Risky Racing

Well, I played it safe and I paid for it.

Race Check-in table I was thinking about the event over the weekend.

The triathlon was incredible.  I was a “nervous wreck”  the two days before.  As I drove over on Saturday morning, I realized that I hadn’t really been nervous, I  had been “worried.” I’m SO not a worrier, but I was definitely worried about the race.  My thoughts centered around fear that I would injury myself from strain or under-training OR that I would fall off my bike and into the path of someone else making them wreck and become injured.

In the end, there was nothing to worry about.

I reached my goal:  finish without injury.  The finish line .... pre-raceThese were my thoughts:
If I start swimming too quickly, I’ll wear myself out.  I hadn’t been able to swim 600m at one stretch before.  All my swimming was in 25yd stretches in a pool, back and forth, back and forth. I didn’t want to start out too strong or fast and wear myself out.

If I rode too fast, I thought I would end up walking in the run portion. I knew I could easily ride 11-12 miles, BUT I wasn’t sure if I could do it after I swam 600m and follow it with a run.  I knew one thing: I didn’t want to end up stumbling.  So, I paced myself.

If I started out too strong in the run,  I’d have to walk a good portion and it would take me F O R E V E R  to finish. I was afraid that I’d finish after the tents were packed and people had gone home.

So, I played it safe:  I swam, biked and ran slow and steady.

I swam well.  I didn’t get winded.  I didn’t choke.  I didn’t have trouble with my stroke or goggles leaking or water up my nose or any of those crazy water issues that can happen.  I swam slow and consistent. I got out of the water.

I biked well.  I stayed upright on the pavement.  I practiced “spinning” (fast pedaling on a lower gear, rather than slower pedaling on a tougher gear) just like Andy taught me. The hilly areas were fine.  My thighs didn’t wear out.  I was good. Coming in on the bike ...

And in the run?  Things went well.  I didn’t push too much.  I ran almost the entire way, but I didn’t run any faster than my usual 10-11 minute mile.  I didn’t sprint…. even in the end.

And I came across the finish line comfortable and smiling.  I wasn’t exhausted. I also came across the finish line within 15 people from being the last to finish.  It took me two hours and four minutes to do the entire race.  That’s …. uhm….. a long time.

In fact, James rebuked me just a bit.  He pointed out that others came across huffing and puffing.  They were panting and some were weaving.  They really gave it everything…. and he thinks I should have given it a little more.

Coming in on the run - end of the race I succeeded in reaching my goal.  I finished without injury.  I’m really thankful.

And I learned a lesson.  I’m a little bit stronger than I thought I was and I really ought to step out of my comfort zone and risk a little bit. I played it safe … when I should have stepped it up and risked just a tad bit more.

So, I’m looking at another race around September.  I’ll do the same size race. If I continue to train, I’ll be stronger.  I’ll push a little more.  And we’ll see if I’m a little faster. Back at home, still marked with my race numbers, in my freshly earned t-shirt

Here’s my question for you:
When is the last time you played it safe…
to later regret that you didn’t risk a little more?

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