Self-Doubt or Realistic Appraisal?

So, the last few days I’ve been really struggling with how well I am actually going to be able to do the Blackwood.

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know that every few weeks or so I have a mini-meltdown, worry about being able to do it all, and then get back up and go out and train some more.

This doesn’t feel the same. I feel genuinely concerned about my ability to complete the training and finish the whole Blackwood this year.

Several weeks ago I established that I was less than halfway there with more than half the disciplines. See my post here. Now let’s re-evaluate. I have two concerns: preparedness and fatigue.

Discipline Preparedness:

  1. Run 12km – yes I can do this, and should be able to maintain/improve the distance and time over the next few weeks. Confidence 100%
  2. Paddle 8.5km – I don’t know, I still haven’t done this on water! Confidence: 50% (I can probably make it, it’ll probably just hurt like hell! Or I might get wet!) 
  3. Swim 1km – I still haven’t had a swim since March! I know that was sort of part of the plan, but it’s a bit nerve racking, and it’s based on best-case-scenario: that they will open the pool early this year, and there is absolutely no guarantee of that. Confidence: 25% (I don’t’ think a 1km swim is very realistic with no training)
  4. Horse 16km – I am sure we can make the distance. What I am not confident about is my ability to ride a potential lunatic horse. Confidence: 75% (just a bit of fear taking the top off this one)
  5. Bike 20km – yes I can do this. It will be hard, I will be slow, but I can do it. I will probably not be satisfied with it, but am sure I can complete it. Confidence: 90% (It’s going to be so tough, I am just not sure if I’ll still be pedalling across the finish line!)

So I am better than half way there with more than half the disciplines. Though the water ones are a real problem in this bald prairie with no water to speak of.

If I were able to remove my competitive nature and say I am going to take as much time as I need to complete each leg, then, yes, I will be able to complete the full Blackwood Marathon. But I am so not a person who will just go and dotter along for the day. I want to know that I’ve done everything to my absolute best, which is why the confidence is low, even on items I know I can complete.

Fatigue and Tapering:

Then there is the fact that there are only 40 days to go! Just over a month, and I will need to start tapering soon.

The problem I am facing here (and this is where this lack of confidence is really coming from) is that my body is demanding in no uncertain terms that it wants to taper NOW! I am tired all the time and sleeping like I haven’t slept in years! I don’t know if this has anything to do with the medical problems my doctor and I are investigating – but my doctor says that my gal bladder shouldn’t be affecting my energy levels, just my digestive issues, and these seem to be resolving themselves right now…

So maybe the fatigue is just that I have tried to do too much, that I have actually reached my genetic ceiling? I actually doubt that. I think I have more in the tank, I just don’t know how to get it out!

This being tired makes me feel like I might destroy myself on the Blackwood; that I won’t be able to continue training in these last weeks prior to the race, and therefore not be able to complete on the day.

My basic logic has been to listen to my body – sleep when I need to, eat when I’m hungry, and train only as much as absolutely necessary to maintain my levels. However, often I have been doing less than necessary, eating more than I need and sleeping … well that just seems like something I could do all day and all night!

What are your thoughts? Is this just another case of self-doubt winning over reason? Any suggestions for improving my energy, and still training hard while trying to allow sufficient recovery? How do I squeeze more out of my tank?

Really looking forward to your input! 🙂


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