3 days to go!

Posted by on May 22, 2008 in Training

I made it out to the swim course today and did about 30 minutes worth.  There are buoys out there but it´s not clear if they are there as a demarcation to keep boaters away from the beach or if they are truly the point to which we will swim on Sunday.  In any event, the water was a good temp (around 70 degrees I´m guessing) and though not terribly clear, it felt clean enough.

Later in the day, I went to the athlete´s briefing where they went over most of the race rules and logistical specifics.  It´s fairly intuitive to me, but then again, I´ve done 56 triathlons or something ridiculous like that!  You can tell who the newbies and veterans are simply by facial expression.  I don´t claim to be a veteran at all in the Ironman context, but I find myself feeling surprisingly cool throughout this pre-race process.  To be candid, I´m doing my best to avoid a ton of contact with the hard-core folks because I don´t want to be influenced by their intensity and apply undue internal pressure.  However, today was the first day that I felt butterflies.  I blame this dude Daniel from Guam who mentioned in passing how bad he´s going to feel around mile 22.  I believe the word he used was ¨suffer¨.

With an event of this magnitude, and with the race date so close, my psyche is somewhat fragile and I´d much rather be surrounded by positive energy, not this negativity.  I know that Daniel meant no ill will with his words, but it struck me that others could be feeling my way too which only creates, to me, awe at the human experience.  Why we choose to do things that are so hard, like the Ironman but also like climbing mountains or doing extreme sports, can probably be best explained by the psychological clinicians of the world, but the layperson says that it´s the feeling one gets after completing it that makes it worth it.  I suppose that I subscribe to that philosophy but admittedly, there´s a component of narcissism and validation of self-worth too… for I know that I´ll always be able to say that I´m an Ironman.  There´s a pretty good chunk of pride that comes from that which, in the end, means that I´m as vain as everyone else… I just choose to apply it in a really ridiculous (and expensive) way.

Tomorrow, I´m planning on cycling and running, but only for a short time each.  I´ve got a massage scheduled and a pasta dinner to attend in the evening.  With any luck, I´ll be really distracted all day and not become a head-case.  I´m reading Stephen Colbert´s book,¨I am American, and so can you¨, and the humor is a great distraction.

Oh, I bought an Ironman speedo today.  Hey, I´m going to Rio on Monday and if I have to do like the Brazilians, I´m going to do it my way!


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