Friday, April 13, 2012

Conquered Fear to Climb, a Moment Frozen in Time...

The air is growing thick, the fear he cannot hide...
                                       --Dave Matthews Band, "The Dreaming Tree"

Yeah, it must be race weekend.

All of the nerves that have been held at bay are coming to the fore. Panic takes the place of reason. Worry and doubt enters the mind, rather than the humble confidence and trust in the work that you have done.

Why is it? For the simple reason of fearing that you have mislead yourself into believing that you've done all that it takes. The fear that you will underperform, the fear that you will not deliver on what it is you've promised yourself.

There are ways through this mental hurdle, though. It simply takes creativity on your own part.

My mantras for the weekend:

Trust the Work. This is the simplest of the bunch. Cumulative training load is going to help me through a lot. I've raced for longer periods of time than Boston should take me this weekend, so I know what it is like to have to push the body for 5+ hours. Three and some change shouldn't be that hard. I've raced through high temperatures. I've gone riding for 4 hours when it's 100 degrees with no acclimation. I've trained myself through hell and high water for months on end.

In simple terms, I've put in the work. It's now time to reap the rewards of it.

Discovering That Hidden Grain of Steel...Called Will. This is one that I've taken from Ryan Shay, who passed away during the '08 Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City. His philosophy was that you had to dig within oneself to challenge the body to inspired performance.

This is the hard part, at least for me: mentally continuing the desire to push for performance in the face of agony. One of the things that I've found that helps is from Chris McCormack: Embrace the suck.

There's no doubt in my mind that some point during the day is going to suck. But it's the execution through that old friend named pain that is what brings about performance. I've found a few different tricks that are working for me: smiling when my mind starts to go negative; focusing on breathing pattern for a few minutes; relaxing the mind and spirit; digging in and just ignoring it towards the end.

There Goes My Hero, He's Ordinary. Stolen from a Foo Fighters song, I've spoken a lot in this space about honoring my family and friends by putting forth every ounce of my being into a race. It's the only way I know how to respect everything that people have done for me. I couldn't even begin to list off the people that I try to do this for because I wouldn't be able to name them all.

Planning. Planning. And More Planning. I'm a task-oriented person. I like to just get crap done. So with packing for this, I have my full list of everything I will need.

Speaking of plans, my weekend plans:

Arrive Saturday evening.
Meet up with fellow Team Rev3ers in the area.
Sunday AM: Watch buddy Seth Hasty kill the 5K.
Head to the expo and hang out with a bunch of amazing folks. And be a geek.
Monday: should know what I'm doing by now.

Will be back next week with a review of Swiftwick's Aspire socks and a race report...