I pinch myself.
I’m just days away from the race and I feel ecstatic. This race I’ve been planning and working towards all year.
Just days ago I was running around getting everything ready. An endurance event in itself. I have a theory – I’m never more productive than the days leading up to vacation. Clean clothes, clean office, clean inbox, clean house (ok, that last part was mostly a lie).
The final hours of work were busy, including a surprise party from my amazing colleagues (lululemon? How did you know! 😉 )
Finally, the out of office was on and I raced home to meet Karen. As I zoomed past the Dartmouth Sportsplex, a warm breeze blew through my window, smelling of chlorine. I couldn’t help but smile. How many hours have I spent in that pool, preparing for this adventure? Dozens? A hundred?
And I’m finally here, relaxing on my own and making a loose plan for the next four days. Short workouts – very short, dropping off my gear, exploring with family and friends, grocery shopping, etc.
According to my plan, I swim / bike / run today, tomorrow and Saturday. Less than 90 minutes in total each day. I’ve read enough to know about what mishaps can happen during taper. Over-training is common for athletes leading up to the race. I’ve certainly experienced watching athletes do big workouts before the main race and questioned myself about not doing it. Especially under these amazing conditions – the town is designed for athletes right now and we’d be crazy not to!
But ultimately, its cramming, and I know enough that training heavily this week will not move me towards victory, and more than likely, take away from my race day.
Taper time can also play havoc mentally. Did I train enough?! Thoughts can pop up. But I’m feeling strong. I’m not sure if the totally hours trained but I’ve worked hard to get here. I’ve had low moments in the past month – typically in a hot and hard bike ride – where I wondered if I’m capable of even finishing. It’s an upsetting place to be and I’m glad I’m past those thoughts!
I’ve joked to people who don’t quite understand why I would put myself through this gruelling process: “I’m pretty sure I’m not going to win, but I do feel confident that I will finish.”
I’m joking, but I have to believe the words I say!
Karen and I are fortunate to have a condo steps away from the swim start and to be able to arrive this early in the week. Arriving earlier than necessary has been a great experience and more than anything allowing me to find calm. I know the swim course and part of the bike course already. It is the calm before the storm as the Ironman activities don’t get started until tomorrow.