This is hard.
Peak week is what makes you realize why you do an Ironman. You work hard all year long and then there are a few weeks out of the year that REALLY test your limits; The big weeks show you what you are made of. When you think you can’t go any faster or any longer, you surprise yourself. You learn what you are capable of during peak week and most of all, you realize that you are READY. Throughout the process, doubts are completely normal…. I have doubts all the time. Sure, I am more confident than I was a year ago with this sport, but I’m still very nervous about race day. Nerves are the body’s way of telling us that we are ready.
We all know that triathlon is comprised of three sports , swim bike and run, but we often forget about the mental component, until it’s getting close to race day. Before getting close to the start line, it’s easy to just get into a rhythm, a routine, sometimes forgetting what you are even working towards. All year long I swim/bike/run so much, that it just becomes a part of my life, it basically is my life. While doing all of this training, the BIG EVENT seems SO far away, almost like it will never get here. Then all of a sudden you blink and it’s peak week …. less than four weeks before your Ironman. And it hits you like a ton of bricks. You start to remember all of the feelings from the year before, you get flashbacks from race day that you had forgotten about… on top of all of this, it can bring on stress, for sure.
Like a lot people in this sport, I am ‘type A’ and have high expectations for myself. Sure, I’m not a professional, but I train like one. I take my training seriously and I plan to have a personal best. I put pressure on myself to do well, and I don’t want to let myself down. All of the TIME I put into this sport, I obviously want to do the best I can on race day. It’s that pressure to not fail, to not disappoint that becomes even more stressful during peak training week. I’m not racing IMMT just to finish, I have bigger dreams.
Over these next 3+ weeks, I need to remember to just breathe, to trust my training and the process. I must toss away those doubts in my head and remember the amazing progress I have made since last year and savor it. To be honest, I’m sad already thinking about the race being over!