I thought yesterday would be a good day to get out to the GJCC and practice the course (at least the bike and the run) and try and get a feel for what Monday's race is going to be like. It was beautiful weather yesterday, perhaps even hot. (I hope there's a string of these kind of days between now and Monday so the pool will be a little warmer...)
Well, the JCC was closed, but I parked outside and jumped on my bike and rode the bike course. At 5pm, there was plenty of traffic to have to worry about and I lost a few seconds waiting at a few of the intersections, but overall I had a great ride and feel comfortable with the course and my abilities to get through it quickly. When I got back to the JCC, I left my bike with my family, threw on my running shoes, and 13 seconds later was running (if you can call it that) down the road on the quick, two-mile run course. I realized 50 meters into the run that I hadn't drunk any water during my transition and rather than turn back, steeled myself for a miserable two miles.
The nice thing about this brick was that it only took about 4 minutes of running before my legs found their stride again and I was able to run comfortably. I fought the gremlin in my head over and over as he kept whispering "You can slow down... You're not competing today... You're only out here to see the course... Don't push yourself too hard..." I HATE THAT GREMLIN!!! He almost talked me out of pushing myself to the end of the Kiawah Island Marathon where I BARELY qualified for Boston (with 7 seconds to spare.) So, needless to say, I have demon troubles when I run, competitively or not. Fortunately I was able to convince myself that I could tolerate running "hard" for two miles and then I could stop and recover if I wanted. I finished the run well within a competitive time range based on last year's results. If all goes as well on Monday as it has this week in training, I may be very competitive. Of course, there are a lot of unknowns in a race like this and it's possible that there's a sleeper out there who woke up a week ago and decided to run his first triathlon on Memorial Day. The good thing about running, biking and swimming is that you are only really competing against yourself and the clock. If you happen to finish first in a couple of races, that's nice, but the greatest thing is that you actually got out there and did it.
Anyone who finishes any race regardless of the time it took him or her to do it is far more accomplished than the person who never tried.