Monday, August 08, 2005

Pre-Nationals Freak Out #2

After the great packing adventure I was scheduled for a massage. She's about a 20 minute drive away. I do have to travel the highway from hell I-95. Drivers on that road are such morons. I won't get started on one of stupid driver rants, but when one is on edge every stupid thing makes road rage almost seem reasonable. Between the morons going exactly the speed limit, and the trucks that either just sit in your blind spot, or flame up your ass, it's enough to want to make it a 2 hour massage.

My emotions are raw right now. Some of it is pre-race anxiety, but a lot of it has to do with major things happening in my personal life. My triathlon training and racing has been a way to focus on something positive, and help me feel good about myself. My big goal was to make Top 10 again at nationals, and qualify for Team USA. I've had some really good results this season. I also felt I make some significant gains in the mental aspect of my game, especially with my recent performance at the Empire State Games. But suddenly the reality of my real life, summer coming to a close, and this race being here in a few days have all come crashing upon me. I can't even blame it on PMS anymore since it's hard to be pre when there's nothing coming.

I walk into Lisa's office, and the first thing I do is burst into tears. What a great way to go into a massage session. So today Lisa gets to double as massage therapist and sports psychologist. She helps me look at the situation from a different perspective, and I think that helped a lot. It doesn't change the reality, but anytime I can just unload for a bit helps.

I went out for the Monday Night Ride. It was not the ideal thing to do shortly after having a massage, but I was making myself crazy with all earlier packing and re-packing frenzy. Also I’m suffering from the typical post-cold/taper “OMG I’m losing my conditioning!” syndrome. I think Nancy was surprised to see me there, especially when I told her I was leaving for Kansas City the next day. She’s saying to me, “What are you nuts?” Yes, I’m nuts but if I don’t do something with myself I’ll go even more nuts.

My legs still feel pretty crappy, and my mind isn’t much better. I’m sharing my anxieties with Nancy, and she saying things like, “Even if you come in second you’ll qualify.”

“Hello, earth to Nancy. This is the Nationals, I’m not coming in second. In fact I’ll be surprised if I come in the Top 10.”

“You’re incredible cyclist. I saw what you did last week at the Empire Games”

“But, they can run much faster then me…..”

“That doesn’t matter. You’re great!”

Nancy doesn’t understand about the Big Fish in the Little Pond. She’s a medium sized fish in the little pond, and so it’s hard for to understand that there are wonderfully gifted athletes out there that may not cycle as well as I do, but they kick my sorry ass on the run. Some of those women who are awesome runners are better cyclists then I too. I’m good, but I’m not national caliber. Maybe with proper training and I can reach a higher level, but unless I get seriously faster on the run, I’m never going to truly be national champion caliber. That’s okay. I can live with that.

This ride an interesting mix of people. Most of them are people that I ride with on the weekend, but sometimes we get some newbies that come on the ride. About a month ago this guy shows up on our weekday ride on an ancient bike. He was wearing baggy shorts, sneakers, and I’m not even sure he had toe clips or not. I figured he’d last to about North White Plains and then we’d lose him when the pace picks up near the dam. He surprised me because he actually made it to the top of Bedford Road. On that particular ride I gave him suggestions about getting clipless pedals and real cycling shoes. So I guess he took my advice and then some because he’s been showing up on the Monday ride, and now has a new bike, clipless pedals and cycling shoes. He also got new shorts, but they’re still the baggy type. I guess he’s not ready for lycra bike shorts.

I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to go on this ride. My legs felt weak, and the heat was bothering me. I was enjoying the social aspect, which is what I needed at that point. I kept debating whether I’d try to gut it out to the end, or bail out at some point of the ride. I was thinking I’d turn off at the end of Purchase St, and back to White Plains via North St. I was going to base my decision on how I felt at that juncture. However, I totally lost it when the baggy shorts newbie blew past me on Bedford Rd. That clinched it for me, I was not going to do the entire ride. I didn’t even go as far as the end of Purchase St. When I saw one of the guys head back to White Plains earlier, I decided I was leaving with him.

It was actually better cutting out at that point of the ride so that I got home earlier. I still had things to do to get ready for my trip. Everything is pretty much packed, but it's just all those dumb little things that I end out running around at the last second taking care of. It's those little things that always make my departure times at least 45 minutes later then planned. However leaving late for the airport is not good.

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