There is training and there is preparation. Training is something you do to improve and gain skills. Prepapration is getting ready. Until now most of what I have been doing is training. I have been working to gain skills and improve riding the bike, walking longer distances, swimming. Now, though, its crunch time and time to prepare for the actual event.
To try and prepare and know exactly what I am getting myself into I have been doing several things:
I have been reviewing the event materials to know what the course is, where I need to be and when, not to mention any requirements I need to fulfill (like having my ID at packet pickup on Friday to prove its really me!).
I have been reading blogs and forums written by first time triathletes as well as seasoned veterans to glean as much information as possible as to what I will be experiencing.
I have attempted (and will do it again) riding the actual bike course to know what torture I face.
I have picked up a Camelbak and new bike gloves to stay hydrated and hopefully alleviate some of the pain and numbness I get in my hands when riding more than a few miles.
I picked up some shotbloks and GUU to try and see how my system tolerates them and if they actually help my energy level over a long workout.
As you can imagine, many of these preparations are flowing from the reading and discussing I've been doing about completing my first triathlon. While I believe all of this preparation will help on race day, its truly crunch time and I am beginning to feel nervous and excited. I am beginning to second guess myself and wonder if I can truly complete this monumental task. I have underestimated the difficulty of tasks in the past and I hope to not do this here. I would rather think this will be harder than it turns out to be, but I'm not holding my breath. Its the invincible optimist in me that is saying "don't worry about it, you'll be fine!" I just need that to be relayed to the rest of my being and make it come true.
As more preparation/training I am planning a brick workout tomorrow with a 12 mile ride and 3 mile walk. This will be a flat course, but it will still be good to have the experience under my belt. I am also planning on biking the actual course on Sunday and this time I have researched the entire route and will make it to the top.
All of my training and preparation will be tested in a mere 9 days time and frankly I'm getting just a little scared. I figure that's a good thing!