We're ferrying over to the mainland this weekend for the Lake Stevens 70.3. Jason and I have both signed up, he to race and me not to race. Allow me to explain.
I am going to participate, but in my head it's not a race. It is a long training day. I don't feel like I'm ready to race a half iron, but figured I'd sign up as I'd be there anyway and it gives me a chance to try out some stuff for Arizona: aero helmet, race kit, nutrition plan, etc etc. So I'm racing, but not to race. To train.
The tough part are those numbers in your head. The numbers that come up when you think of how long the swim will take, the bike, the run... I am trying to still my mind so those numbers don't appear. I have no time goals - I'm not racing. I will push myself, but not against the clock, simply against how I'm feeling on the day. Those numbers are for another day.
Therefore, I am stating my goals here for the record, and please notice they don't involve numbers. My goals are to answer the following questions:
- Did I go out strong at the start, but not a crazy all-out sprint like I usually seem to do?
- Was I organized and efficient in transition?
- Is my helmet comfortable?
- How does the tri kit feel - any chafing in spots or things I don't like, in particular that may bug me over twice the distance?
- How were my energy levels... and how do they relate to my nutrition/caloric intake?
- Did I stick to my nutrition plan?
- Can I be in a good mood for the whole time?
- Can I push harder over the second half of the run?
- Is there anything I'd change for double the distance?
If I focus on those questions instead of numbers, then the day should go well. I'm racing, but not to race now, but to race later.