The night before a race, I usually feel an overwhelming mix of emotions. Nervous. Excited. Worried. Did I pack everything I need? Will my stomach behave? I’m prepared… right? What if it’s too hot? What if it’s too cold? I am, without a doubt, an over-thinker.
Which is why my feelings today surprise me so much. Tomorrow, I’m heading back to the first triathlon I ever did, the Trek Women’s Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. I’m just plain excited.
Buttercup is racked and ready for her best race yet.
I’m lounging around, drinking Gatorade and snacking on apples and peanut butter. I’ll pack my race bags soon.
And tomorrow… it’s going to be an epic race. I am ready. I am strong. I can do this. (Did you hear that, ulcerative colitis? I’m going to kick butt tomorrow, and you’re not going to stop me.)
Oh, right. About that. The end of this week has been an ulcerative colitis nightmare. Flare up. Not sleeping through the night. Unable to get an appointment with my doctor. I spent the better part of Thursday night feeling sorry for myself and working myself into a frenzy about whether or not I could actually take on the challenges of a Half Ironman while dealing with ulcerative colitis. (Nevermind that the race is still a month away. I was freaking out.)
But last night, I made a decision.
Ulcerative colitis, you are just one part of who I am. A sucky part, but just one part. I am also strong, capable, and determined. In fact, I am stronger than I have ever been. You might slow me down, but you can’t stop me. And you are not going to ruin the end of this journey, one I’ve worked so hard for. I will cross that finish line at Steelhead, and I will have an incredible race tomorrow.
I’m going to get extra sleep, eat extra-safely, and take efforts to reduce my stress. I am going to make it nearly impossible for you to bother me before my race. You can’t defeat me, so don’t bother trying. Ulcerative colitis, I hate you, but I’m not afraid of you anymore.
Yeah, that’s right. Take a look at my mean face and get lost. And don’t you come back.
What emotions do you feel before a race? Do you think your attitude plays into your overall health?