities and all the times I should have trained harder, gotten faster, lost more weight. And that is not good for the brain or spirit! I figured out the times I would have to hit to make the cut off and they are faster than the last Olympic distance triathlon I did, and I just can't see how I can go twice as far, faster. And then thinking about not taking the time to change shorts or take bathroom breaks. And that's assuming I don't get a flat tire or cramp or whatever.

So after too much mental energy spent on this, I have decided to let it go. I came up with the mantra of "Go the distance" and that will be my goal. I will do what I need to do to be comfortable, like take the time to put on sunscreen, change shorts, go to the bathroom, or take a walk break. And when the officials come to disqualify me for going over time, I will be okay, because I am going to go the distance, even if has to be unofficially. It still makes me tear up thinking about it though. But I will make peace with my abilities this year. This is where I am right now and what I can do right now, and that's all I can do.

1 comment:

F said...

I love you Mary and yes, you inspire me today. Do it. When is the official date of the race?