Iron Dad Post 10 – The Race
Edward: 5 months (almost)
IM Muskoka: 5 days ago
I never sleep well the night before a race. Even so-called C races will often keep me awake: race strategy, transition procedure, and guessing at the competition all competing for space in my overtired brain. Not on Saturday night: in bed on time and as good a snooze as any.
I had been telling everyone expressing the slightest bit of interest that this race was not a race. I said the words, thought them, repeated them. This programming seemed to work. I short-circuited the competitive drive of my personality and turned what are typically messy and anxiety-laden pre-race hours into ones of useful sleep and reasonable calm. I did tell Kirsten that I was feeling anxious on our way from their condo to transition, but in retrospect that feeling was mild compared to my typical race morning state.
Even when the start cannon fired and the blast echoed from the far shore of Peninsula Lake, I felt calm: mildly excited to start this purportedly epic ‘long training day’, but mostly calm.
I was a fan of the rolling swim start. I am not shy about contact in open water. Receiving the occasional kick to the bean or being swum over does not fill me with anxiety. Still, if I can avoid it – especially if I’m not too hung up on drafting – I will. Given too that my entire strategy for the swim was to remain comfortable and relaxed, I was more than happy to skip the proverbial washing machine action of a mass start.
Many of the athletes starting with me ran into the water at their first opportunity. I watched David take off and dive in. I walked. There would be plenty of swimming to come.