On Friday night, our coach made us watch a video that suggested skipping the practice swim and sleeping in as long as possible. . . and GOD did I want to (knowing that sleep would be hard to come by Saturday night) but I was back to my clothing issues. I hadn't had a chance to try and swim in my mens tri top and bikini bottom combination yet. . . and, I was afraid to simply "try it out" on race day. So, 7:45 saw me waiting for some of my mates down in the hotel lobby to "try it out". . . We walked, slowly the mile or so to the end of the swim course where Ironman was
allowing athletes with timing chips and wristbands to get in the water and preview the course.
Although this was what I'd been waiting for-- and that 85 degree water was AMAZING. I was nervous. I really hadn't done much swimming in a month. . . (shhh . . . don't tell Sedonia). I took a few minutes in the water to get used to the feel, taste, and warmth of the water and after about 10 minutes, I climbed back out of the water-- experimenting with how it was going to be to find the stair platform when I got out of the water at the real race. My race outfit felt good-- so I decided to stick with it.
We headed back to our rooms to finish organizing our bags and get ready for the pre-race Inspiration Lunch. At this luncheon, TNT teams celebrate the accomplishments that have gotten us this far and rededicate ourselves to our honorees and to those suffering from cancer. Here we talk about why it is that we, as people, do these events to cure cancer-- not just to accomplish a personal milestone. This one had an open mike-- and some teammates got up for the challenge. Although my honorees: Laura, Bonnie, Collin, Tyler, Peter, Richard, and so many others are never far from my thoughts, there was no way I was going near that open mike. . .
especially with less than 24 hours to go before race day.
After lunch it was crunch time: Time to deliver the bags and my bike to transition where I wouldn't see them until I opened them on race day. Saying a quick prayer, I handed my run, bike, and special needs bags to the volunteers and paused to take a picture of my name tag where I was to rack my bike. Without my bike and bags I felt both light and relaxed AND scared to death.
I headed back to my hotel room--alone-- the way I was to spend the night and most of the next day.
I'd love to say, as some of my teammates have, that I fell asleep quickly and had a restful night's sleep. But I'd be lying through my teeth. I started out watching Twilight: Eclipse. During the movie, a packet of cards came under my door from my teammates, friends, coaches and mentors. While each one offered encouragement-- each made me feel more isolated: each person seemed to say the same thing--signifying, to me, that I did not get to know my teammates nearly as much as I had hoped to during the course of the season. The cards started the waterworks, however, and they continued for the next few hours-- all I could think about was "I'm wasting water". . . hydration I would need the next day.
After Twilight, it was Forrest Gump-- then the local news. The forecast for Sunday was 96. Shouldn't be too bad. I couldn't sleep-- I wasn't hungry. I was downright scared. I was wide awake, laying in bed, watching the ceiling, when my alarm went to to remind me to take in a few hundred calories. Sometime after that however I fell into a fit full sleep.
Looking at this post-- I'm amazed at how short it is. This day felt interminable. I didn't think it was ever going to end. How is it that, written up, it is so short. . .