I don’t know.

Augusta 70.3 is one month away.

Last night, I took a UK-themed spin class at Ride Oakland.  Sometimes I hold back on the resistance in spin but this time, I really brought it.  At the end of an intense seated climb, I imagined myself pushing, pushing, pushing up one of the hills on the Augusta course.  I had a realization as I pushed:

I don’t know if I can do this.

I truly do not know and in that moment, all my ambivalence made sense.  I’ve never done anything so challenging and I’ve never felt less sure that I’m capable of completing the task.

I’m completing almost all of my workouts as though I’m still working toward that 70.3 mile “victory lap” but I’m not sure I see it happening.  I don’t know if I can get through the swim.  Everyone says “of course you can!  It’s the easiest swim course!  You could float a piece of paper down the river in 45 minutes!”  I haven’t yet completed that full distance in the pool so those comments unfortunately feel demoralizing rather than comforting.  I have absolutely no idea if I can do the ride.  I think so?  My legs are strong and I have certainly ridden for a long time but all on the trainer.  There are so many question marks around the bike and so many regrets.  The skills and confidence I needed to build over the last 5 months didn’t come easily and immediately so I procrastinated.   Now I’m a month out and I still can’t eat or drink on the bike.  I have no confidence climbing hills in real life, despite being able to push like a monster in spin.  Oh and then 13.1 miles of “running” without music or distraction?  After all that hard work?  I do not know if my mind is that strong.  As I type that, something deep quietly says “…yes….you will get through it once you’ve come that far…” but I can’t picture it.  None of my friends or family are coming with me so once I cross that line, I will be alone.  It’s hard to imagine that too.  Sitting in the grass, texting people that I did it.  It’s very bittersweet to imagine.

Crying now.

I want to write separately about how much I’ve changed since I wanted to do this and now.  That’s the bright spot in this entire process.  I am strong and don’t need the validation of this goal anymore.  But I’m on the hook for it and it feels insane not to see it through after working so hard.  In this last month, I hope to make some strides so if I do get on that plane and go through with this, I’ll feel more assured and enthusiastic.

Sigh.

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11 thoughts on “I don’t know.

  1. Beth says:

    This is all normal. You are supposed to have doubts. I think what would help you is doing the whole swim at least once. Just get in the pool and swim a 1500 straight. Nice and easy. That will help your confidence and trust me, it IS much easier at Augusta. Plus, you know race day adrenaline is always so so so different than during a training day. Just take it piece by piece. As for eating and drinking on the bike, maybe ride with a camel back? That way you can just pop that straw in your mouth? You do need to drink for sure so that could solve the problem, especially if you add calories to your liquids (like Carbopro or Heed or something). Then it’s eating and drinking and voila!

    • Shauna says:

      Thank you so much, Beth. Truly. So, I’ve done 1500 a couple times with a buoy so you’re right. I need to get in and do 1500 or 2000 without a buoy a few times just to check it off my stress list. As far as the Camelbak, I’m really glad you asked. I actually thought they were prohibited so I’d written it off but I explored the website yesterday and didn’t see anything about that! DONE. Not sure how my tummy will take liquid calories but I’m happy taking a couple food breaks if I can drink continuously. PHEW.

  2. You can do it! I know you can. Take some time to think about why you signed up in the first place and why you still want to finish. Take a day off of training if you’re burnt out and relax and think about anything else… Then come back refreshed.

    I know you can!!! And the 13.1 miles without music is totally fine – there is so much going on you will get through it and barely notice no music!

    Imagine all of us cheering for you at the finish!!!

    • Shauna says:

      Thank you, Nicole. If and when I get over that finish line, it will be because of the amazing support of amazing women like you who have done this before. 😀

  3. Mary Sue says:

    I think you can do this. But what’s important is that you believe you can do this. And you won’t know whether you can or can’t unless you try. You’ve put in so much work already. I say, go for it!

  4. kimretta says:

    I don’t think you’re alone — with a 70.3, with any big challenge that is a stretch, you won’t really know until it’s done. You’re a month out and there might not be a ton of things you can do to build fitness or strength, but there are a TON of things you can do to build confidence! I agree with the suggestion to go do the swim distance in a pool, straight through, just to see. (Or come to Aquatic Park with me and swim the buoy line for a mile! Seriously – want to?) Ride the Three Bears or another hilly ride you’ve done before, very relaxed, just remind you how far you’ve come since the first time you did it. And for me, a 70.3 run was unlike any half-marathon I’d ever done. It wasn’t 13 miles, it was 1 mile 13 times. (I don’t know if that sounds encouraging or like hell, but I mean it to sound encouraging! I thought it was way easier than a stand-alone half.) Cut yourself off from music on the run between here and race day if you need to, and just get used to hearing your footsteps and your breath and being in your head.

    • Shauna says:

      You’re absolutely right – you can’t know until you actually do the thing. I do need to come out to AP and get back in my wetsuit. Let’s make a date. I should ride bears again because if it goes well, I’ll know that the Augusta course won’t be a problem. If it goes terribly though….

  5. Cathryn says:

    Tell me about the UK themed spin class?? 🙂

  6. […] my most recent post, there has been some […]

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