This Is IT!

Posted by on July 23, 2011 in Training

I barely slept at all.  At one point, I thought that I had booked a good block of sleep into the night, only to realize that it was only 13 minutes from when I had last looked at the clock.  I hate when this happens, though it’s admittedly rare.  My mind is my worst enemy in these situations as I run through scenario after scenario.  Most are realistic as I picture what I’ll need to do while in the water, while on the first 12k of the bike, while on the hills of each bike loop, and once on the run.  But, others are simply fantasy and usually of the negative order, and often without any connection to the Ironman.  In total, maybe I got 2 hours of sleep but not a minute of it was good quality.

Alarm went off at 3:15 a.m. and I promptly got up and began the morning prep.  Got a call from Roya in California where she just got back from the wedding ceremony of her best friend (thus her absence from being here with me), and is now preparing for the reception.  We chatted for 10 minutes and she offered nothing but positivity and love.  I am thankful for every second that she is in my life and she’ll be with me today in every way but physically.

So, it’s now time to head down to an early breakfast, then meet up with Grazi in the lobby at 4:30 to head over to the shuttle buses.  There’s not a lot that we need to do this morning in terms of race prep once we arrive at the swim area.  Pumping some air into the tires, preparing our drinks, and ensuring that everything is set up properly won’t take very long.  Then we’ll put on our anti-chafing lotions and creams, wriggle into our wetsuits, and head down to the water.  Before we know it, the pros will be sent off (they start at 6:45 am) and we’ll be herded into the water for our 7:00 am start.  And not long thereafter, we’ll hear the starting gun and begin this adventure.

I am excited, nervous, anxious, and hungry for success.  I want this to be over and to be right back in bed tonight, but this Ironman thing is keeping from achieving that.  I want to enjoy the experience, but I’d be lying if I said that this is fun.  This is actually very hard work in the aggregate.  The last hour or so may be enjoyable, and I am aware that the price to pay to earn that last hour where the real fun exists is the completion of 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling, and a lot of miles of running, not to mention the 100,000k meters of swimming that led up to this, the 2,000+ miles of cycling that led up to this, and the 600+ miles of running that led up to this.  Oh, and the money spent on gels, bike tune-ups, sneakers, pool fees, etc.  All of it… just to hear the greatest four words:  YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

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