I spent all last week trying to forget that I had a race on the calendar for the weekend. Anytime someone would mention it, I'd act surprised. Oh! A race! It's this weekend? Gosh, I don't know about that. I haven't been running with my bad foot and all. Also, the water sounds cold. It's so far away, we'll have to get up early. I should probably do a long ride instead. I don't know. I might skip it.
I kept giving myself mental outs. You don't have to go. Who cares. It didn't cost much. It's just a practice race, and you can't even finish the full run anyway. The thought of spending that much time in the car after a long road trip the weekend before didn't help.
Part of me was on board with bailing, since no one really cared if I went or not and I clearly just didn't want to deal with it. The other part of me, the cheap part, thought, Geez. You paid for it. Go do it. Get your money's worth. Wear the shirt. Drink the gatorade. Eat the cookies.
The tipping point was an email from my friend Kimberly. She offered to DRIVE. Gah. The nerve. I said ok.
I still wasn't mentally in the game Friday night when I threw everything I could think of into a giant bag and put it by the front door. Just because I packed didn't mean I had to GO.
When I woke up, I sat on the bed and considered texting Kimberly that I was sick or that gosh, it looks like it might rain, or that my foot hurt. Those were all lies. I just didn't want to go.
I confessed to Kimberly about an hour into the drive that I had no desire to go do this race. She about killed me. Apparently she felt the same way. We laughed and considered turning around.
Why was I so grumpy about this whole thing?
We got to the race site super early and picked up our race numbers, chips, t-shirts and socks. We got back in the car.
I turned to Kimberly, "We don't have to do this you know. We can still just go home."
But neither of us really wanted to go home. We didn't feel like racing, but we didn't want to leave.
Finally we had to get moving. Bikes, helmets, shoes, drinks, garmins, caps, goggles, wetsuits, and various snacks all packed up and headed to transition.
I overheard a lot of "This is my first race! I don't know what I'm doing! I'm so nervous! This is freaking me out!" I saw a lot of race wheels and aero helmets. I realized my friend Jen was on my row. I had forgotten how much I missed it.
"This is so cool," I thought. "What on earth was my problem?" I wondered as I set my socks in my bike shoes and put my race belt underneath my running shoes so it wouldn't blow away. I turned my Garmin on, grabbed my wetsuit, cap and goggles and left. My bad attitude was gone. I was finally excited.
By the time I got on my bike, the song that settled into my head on repeat was perfect. Over and over I sang
Cheesy or not, I was glad that I was riding my bike, glad that I had defeated the don't wannas to get into a 65 degree lake that morning and glad that I was going to run after my bike ride. I remembered, finally, why I keep doing this. It's because I love it.