IM Coz Part 3
"I've seen a man floating on his back, lifeless. I've seen a man getting CPR. I've seen multiple ambulances racing to provide..." Not what I want to hear from a 200+ time Ironman finisher regarding a mass swim start. But it's fact. It's truth. It's real. And it's so scary. Will I die during this swim? Probably not. But the fear is real. HOWEVER... I have calmed down substantially.
I woke up so uneasy, so nervous. I did sleep okay but instant angst when I awoke. I sat on the edge of the bed, "I don't know what I'm going to do mom."
"You're going to swim and bike and run and finish your 12th Ironman", she consoled me.
I sent her off on her dive adventure and ran into my new friends, John and Elizabeth for breakfast (they're the near 300 Ironman couple). I couldn't get any food in my nervous belly so I sat with them and talked. Elizabeth discussed meditating, letting the colors of the rainbow inside me, envisioning white surrounding me, asking for peace and safety; she brought tears to my eyes. And John was keeping it real with the scary truth of an Ironman swim. "Being nervous is good, we are all nervous. You'll be fine", he reminded me.
I'm also reminded that people tend to enter our lives for a reason and usually right when we need them. John and Elizabeth have inspired me to be strong. We talked about how they met at an Ironman finish line, and where they've raced, what drives them, and who they are as an Ironman couple. I'm in awe. Elizabeth made me eat a kiwi. I'm certain we've been brought together with purpose.
I decided to bike down to Chankanaab Park (swim finish and T1). It's a quick 5 miles and gave me a chance to test my bike out. Upon arrival I realized I had missed the practice swim. It's okay Lisa, I can swim by the hotel later (same water).
I waited about half an hour until bike check-in opened. My favorite part about being an AWA athlete, early bike check in! I got her all set up and also dropped my bike gear. Our run gear drop off was in a different location. Not knowing when exactly the shuttle was supposed to arrive, a group of athletes and I decide to share a taxi. Talking with them was SO relieving. We shared race stories and our anxieties of the swim. I'm not alone. One couple was headed in my same direction so we got acquainted, Tammy and Matt. Tammy has done 2 IM and Matt has done 1, kind of. His 1st swim got canceled so he doesn't count it. He's just as nervous as I am about tomorrow. Tammy is just here to support for this race. We check our run bags in and walk over to a little bike shop. I got two air canisters - more relief!! We stay together to the Mega Store (holy shit this store is Walmart x100! It's huge. And has EVERYthing you can possibly imagine. We parted ways with an intent of meeting in the swim coral to be scared together tomorrow. Ha ha.
Knowing I'm not alone in my fear really truly helps.
Mom returned from her dive and I got in the water again. I felt much more conformable this time and practiced breathing and calming myself. Chatted with a few other Ironman and friends in the water and wrapped up it up. I think I've got this.
We cleaned up and headed to town to relax a little bit. We found a fun little bar with swings for seats and indulged in margaritas and chips with guacamole. Nothing beats guacamole in Mexico. How do they make it so much better!? Mmmm!!
Dinner didn't start until 1830 so got that down and done and it's now time to relax, rest, and hopefully get some sleep. I appreciate all the support and words of encouragement from all my friends... you will truly push me to accomplish this Ironman. Thank you and much love!!