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Butterflies….that is how some people describe that pre-race feeling.

Sounds so much more manageable and understandable and containable than impending doom and overwhelming sense of dread and pparalyzing self-doubt, doesn’t it? Wish it truly was butterflies I felt.

You see, I am racing in a triathlon on Sunday, the Toronto Triathlon Festival, so every time someone mentioned it this week I go this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Right there in the far corner where I tuck all my fear and anxiety and self doubt. It sloshes around and churns up all sorts of unpleasant feelings and generally causes me to question my sanity. Why did I sign up for this race? Why I am willing putting myself out there to be judged where anyone with a computer will be able to log and view my lack of finesse and speed. Ack!

It always seems like such a good idea at the time I sign up for a race. I am full of optimism and enthusiasm. I had to be really creative to figure out a way to get into this race and now with a little over 2 days ’till race time I am so nervous. Why do I do this to myself????

I really do enjoy the training aspect and I am thrilled when I see improvement in aspects of my performance, but then to have to show up and be confronted with all these people who are actually athletes. I mean, they might find out my secret. You know that I am not really one of them.

Well, if I wasn’t so concerned about what everyone else is thinking I could actually enjoy racing. Once again it is all in my head, this I know. I get all hyper and find it difficult to focus on specific tasks in the days before a race. Sheesh. I need to channel all the frenetic energy into my race pace! So that is what I am going to focus on–using the butterflies because once the race starts I don’t really think about anything other than the race. I race against myself. I do have goals: top 25% of my age group, specific times I want to get, how tired I want to be at the end of it all, oh yeah and meeting Simon Whitfield. Yes, Simon Whitfield, Canadian 2012 Olympic Team flag bearer and gold medalist in the Triathlon is racing in the same race as me.  Swoon.

It is my goal to get him to sign my race shirt, so I will let you know how that goes. It is not often that you get to watch athletes of his calibre race, let alone be in the same race. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Oh my, the butterflies just got worse.

Race. Soon.  Ack!  I shall just have to let the butterflies carry me through this one. Maybe they can help me swim and bike and run faster–that is preferable to having them cause me to vomit!

I won’t be posting until after the race. I will give you a full play by play on Sunday night or Monday morning. For now I am going to think of butterflies swirling into a powerful, strong, fast force and get my gear together. Tomorrow my race mates and I head into Toronto for our course orientation and hotel check in. I am looking forward to wandering around the expo. I love looking at all the great gear that I wish I could buy! See you on the other side of the race!

Do you get pre-race anxiety? How do you deal with it? What are thing items that you must have at your races?

For those of you keeping track.

Friday Update: I lost 1.1lbs. Totally don’t deserve it on the eating front, but I did do a lot of training this week, so that must have made up for the volume of food I ate!