I'll confess: I'm nervous. No. A more accurate phrase would be I'm scared to death. I suppose my fear is that I won't finish. That a big DNF will be placed beside my name. Did Not Finish! On Saturday I'll put myself to the test, both mentally and physically and the thought of failure scares me. I know, I know: "Failure is not an option!" I've been telling myself that all day.
My problem stems from a lack of self-confidence. Three weeks ago I knew I could bike 112 miles because I did it. I knew I could run at least 20 miles because I did it. But after three weeks of tapering, running only 26 miles and biking only 160 miles in the past 2 weeks, my confidence is waning. And the fear of failure is consuming, at least today.
I know it's all mental and I know my body will remember all the training. All the miles I've put on it, but today I feel like I've even forgotten how to ride my bike let alone ride it for 112 miles. In my mind, my body feels weak. Very weak. I feel like all my training over the past 10 months has left my body. My muscles are mush.
That's the mental side. On the physical side I know I've put in the training. Put in the miles, but the mental can outrun the physical like a pro can outrun this age grouper and looks good while he's doing it. And Ironman is mostly mental.
Fortunately, I'm an optimist and come Saturday I should be feeling the confidence that I'm lacking today. This tends to happen to me on every race: I feel confident training and then the taper comes and I forget how strong I am and all the hard work I've put into it and I start getting this odd, unfamiliar feeling. I think some people call it "REST" or "RECOVERY." Whatever it's called I'm not too familiar with.
Maybe my lack of self-confidence is really my body getting stronger through rest and not knowing what to do with all the energy it's building. Maybe the mental side is just taking a nap while my body refuels. That's easy to write about but less easy to believe - at least today.