flat tire by ShmuliPhoto
flat tire, a photo by ShmuliPhoto on Flickr.

Yesterday was one of those days when I was just completely overloaded: emotionally, physically, and every way. It was just TOO MUCH.

It started with a 6am wakeup and then being unable to find my bike shorts OR my swim cap and goggles, which I either left at the pool on Friday OR were taken at the pool. At any rate, they were missing. So I started out in a state of total discombobulation.

I carpooled to the swim/bike site with Lily. When we got there it was freeeeeeeeeeezing. I mean freezing. But thank goodness the water was warm and we got going on our pool workout.

I’d say the swim workout was the best part of the day. It wasn’t easy  – I was often out of breath and tired – BUT I felt like I was improving and each small tip they gave us, like tucking our chins down, made a difference in my stroke quality. So that was awesome. The other good thing is that I got moved into the 2nd lane again, so I can feel confident that I am not in the beginner-beginner lane anymore. That made me feel encouraged. So it was a really good workout – probably 75 minutes or so – and I felt good about it.

Then we had to change clothes and get ready for the bike part. It started with a safety clinic and then a lesson in how to change a flat tire. I was noticing during that time that I was almost on the verge of tears and maybe some sort of panic attack (which is not typical for me). Just the thought of all the hazards they were describing were making me so anxious I could barely think. Then we had to take our tire off our bike, open it up and remove the tubing, blow it up with our mouth (!) then replace it and put it back on the bike. This entire process was just so fraught with anxiety for me. I didn’t know the name of anything or have any idea how any of it fit together or worked. I felt like I had been asked to remove the back of my computer and take apart the circuit board. I was a total deer in the headlights. Some of the coaches took mercy on me and kindly helped me out, like every 2 minutes, since I CLEARLY had no clue what I was doing, and I managed to do the whole thing. But it was still so anxiety filled for me. After that, the beginning level riders took off for a short ride but I had to leave to go to San Francisco for the SF Theater Festival where I was performing.

The whole notion of combining a workout day with a performance day was probably very, very bad. When I have a whole team workout, I pretty much collapse and go to bed after. And when I perform, I pretty much need several hours to calm and focus beforehand. So it was sort of a losing setup. I didn’t have time to shower as I had wanted, so I just changed and got in the car with crazy swimcap hair. Which was already a drain on my confidence. Then there was horrible bridge traffic in which I sat motionless for too long, and then my stupid GPS directed me to drive through SF CHINATOWN (ACKKKKKKK the worst place to drive EVER) and I got there with like a minute to spare.

The performance itself was… not my best. First, the amazing Zahra went before me. People kept streaming in through her whole show and we kept adding rows and rows and rows of more chairs. She probably had 100 people in there. Then, she finished, and like… 80 people left. That was… gulp. OK. Kind of demoralizing. So I already had bad hair, and no clue how to end my show, and a measly audience. I got through about 75% of it in strong form (I think) and then I pretty much tanked. It wasn’t the best. I had last tweaked the show for Fitbloggin and I knew I had to do something different, and I just didn’t have it together.

After my show I had to put in 3 hours of volunteer time ushering for the Festival, which was an unpleasant and resentful and exhausted way to spend the late afternoon. I was in a very bad mood.

Finally I came home and keeled over.

Today is a new day. I learned a lot yesterday. I learned that I HAVE to limit my activities or I’m just going to burn out. If I had yesterday to do over, I would have probably:

  • Chosen one thing or another: the workout OR the performance.
  • Chosen to perform my other piece which is polished and has a solid ending.
I have to really think about this bicycling thing. The level of fear I felt yesterday (without even going on the ride!!!!!) was overwhelming. I realize that this car/traffic thing for me is NO JOKE. I can’t bear the idea of cycling through a narrow space. (ie between cars) I just can’t.
The triathlon itself is going to be on a closed road with no cars. So I am wondering if I can do my training in areas with no traffic. Because I am damn sure I have NO goals of ever, ever, EVER riding in streets with traffic (for the long run). My goal is to finish the damn triathlon. I just need the skill and endurance to get through the 12 or 24 miles (Sprint or Olympic) in November. That is my ultimate goal. If I am going to train on traffic roads, I am going to need hypnosis or anti-anxiety meds or SOMEthing to get through it. I am really struggling with how I am going to manage this but I’ll be damned if I give up the entire triathlon just because of this fear.