As I gear up for my bucket list triathlon tomorrow, I have butterflies in my stomach. These races are intimidating.
There will be lots of people in top of the line/co-ordinating outfits, with bicycles that cost more than the down payment on my house, discussing water temps and the other events they have competed in this summer.
And I feel out classed. I feel amateurish. I feel inadequate. I pray that I won't be the very last one across the finish line.
But, then we line up, and the gun sounds, and we all take off. And my nervousness evaporates. I get into a rhythm-whether my swimming, biking or running rhythm. I hit my stride, and I don't worry about anyone else or their gear.
The gear may make things a bit easier. It may make you look more professional. But it isn't the gear that makes or breaks you. Not the Under Armor or the perfectly co-ordinated outfits. Not the wet suit or the thousands of dollars bike. Not the multiple pairs of goggles or running shoes or gloves.
It's the training. If you haven't put in the time, the gear is fairly useless. It is make-up on the pig. The training is the foundation beneath the facade.
It is the training that delineates and separates. The miles and miles you put in for this moment. For this race. That is what separates the men from the boys, the wannabes from the finishers.
There is no substitute for the training. If you slept in instead of getting up to train, it is you who will feel the difference when race time comes. If you put off the training until some vague tomorrow, you will know it. No matter what you are wearing.
On the flip side, if you persisted through less sleep, and sore muscles, and hard runs/swims/bikes, you will know it.
At least, that's what I think (hope). Wish me luck tomorrow. And pray those hours of training kick in.