Challenge Knoxville half - Pre-race part 1

I was very nervous in the 48 hours going into the race. It was a different type of nervousness for me that I hadn't felt before. 

I set a goal for myself a few months ago that I wanted to place top 3 overall amateur female at Challenge Knoxville half. It was a big goal, especially not knowing the competition, but it was the motivation I needed to work hard and with our very busy life, I needed something to help me stay excited with my training. 

When it comes to goal setting, clearly defined goals help pave the way toward success but non-specific goals or too lofty goals can often overwhelm you and keep you questioning your abilities. 

I strive on challenging goals but with my last long distance triathlon occurring 8 months ago, I found myself feeling incredibly nervous if I set an achievable goal.

And even though I raced in late March at the Clermont Olympic race, this was day 4 of our camp and I was most excited to race with my athletes so I didn't feel any nerves for race day.

This was my first key race of the season and boy oh boy, was I feeling nervous. You'd think after 9 Ironmans, 8 half ironmans, 3 marathons and countless other races I would feel completely relaxed but that calm feeling only really happens before an Ironman. When I am not racing for 140.6 miles, I often feel a little nervous and this race was no exception. 

There were several times before the race that I told Karel that I felt so nervous but he gave me reassurance that this was a perfect course for me and with all our Greenville training, I was in great shape. Furthermore, I have been injury free for 2 years and my body felt really healthy and strong. 

But something was just off in my mind. 

Here lately, I have been struggling with my "why" to continue racing triathlons. I feel incredibly accomplished at the age of 32 (11 days before I turn 33) that in my past 9 years of racing, I've won races, set PR's, raced in beautiful race venues, qualified for Kona 4 times and done amazing things with my body on race day but over the past year or so, I find great joy as a coach, being on the sidelines, watching Karel (who has been only racing triathlons for 3 years) race and seeing my athletes race. I love helping athletes with their sport nutrition and daily and fueling strategies and much of my energy is spent helping others...and I really don't mind if that means that I miss a workout here or there or that I don't race a lot.

I am not burnt-out from training/racing and I still absolutely love every journey that I take myself on when I sign up and train for a race but on the day before Challenge Knox, I wasn't quite sure why it was so important to me to reach my goal of being top 3 overall female amateur. There was nothing I needed to prove on race day and I knew I would find a way to do my best, thank my body and smile across the finish line but I was feeling so unlike myself without a clear reason as to why I wanted to compete for this goal.

Well, regardless of the nerves, questions and anxieties that were inside my body and mind, I had more important things to focus on like food, friends and traveling. 

Stay tuned for part 2 of my pre-race recap.