Something you should know about me: I’m a cyclical melter-downer. I am really awesome, right up until the point when I’m not. I can juggle a lot of diverse, difficult, time-consuming, and draining tasks for an impressive length of time. But it always involves a meltdown/reset phase, where my husband finds me sobbing over something trivial just days (ok, sometimes hours) after he’s complimented me on how much I’m doing and how well I’m holding it all together. It’s just the way I process; I’ve decided that accepting it and rolling with it is infinitely better than fighting who I am.
All my triathlon-related meltdowns happened before the race. I flew to Portland after work on Friday, and all that day I felt a weird combination of anxiety, excitement, and certainty that I was forgetting to pack something vital. Saturday I was even more anxious. I left the packet pickup all morose because a) all the other participants there had like 0% body fat and looked Very Serious, and b) I felt so stupid, inexperienced and out of place that I couldn’t even bring myself to ask a salesperson the simplest of questions about buying a race belt.
After that, I headed to the shop where I was renting my bike, and almost burst into tears because it was so different from mine. Luckily, the guys at the shop (Veloce Bicycles) were really very kind and helped me make some adjustments, and everything was fine. I don’t think I realized til Saturday afternoon how far outside my comfort zone I was actually stepping with all of this.