That blog post title, "Stop being safe. Do not think, just race" is a line I stole from the e-mail. It's my new goal for the race; that and suffer. No time goals, just go hard and don't hold back. I also wrote down a few other quotes from the e-mail and stuck them on my work computer and wrote them in a notebook I carry around with me. Just to remind myself of what I need to do on Saturday.
Last season, I cracked during just about every single one of my races. Usually on the run. Things got hard (it's a race, they are supposed to be hard) and I would allow myself to cave - slow down, walk, tell myself it's an accomplishment just to finish. I took a look at my race report from this race last year and here is a gem of a line "my head wasn't really in the run and i was just so pleased with how the bike turned out, I almost didn't care how the run went" WTH??!! No wonder I had a crummy race, with that kind of attitude.
I'm trying to turn things around this season. Mental focus and preparation are just as important as the swimbikerun training. I've been reading books and blogs, trying to soak up and understand the different mental prep techniques and how I might be able to apply them to myself and my races. Saturday's tri will be the first true test - I feel like such a poser sitting here saying I'm going to try to race with the big kids (seriously, who am I?!), but that's what I'm going to try to do. Answer when I am passed, no more of this "I'm here to race my own race." That is bull - I am here to race (OMG, such a pretender!). Work hard from start to finish, don't look at the clock, and plan on having this simple conversation with myself over and over:
"Will I die?"
"Then go harder."
If the end result of the race is that I finish with absolutely nothing left and there are no "shoulda, woulda, coulda's - then I think we can call it a success.
I'm a little leery and uncomfortable with this "race-bravado"-type talk. I feel like an arrogant fool saying it and writing it. But I'm kind of hoping if I just write it and say it enough, I might begin to believe it, and one of these days it'll actually come true.
I'm not this arrogant in real life. Honestly.