In 2007 I backed down the training and prepared for an early season Half IM at Racing for Recovery. This would be a flat and fast 70.3 miles. No hills. No IM preparation. All out, balls to the walls, leave it on the course racing. Training went perfect for this early June race. The Lake Erie water was even warm enough to go without a wetsuit.
I was severely focused on this race. Mentally ready to suffer and see how fast I could go for the distance. Having completed IM USA the year prior helped take any pressure off from being able to finish. This one was about being fast, not blowing up and crossing the finish line with a PR.
I was very much within myself during the entire race. I barely acknowledged Aimee or Coach Angela. Maybe a slight wave when I went by. Emotions were in check....all energy was being poured into the effort.
As I ran down the finishing chute I knew I had a good day. My watch validated that I had beat my previous Half IM times by 30 minutes. I was also 5 minutes faster than my prediction.
I didn't hold anything back this time either. I stood at the finish line and screamed out loud for everyone to hear. You would have thought I had just won it over-all and had money waiting for me. No.....I just had a different, joyous release for this race.
I don't know what type of finish's I will have this year. Spirit of Morgantown, a 70.3 distance race, is this weekend. I'm going all out for that one. Then Ironman Wisconsin in September. Laying it on the line there also.
No matter the outcome of these races I will learn something about myself and others. But the one thing that I have learned and want to pass on to others is to embrace, enjoy and celebrate the accomplishment of crossing that finish line, no matter what distance the race.
You will be doing yourself and those around you a disservice by not letting the world know how you feel. Because bottling it up will serve you no purpose, but letting it out may show someone else how much fun you have training and racing. You may even inspire someone to give it a "tri" themselves and experience the thrill of crossing the finish line.