Monday, June 13, 2011

This is exactly what I was afraid of

Monday: Rest

I have been trying not to freak myself out by thinking too much about the race. Actually, I've been blocking the thing from my mind completely. Whenever a race-related thought pops into my head, I'm all like LA LA LA TODAY HAS ENOUGH CHALLENGES OF ITS OWN LET'S JUST GET THROUGH TODAY, SHALL WE? And I've enjoyed approximately 38 panic-free weeks of being my normal calm, relaxed, mellow, Type Z self.

Only… recently I thought I heard that the race organizers had mailed out an Athlete's Guide. I had not received one, so naturally my reaction was to go to the website to confirm that I'm actually entered. For peace of mind, you see. Just being on the website, I could feel my heart rate starting to rise. But, yes, I was on the competitor's list (of course, I already knew for a fact that they had taken my money).

Anyway. Okay. That's settled. Whew. Don't have to think about the race anymore.

Only… maybe, I thought to myself, it's about time I READ the Athlete's Guide? What if there's something important that I need to deal with now? So I read it. It's 28 pages, and the theme of 20 of them is, "TAKE ONE STEP OUT OF LINE, AND WE WILL DISQUALIFY YOUR SORRY BUTT." (The theme of the other eight is, "Chances are, you are probably going to die.") I could feel the adrenaline beginning to bubble up from my stomach and spread outward.

Okay. Deep breath. I know most races are a lot friendlier than they sound on paper. (And, as my husband helpfully pointed out, I'm not really going to be passing anyone, so I can forget all that stuff about passing violations.) Deep breath.

Then I started thinking again (oops). The Athlete's Guide had mentioned we could wear neoprene booties if the water temperature was below 65 degrees. Well, just how cold was the water? Unfortunately for me, I found a website that answered that question with hourly precision. And the answer is, at this hour, 56 degrees.

This information caused (in addition to near hyperventilation), an online shopping expedition for neoprene booties, an email to my sister to see whether she had neoprene booties, a round of Googling  for cold-water swimming advice, the reading of several cold-water swim race reports, the watching of 30 YouTube videos of last year's Coeur d'Alene swim start, and the taking of a cold shower to see how tough I was (zero tough). Oh, and pacing around my office under the guise of "stretching." Guess how much work I've gotten done so far today?

So I think I've learned my lesson.

And I hope you have learned why, if you ask me if I'm nervous about the race—or really anything about the race—I will either cheerfully lie through my teeth or actually lunge for your throat.


  1. I just got some neoprene booties too! I believe that in the past the lake has warmed up just in the couple days prior to race day itself - if we are lucky, it will be in the low 60s, which is much more pleasant!

    My favorite sentence in the athlete's guide (cannot remember exact phrasing) is where it says that the only three forms of locomotion allowed on the run course are running, walking and crawling!

  2. hahahaha. remember it well. stay as far away from the expo as you can too. waaaaayyyy too many uber-fit looking trigeeks trawling around looking all magnificent in all matchy matchy outfits. Prefereably take someone that makes you pee yourself laughing and sit with them for as long as you can.

  3. "Type Z" and "zero tough" Julie, you are so precious! As you know, "the rest of us" (please note I refrained from saying "normal people," for obvious reasons) are proud of you for simply having gotten to this stage by dint of hard work and determination. This last stage of overcoming the terror of "just doing it" is truly a treat to read about; I for one don't like horror movies, but reading about panic disorder in a rational, strong loved one is exceptionally informing and thanks. And remember: Tonya Harding whined for extra time and help tying her shoelaces during the Winter Olympics. Not your fate, I promise! I know you will get through to whatever level of glory may await your efforts, but it's important that you realize you're already in the glory of what you've accomplished. It's all gain from here on in. YAY YOU!! Love, AK (GLS for the little ones).

  4. If you need to have us look out here for Neoprene booties, let me know. We'll search for them.

  5. The Other SisterJune 13, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    It took me a while to figure out you didn't mean me. :) Better to freak out now and give yourself time to adjust. You will be great! And absolutely we are ready to hit any tri stores you need between now and then and send Mom (who learned how to post just to make this offer!) home with whatever you need.

  6. The Uncommonsense Way, from "Celebrate Yourself" - Eric Butterworth

    It is common sense to admit to one's weaknesses. But the uncommonsense view is that weaknesses simply conceal strengths. It is common sense to justify insecurity and fear, however, the uncommonsense view is that which Victor Hugo suggests metaphorically: that we be like birds which, pausing in flight awhile on boughs too slight, feel them give way, yet sing, knowing that they have wings.

    When we take the uncommonsense view we can deal victoriously with life. We can know that we are made for mastery, for victory, for releasing the unborn possibility of limitless life. Thus, we can keep on, wherever we may be, and whatever may be the challenges. We can know that the goal of life is to open out a way whence the imprisoned splendor may escape. For that is the uncommonsense way of life.

    You are beautiful, unique, amazing with much strength.

  7. I like the description of you as "Type Z." How appropos!