Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Night Before


Well, it's the night before the big day and I'm typing this as I eat an entirely over-salted yet bland dinner at the Early Bird time of 5:00 PM.
Dig Me Beach

I've been in Kona since Monday evening, staying with my family in a big ole house with a beautiful pool and a view of the ocean.  This week has flown by and while I'm more than ready to just get the show on the road, in a way, I'm going to be sad that the pre-race festivities are over.  I've grown to love my early morning swims in the ocean  (practice swims that often feel more like snorkeling adventures than workouts), wandering around the town that is packed to the brim with triathletes, collecting free swag from all the industry reps, spotting, and in sometimes almost running into, the pros I've read all about.  (No texting while walking in Kona, you just must narrowly miss a head-on collision with Chris McCormack).   It's humid, it's hot, it's windy, it's beautiful.  I'm just so happy to be here.  Happier even more that I'm able to experience it with my family and some good friends.
So happy to have so much family here, including my grandma

As for the race itself, I'm excited!  This is perhaps the least nervous I've been for an Ironman.  Don't get me wrong, I fully understand and expect that this WILL be the toughest race of my life.  But I'm ready.  I've put in the work-- lots and lots of work.  Have I done everything perfectly?  No....but I've come a whole lot closer than I ever have before, about as close as I am able, and I am thoroughly satisfied with my prep.   Mentally,  I'm in a good place.  This has been a season of growth and breakthroughs, and that self-sabotaging, super-anxious athlete of past is gone, replaced by someone who is excited, calm and ready to see what the day brings.
Where the road ends after Hawi
Most of all, I'm not putting a ton of pressure on myself here. I've always known that Kona is like no other Ironman.  I've seen the NBC broadcasts....favorites collapsing within a quarter mile of the finish or crawling across the line, bikes being blown across the the road, all those scary moments.  As such, I'm looking at this as a learning experience.  I set rough goals for myself a long time ago and they helped motivate me through training, but I've pretty much thrown out any time/ place expectations, instead hoping just for a strong, smart and tough race that I can be proud of.  I like it enough here that I know making a return trip will be a goal, so for this one, I just want to take it all in and enjoy it as much as possible.
Applejack the Magical Bike (new name)

Bikes all racked and ready
To everyone that has shown me so much support, I've been overwhelmed and I can't thank you enough.  I cried a little at work when I arrived on the Friday before I departed to an office decorated with good luck signs, a card signed by the whole firm, and a hugely generous gift.  Friends that surprised me with send-off parties, people that've sent message and well-wishes, those who are here and have been enormously helpful-- I can't tell you how much it means to me.  To have so many people in my corner brings me so much strength and I know it will tomorrow.  Whatever happens, I hope I handle the day in a way that makes you all proud.

And with that, I am off to triple check my gear bags and hit the hay early.  Tomorrow is a big day!

Parade of Nations- Brazil had the most spirit
My name on the banner of participants

Scoping the bike course-  Queen K

With Erin, Taylor, Todd

Getting ready to check in

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on an awesome race. And an awesome season. - Schmitty