As we inch closer (only 5 weeks from tomorrow, yikes!) to my “A” Race of the year, the OBX Half Ironman, I’m starting to think about my goals (and my concerns). Here’s what I have so far:
- The swim is in the ocean. I’ve never swam any kind of distance in the ocean so this terrifies me a little bit. The distance isn’t an issue, but the thought of possible rough surf in the morning makes me nervous.
- Yes, the race is in September and that would be fine if we were in the northeast, but the race is in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. There is the chance of it being 90 degrees and sunny. It doesn’t worry me for the bike but it concerns me for the run. But weather is always a concern, no matter where you are, so I shouldn’t let it worry my too much, right?
- The bike course. Yes, it is relatively flat which means no climbing and that is always a good thing because let’s face it, that’s not my strongest skill. BUT, it also means no down hills to give the legs a rest and build some speed. And then there is always the chance of some of those nice ocean breezes making for a nasty headwind. But again, weather is weather, and I can’t control it so don’t worry about it, right?
- Finish. Period. I know, I know. I’m sure I’ll finish. But you never know what is going to happen on race day, so this is always my #1 goal.
- Race my own race. By that I mean race without thinking about how much better or how much faster everyone else is going. It’s a mental game, racing, and I want to be there for myself, and not worry about the other people around me. I know I’m not placing in my age group, so I want to race to the best of my ability.
- Finish under 7 hours. I’m really hoping I can finish under 7 hours, but I’m really nervous about that time. The only other half ironman I have finished I completed in 6 hours, 48 minutes, 24 seconds. While I’d like to think I am as strong as I was then, I have to admit to myself that my running is a lot weaker than it was. When I did that half ironman in 2012 I had completed a marathon 4 weeks prior, and while it was not my fastest marathon, I was running a lot. This year my run is nowhere near as good, so I’m really concerned that I’m not going to be able to cover 13.1 miles with only 12 minutes of wiggle room. I’m not worried about the swim, and I think I’m pretty strong on the bike, but that run. Oh that run.
So that’s a little view into what is going on in my head right now. I didn’t think I’d be nervous about this race but as it approaches I’m finding myself worrying more and more about it. I really want to finish feeling strong if not stronger than before I had Owen. I don’t think that is going to happen, not this year, but I can hope for the best and see what happens. At least if I crash and burn on the race I still have a week’s long vacation at the beach to mend my disappointment. You can’t go wrong with that!