The other night at a gathering of friends I was talking shop with Matt, an experienced distance triathlete and a person I secretly despise because he's 3% body fat and he rolls out of bed ready to race on any given day whether he's been training or not. Matt suggested a new strategy for pre-race nutrition. (Difference #1 between devoted athletes and the normal world: What athletes call "nutrition", regular people call "food". Athletes literally plan ahead their nutrition intake for the crucial 48-hour window before a race. This is really just a fancy way of saying they watch what they eat.) Matt tells me that two days before the race, I should eat no carbs at all, then the day before the race eat as many carbs as possible. He backed up the claim with some bit I've already forgotten about the muscles' access to energy stores, or something like that. It made sense at the time, so I'm going to try it. No carbs at all tomorrow.
The point here is that my anxiety level about this race has risen to new levels. A list of anxieties I've been quietly harboring the past few days:
-The lake temperature last year was a face-numbing 55 degrees. This year it's currently mid-60s (quite manageable), but I worry anyway. You never know when Lake Michigan will plummet to its frozen depths again.
-The current forecast for the day is partly cloudy, high of 72 degrees, wind at 7 MPH. In other words, quite nice. But that could change at any moment. What if a hot front comes down from...Canada?
-My congestion has cleared, so I'm healthy as a horse. My taper week included 15-30 minute workouts per day, so I'm vibrating with excess energy. I'm guessing I'll either catch swine flu or pull something.
-My Lobster sent out an email inviting spectators to the race and five friends, two family, two toddlers and an infant are coming to cheer me on. That's a lot of athletic supporters. Or witnesses to my athletic demise. One of the two.
-I've been training for this thing for five months. That's a long time. Long enough? I've done all three distances separately but never together, one after the other, on the same day. It's gonna be a looooong day.
-And on top of it all, I emailed Matt tonight to remind me what foods are carb-less, because I'm pretty sure we don't have any.
It's amazing what the brain can make up to worry about when it faces a challenge.