14 – 50 – And Mental Toughness

12532542-14-daysThere are fourteen more days until I start my race season with my ½ Ironman in Mont Tremblant. This week I received numerous emails about the race. There has been instruction on how to sleep, what to eat, how to reduce anxiety, and most importantly how not to die during the race. I need to decide where to seed myself in the swim start. They have created time brackets based on your swim speed and we have been asked to estimate our speed. Many games can be played with this process. If you claim to be slow it gives you the opportunity to pass others and will and likely have no one pass you by swimming on top of you. I wonder how many people will go that route? You could also simply pick the group that best represents your time (there’s a novel thought). We are a competitive bunch so I am sure head games will be involved.

ljp-imnot50im499550thbirthdaytshirt-largeI will be in the 50-54 age category. That came as a bit of a surprise as my goal was to finish my first Ironman before I was 50. Did I lose year? No, they calculate your age group based on the year of your birth, not the month and the year. Being at the low end of that age range is typically a bonus. It is known as “aging up” to the next group. Kind of like the young rookie in the crowd, at the age of 50, lol.

The physical training is all but completed for this race. I have done what I can and have made lots of good deposits into the “fitness bank” over the past months. Long rides, long swims, long runs, all of it behind me. Yes, I do have a couple more weeks of training for this week but I figure next week I will be tapering and the mileage will tail off.

1405mental skillsSo, all that is left is the mental preparation. Sleep is important. I know for a fact that I will not sleep the night before I race. It just doesn’t happen. Too much anxiety and nerves. I will need to get a few good nights of sleep before the night before the race to make sure I am rested up. The fear of underperforming and pressure is also very real. It is just a race in the grand scheme of things, but I do have an entire blog dedicated for this purpose so it is hard to ignore the significance. The blog keeps me accountable to all of those that read it, but it also highlights my weaknesses as well. My mental preparation is a weakness. It is two weeks out, I am already stressed. I need to get some more long open water swims completed so I can feel confident that I can do it come race day.

windheaderThis past week I travelled 253 kilometres during my training. It was a very windy week on the bike. Good conditions to toughen me up, but I am sincerely hoping there isn’t this much wind in two weeks.

See you at the finish line….

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