The Day Before an Ironman
Gear bags are packed. Bike is tested. I am in Arizona for an Ironman...
During my test ride, or should I say my emotional roller coaster, I went through my race plan. I felt the water, I pedaled strong, I ran from my heart. I WILL be successful on Sunday, I told myself, I will reach my goals.
^ mental preparation. It's a HUGE part of Ironman training and probably the most neglected. It's what I'll spend the rest of my today doing. While yesterday I had plenty of mental distractions, I made sure all day I was eating plenty of carbs and protein and resting my muscles. I biked about 10 miles and ran 2 to make sure my body still knew how to do all that.
This morning I will get a quick swim in at the lake. It's always great to be able to get in the actual body of water that you'll be racing in. We've been warned it's quite cold and because the area is so narrow, you take quite the beating. Getting in this morning helps the visualization of it all. I will also check my bike in. Once she goes on the rack, there's no looking back; she's ready to race. Us triathletes, we're kind of crazy...we give life to most of our equipment, especially our bike. It's like the bike KNOWS what's about to happen, how she must perform ~much like a horse behind the gate of a race. She's clean, lubed, tightened, sitting in transition EAGER for the 112 miles. She's ready.
And gear bags, we turn over our gear bags today. Did I forget anything? Will this be enough? Emotions range from confidence to doubt and that switch can be flipped quickly and without warning!!
None of this changes. At least not for me. I've done this 6 times now. And while the 1st time was so many unknowns, I feel the same nervousness and excitement. I'm a whirlwind of confidence shattered quickly by doubt brightened suddenly with determination. I'm a hot mess!
Holy moly, I've done 5 Ironman. It doesn't even seem possible. I feel like I just keep getting lucky to have finished 5 times. Like, it's a joke. I have to keep proving to myself that I REALLY can do it.
I've trained hard and I've set high expectations for myself. Ironman #6, you will be mine. I will swim 2.4 miles. I will bike 112 miles. I will run 26.2 miles. Nothing will stop me. I AM AN IRONMAN.