As the days tick away, and race day approaches rapidly, I have become one horrible person to live with (just ask my husband, he will nod his head enthusiastically). My training has tapered WAY DOWN, and my body aches from the shock of not punishing it with 4-hour megaworkouts. My mind is racing constantly with fears, worries, scenarios, and images of the FINISH LINE on Sunday. I am positively irrational with my husband and kids, and I know they think I have lost my mind. I have gone from defiance to denial to downright depression to finally, excitement, all in the span of about 7 days. But, the fact remains,
I AM RACING AN IRONMAN 70.3 IN 3 DAYS!!
I think - no, I know - I am ready. The bike ride still scares me to death. I worry most about getting a flat, getting flustered and taking 3 hours to change it, causing me to get swept off the course by the clock police.
The run scares me a bit, too. But only because it will feel like an eternity after sitting on my bike for 3 1/2+ hours. I just hope my legs and brain can work together to get me to the end!
I keep envisioning the finish line. If I don't puke, I will cry. Like a baby. Ugly crying, too.
I've been thinking a lot about my dad lately. Always my biggest critic - and loudest cheerleader - my dad would have doubted my ability to do this, but would have supported me to the very end. I wonder if he would understand and respect what an undertaking this has been, what a physical and emotional trip I have taken? Probably not. But I hope that he will be with me on Sunday, shouting at me to "GO Goddamn it!", just like he did when I wasn't swimming fast enough for his liking so many years ago.
Two years ago I did my first triathlon. Two years ago, I did that little sprint race, and it changed me. I was scared then, and I showed myself that I was made of more than I ever knew. I crossed the finish line that day and fell into the arms of my husband and my kids, and they celebrated with me. Sunday, when I cross the finish line in Augusta, my husband and my kids will be there, and I will remember that feeling I had at that first race, and I am sure that I will be overwhelmed and exhausted and elated and about 100 other things that I have yet to experience. But, above everything, I will be grateful. Because, you know, I am just a 40-year-old mom, an ordinary old lady who hopes that her kids can take something away from watching their mom suffer a little bit.
See you again in 70.3 miles!