I’ve never been a great test taker. I was always the kind of student who got her work done on time, or early. But the tests, especially the standardized ones, were slightly above average, nothing spectacular.
When I decided to work with a coach to improve my overall experience during the training and ultimately the race itself, I knew there would be some base tests involved to set specific power, heart rate, and pace goals for all three sports.
One of the hardest things about training for a race is finding the motivation and staying focused and driven. There is no one pushing me to swim, bike, or run faster or harder. Just me. Just my internal drive to achieve and succeed. Let’s face it, no one else really cares how I do. But I do. I want to do my best. I want to perform at my highest level. What I’m realizing is that I am all I need. Don’t get me wrong. I really need my coach. She’s terrific. Her workouts challenge me. Her comments and support keep me going. But, hour after hour and day after day, it’s me who gets myself to the pool. The gym. The bike. The road.
So when test week came around, I looked at is an opportunity to prove to my coach, but also to myself that I can do this.
After a 25 minute warmup, the bike test was 20 solid minutes as hard as I could go. Of course, I had to pace myself. 20 minutes is longer than you think when you’re just sitting on a bike trainer inside literally going nowhere. I pushed hard and felt like there was very little left in the tank at the end.
After a 1000 yard warm-up, I had to swim ten 100 yard intervals with 10 seconds rest. This was harder than I thought. All of the swimming I’ve been doing in my Master’s Workouts (3 times a week every week since November) was always more rest in between intervals. But, I hunkered down and did it! Number 6, 7, and 8 were the toughest and probably the slowest. And my watch showed me that I took about:12 rest versus 10.
Whatever it was, it was. My coach got the data she needed and that was what was most important.
Just the word “test” provides anxiety. Part of the “test” was “testing” how I dealt with that anxiety.
I think I PASSED!