The taper before the storm

After my last post about recovering from the all women’s half marathon, I had a day or two of feeling lost and unsure what to do with myself. Somehow those gaps have been quickly filled. Once again, I’m frazzled, I have a to-do list a mile long, I’m navigating through chaos,… it’s just the way I like to be!

One of the cool things I filled my plate with last week was squeezing in a video gig at the Big Swell Swim at Devil’s Lake. It’s a 1.2 or 2.4 mile swim race that happened on Saturday morning when I normally ride with my triathlon team. I made arrangements to ride 70 miles with some girls from Devil’s Lake after the swim. Win, win, win.. right?

I should know by now, but in triathlon things don’t generally go as planned! Our group ride plans malfunctioned, simply put. We rode 19 miles, leaving a couple of us in the group trying to figure out how to proceed next. Some chose a do-over the next morning. I drove home, thinking “if this then that, if that then this, if X then Z, if Y then B….”

So many variables.

I ended up getting back on my bike and riding from home. It was a tough ride, my nutrition and hydration were off, my water bottle cage fell off, I ran out of water, and a dragonfly hit me hard in the face. But dammit, I got 65 miles in for the day.


The next morning I met up with my triathlon team to run 10 miles, which quickly ticked by with a 9:23 average. The paces I’ve been putting up on the bike and run are faster than I have been in years past, it’s really exciting to me! It’s right on the edge of where I need to be to hit my goal of breaking six hours in the half iron this weekend.

Can I do it? I think so. Maybe. It’s possible. I probably won’t. DOUBTS.

Will I do it? I have no idea.

Realistically… I’m not doubting because I’m afraid I’ll fail. I’m doubting because I want to have realistic expectations and not feel like I’m failing the moment I realize I’m off pace in any part of the race. I do this for fun and enjoyment. I like to cheer for others while I’m out there. I don’t take this stuff too seriously. I want to improve and see all my hard work shine on the clock, but want to race happy too.

And speaking of race happy, how about the video recap of the Big Swell Swim below? I’m overjoyed with how it turned out and from the positive reactions. And while I’m on the topic of positivity… I started reading Run Your Mind by Deena Kastor last week. There’s a chapter where she writes about how she wrote down ten things she’s grateful for each day, with no repeats. When she did this she noticed a huge improvement in all areas of her life. When I read this part I thought about how hard it would be to not to have repeats, because there are a lot of constants in my life that give me joy. So, basically challenge accepted. I started posting to my Instagram account daily a list of 10 things I was grateful for that day.

I’m only four days into the challenge, but it seems to be a great distraction from the taper week doubts leading up to the half iron on Sunday.

The big thing I’m grateful for of the list today is this blog and the space to let my thoughts fly out of my fingers and onto the interwebs.

Big Swell Swim from Steena Cirves on Vimeo.

One comment

  1. I find that when I focus on the “fun factor” on race day, I usually have a much better day and a faster time (as long as Mother Nature doesn’t throw a huge curve ball my way)…so, HAVE A BLAST THIS WEEKEND!!! That video…you NAILED it!! The dancing finishers is my favorite part 😉


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