Monday, April 18, 2011

"Boundary Conditions"

((I wrote this Friday night...but apparently was so excited to get to sleep I forgot to post it....when I sat down this morning -Sunday- to write up my recap, I found it waiting to be here it is...))

Every day this week I've woken up and shared my crazy dreams with my husband.  He's so sweet to listen...mostly I think he's amazed that a person's dreams could be so bizarre!  I considered writing them out, but honestly, either there's no way anyone would believe them...or someone would try to have me committed.  Yes, they have been that strange!!  But...I also have had no doubt they are all related to anxiety over my first triathlon.

This morning after my husband patiently listened to the unbelievable overflow from my subconscious brain...he did what he does best....he explained me to me.  (How is it possibleb this man knows me better sometimes than I know myself???)  He told me on top of my worries about performance, I was experiencing "boundary condition" nervousness.  In his factual, mathematician, brainy way he explained my problem was "boundary condition" anxiety or stress.

He began to math there are a special class of problems...  My eyes started to glaze over so, knowing me like he does, he went back to talking about something I could understand.  He said the real anxiety comes from the transitions (well, in addition to performance anxiety).  He went on to say the act of running, biking and swimming doesn't cause me anxiety because if it were a race in any one of those sports I wouldn't be AS nervous...but it's what happens in between those events that makes the race "interesting".  He almost lost me again when he said something like it's the same in math boundary conditions...

Now...let me say, my husband is the KING of the game Balderdash.  That's the game you try to make up believable definitions to strange words and get people to think you are giving the actual meaning.  He has fooled me on more than one occasion outside of playing the game.  I immediately looked up this theory, or math law, or whatever it's called....and sure enough, he was telling the truth!!!

Math "boundary condition"
In a numerical simulation, it is impossible and unnecessary to simulate the whole universe. Generally we choose a region of interest in which we conduct a simulation. The interesting region has a certain boundary with the surrounding environment. Numerical simulations also have to consider the physical processes in the boundary region. In most cases, the boundary conditions are very important for the simulation region's physical processes. Different boundary conditions may cause quite different simulation results. Improper sets of boundary conditions may introduce nonphysical influences on the simulation system, while a proper set of boundary conditions can avoid that. So arranging the boundary conditions for different problems becomes very important. While at the same time, different variables in the environment may have different boundary conditions according to certain physical problems.
And, it makes sense....and completely fits.  I've practiced transitions, but this will be the first time I get to experience them in reality.

One of the recurring themes in the dreams is forgetting something-mostly my shoes.  The other recurring theme--people from high school are there in one way or another.  It's bizarre.  I think it's because I've sort of "reconnected" with so many people from my past through FaceBook.  I'm NOT who I was back then.  I didn't even like to participate in PE much less do exercise willingly...much less look forward to it!  But, I digress....

Anyway...tomorrow I'm going to just try to do my best and remember this is my first's okay not to know everything.  I just need to try to learn from the experience.....but just like the above quote  says (that I'm guessing you skipped over like I would have...), "...different variables in the environment may have different boundary conditions according to certain physical problems."  Meaning...every race will have its own set of challenges that will be different from every other race.  A lot of what I learn tomorrow won't carry over because it's a reverse tri (run, bike, swim instead of swim, bike, run).

Ah to bed.  I'm hoping that since I'm packed up* I should be able to skip the anxiety dreams tonight.  (*Having used the list my coach sent out I didn't forget my swim cap and goggles-something I had not packed prior to looking at the list!)

.....But, let me just spell out the "boundary conditions" for tomorrow and walk through what I'm going to do when I get there....

I'm going to
  • unload my bike and find a good spot close to the mount/dismount line (to avoid running in my bike shoes to far).
  • set out my towel with items needed for transitions--thinking/writing through this below
  • pick up my packet and get my leg marked (SO COOL!!!)
  • tape my Gu to the bike (I need to think about when to take in fuel, or if I will even need this)
  • walk through the whole area and know where the race will start, what direction I'll end the run, what direction to turn on the bike, where I'll come in from the bike leg, and how to get to the pool from the transition area
  • go to the bathroom
  • run a warm up half mile or mile
Tri "boundary condition"**
Thinking through transitions...the run is is the bike, so I'll
  • put out my bike shoes with the velcro undone ready to slip my feet in
  • lay my helmet down and open the strap, front facing where I will stand so when I lean over to put my shoes on I can (while I'm down there) take my running hat off and grab my helmet to put it on while at the same time I'll slip my running shoes off and bike shoes on.
  • put my sunglasses in the helmet-put them on before the helmet
Then comes the bike/swim transition...I'll have to rack the bike, take the helmet and sunglasses off, slip the shoes and socks off, take my Garmin off, grab my goggles and swim cap and start running to the pool...I'll put the cap and goggles on before I get there.

Fuel is another concern...I started to say I have no idea how long I'll be racing...but the run is two miles...I think that will be anywhere from 17-18.5 minutes (8:30-9:15 miles--hopefully I can hold that for two miles).  The bike is 15 miles, but I have no idea what the route looks like, or how windy it will hour or longer.  The swim is a complete unknown, but it's last.  I think I'll take a Gu about 15 mintues before the race (I like the little boost of caffeine) and then tape one to my bike to take about 1/2 way through the bike leg. I'm going to sleep.

Thanks for stopping in...come again tomorrow to read about the race!!!

**Uh...NO, that's not MY transition area--that's a man, and notice his shoes are already attached to his bike--something I have not even tried....yet.


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