My Rookie nerves finally kicked in at packet pickup
I knew Rookie nerves would kick in, I just didn’t know when. There’s something about a new endeavor that riles up your insides. Throw in the fact that my coach, Paul “Barny” Matthews, is a world-class triathlete and the nerves become amplified. Don’t forget that I might be the only swimmer with a nose plug! Top that off with a friendly wager with my triathlon arch nemesis, Paras Shah, and the butterflies grow larger.
What if I forget something that I need for Sunday? Can I apply the required stickers incorrectly? How do I keep from checking my checking list 16 times? What do I need to do to not leave too early and stand around, but not leave too late and miss a good spot in transition? How do I kill time between when the race starts and when my wave begins? Whatifmynoseplugcomesoffduringtheswim?! All of these thoughts are racing through my head on a continuous loop. It’s how my brain is wired. I need to have every possible angle covered and all boxes on my list checked, highlighted, marked through, and initialed. Then reviewed by a quality control supervisor.
BUT… Nerves are just that, nerves. There are tactics you can use to manage and even eliminate them. I have months of training and advice from Barny. He even helped make this video that’s useful for Rookie and Veterans. I have years of experience in other races that I can transfer to this Sunday’s Rookie Triathlon. While they can’t help me on race day, I’ve tapped into the never-ending triathlon knowledge bank that my co-workers at High Five Events have offered. I strongly recommend reading this Pre-Race Tips post on the Rookie Tri blog.
What I’m doing
Below are some specific things I’m doing to reduce my overall Rookie nerves:
- visit Decker Lake today (Saturday) for a quick, easy swim to get accustomed to the water
- scope out the run course, perhaps go for a relaxed run on the course
- layout everything I’ll need for race day on my bed
- go through the race in my head and think about what I’ll need
- layout and practice transition
- as I go through the race in my head, place all those items in my bag
- watch the Kentucky Derby and attend Schrader 1600 (aka do something to take your mind off your race)
- trust my training
- load everything by the front door
- check my bike, especially tire pressure
- get up earlier than normal to ensure nature won’t call during the race
- eat/drink my normal breakfast (Clif Bar + nuun performance)
- support and cheer for Barny (and all athletes) in the Open and Veteran waves
- HAVE FUN! (Barny has a few tricks up his sleeve to make this happen)