Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pre Ironman

July 9th, 2009 -

Pre Ironman. The day/night before the race was intense. It was a brilliant mix of nerves, calm, questions and anxiousness. Was I doing too much, or not enough? Was I eating the right food to deliver the fuel I needed the next day? Had I prepared everything in the transitions bags that I would need? Had I made an adequate race nutrition plan? Whatever, what was done was done and I had this calm confidence that I didn’t want to listen to as I couldn’t fool myself into believing that I may actually be prepared for this race.

I was in bed by 9:30p that night and up at 4a race morning. This gave me about an hour and a half that morning to prepare by stretching, having some Gatorade, eating up, and making sure to evacuate the systems....if you know what I mean. I had a muscle milk and a banana smothered in peanut butter when I first got up. After that I stretched and drank two cups of coffee. I made a bowl of oatmeal and took it with me to eat in the car on the way to the race along with some more Gatorade. We were at transition a little before six and got one good pee in first thing before we headed in. I went to my bike to toss in the water bottles and check the tires, one of which was low and I refilled.

From there it was on to the beach to watch the pro start at 6:25. As the crowds started to build, the nerves started to build and the weather started to get windy, I headed into the changing tent, peed again, slipped on the wetsuit and headed back to the beach to prepare for my own start. I would like to say that I was nervous or freaked out a little bit because it felt that way, but it wasn’t that exactly. It was more a curiosity of the unknown. After all, until you have participated in a 2200 person mass swim start....a curiosity of the unknown is exactly what you should have. I hopped in the lake to pee one more time and met up with Yukon. We just stood there, mostly in silence, sometimes cracking a nervous joke, but mostly quietly watching out over the windy choppy waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene wondering what would this day hold in store.

I heard the announcer chime in over the loud speakers saying “at the end of this day you will be an Ironman”. A motivating comment at the time, but also one that would continue to motivate me throughout the entire day as I repeated it over and over in my head during the hardest moments.

Then....the 2.4 mile swim start.

To be continued....

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