Sadly, it seems that I’ve gone from bad to worse, so I am raising the white flag and surrendering.
Yesterday, I gathered up the broken shards of my confidence and set off for another WTH course preview training session. This time I was all set to tackle the bike course: Race day outfit? Check. Hill climbing gears on my bike? Check. Hydration and fuel for a 60+ mile ride? Check. One full page of complicated turn-by-turn directions? Check. IronHubs as biking buddy? Check (and thank goodness for that)!
Let me back this truck up for a second and tell you how nervous I was. Not about the ride, actually, but just about the race in general. For weeks now, I’ve had anxiety about whether or not I was going to be capable of doing this race. Like over-the-top anxiety, which is not really typical for me. Oh, sure, I get nervous about races, but not this kind of hyperventilating and sick to my stomach stuff. Last week’s swim certainly didn’t help matters.
On the drive up, IronHubs and I talked about me switching over to the long course duathlon option and I felt really excited about that. I’ve never done a du before and it would totally relieve the swim anxiety – perfect! So, off we went with my heart full of hope again.
Of course I had
obsessed read over the bike course description, so I knew the first 6 miles included 1200 feet of climbing. I was prepared for it to be tough. I was prepared for it to be technical and challenging. I was not prepared to FALL OFF my effing bike at Mile 3. Well, not “fall off” so much as “struggle so hard to climb a really, really steep switchback hill where I am actually rolling backwards in between pedal strokes, desperately attempt to unclip my foot so I can walk my bike, then tumble ass-over-teakettle fashion into a ditch full of brambles when I can’t get my stupid foot out of the clip.” Oh, and don’t forget the part where I screamed like a little girl.
As I laid there in the ditch with my right foot STILL attached to my damn bike, it occurred to me that I can’t do this race. Not just that I don’t want to, or it’s making me dry-heave with anxiety, but literally. As in, this is a physical challenge that I cannot meet because it is outside my skill set. Ouch.
As for bodily damage, there was very little. I am grateful for the relatively soft landing because it could have been much, much worse. My helmet didn’t hit the ground, my seat only needed a little readjusting and most of the blood came from the thistle scratches rather than road rash. I’ll spare you the pictures of my scratched and bruised butt.
After I picked myself up out of the ditch, I walked my bike up the hill a little further, thinking I had to be near the top. Not so much. IronHubs was all set to soldier on and complete the bike course, but I had nothing left in me. We turned around and went home, another epic FAIL in my logbook.
Where do I go from here? My head is pretty much a swirling black hole of thoughts and feelings right now, ranging from complete despair and worthlessness to relief to bitter, crushing disappointment, and wanting to sign up for another race next weekend or never wanting to do another race again for the rest of my life.
Odds are pretty good on the “getting over myself and signing up for another race soon” bet, though. Even though it wasn’t enough to get me to a Half-Iron starting line, I don’t want all my training to go to waste. We’ll see what I feel like in the next day or two, when I’ve cleaned up after my pity party. I just got an email about a 5K on Memorial Day…or there’s an Olympic on June 5th…