As I’ve been training (I use that term very loosely) for next week’s triathlon, I can’t help but think back to my first sprint tri nearly 10 years ago.
My first baby was nearly 4 months old, my husband was in his first year of medical school, for the first time I was not working or going to school. I was trying to understand my new life path (which I still have not quite figured out) and was working on getting my body back. Triathlons were growing in popularity and was something new and out of my comfort zone since it involved jogging (I’ve been a very slow convert to to running).
After weeks of early morning swims, a little biking, and many runs/walks on the canal pushing the cheapest jogging stroller that perpetually veered to the right, the triathlon finally arrived. We had to drive nearly an hour to get to race, so we woke up the baby early, packed up my bike and all my gear in our little station wagon and hit the highway. With each passing mile, my confidence level diminished and sheer terror was taking it’s place. By the time we drove into the parking lot, I broke down and started sobbing.
I started begging my husband, “Turn the car around. Let’s just go home. I can’t do this. I don’t know what I was thinking. Plllleeeeeeaaaassssseeee take me home!”
A classic pre-race freak out.
What the heck was I thinking?!? Why did I sign up for this thing? How was I supposed to run for an entire 3 miles after swimming and biking?!? Why couldn’t I just go home and get a workout in the comfort of my own gym?
That’s when the Doc and his good sense took over.
He silently parked the car, got my bike out, put my water bottles in the cages, then somehow got me out of the passenger seat. After a very long hug where I continued to sob into his shoulder, he walked me to my bike, handed me my bag of shoes, protein bars, towel, and goggles, looked in my eyes and said, “You have to do this. I won’t let you quit before you begin. You’ll be just fine, I promise. Plus, there’s no way you woke me and the baby up this freaking early just turn around and go home.”
So, grabbed my gear, wiped the tears off my face, with my heart LITERALLY pounding out of my chest I trudged to the transition area to set up.
With the Doc pushing a smiling Baby Tressa in the world’s crummiest jog stroller, the three of us crossed the finish line of my first sprint triathlon together.
I still wear that t-shirt.
I share this because I know a lot of you have some events coming up. It is TOTALLY NORMAL for you to experience a Pre-Race Freak Out before the big day. It may be the morning of (like me), or a few days before, but totally, 100% normal.
Even now, nearly 10 years and many more races under my belt, I still don’t sleep the night before and am all nerves on the drive there. Every time.
Just remember, that everyone else there is not an Olympic athlete.
They are not pros (at least not most of them. I think Speedo man behind me in the above pic could be a pro).
The majority of them are men and women just like you who wanted to do something to motivate themselves so they’d actually get up in the morning and workout.
And most likely, they are scared out of their minds too.
Hey Fit Mommas! Have any of you ever experienced a Pre-Race Freak Out? How did you handle it? Are you glad you pushed through and did your race anyway? Comment below and tell us WHAT WORKS!