Today has been an emotional roller coaster. All week I've felt super calm and had been wondering when the anxiety would kick in. As I put the final touches on my bike & run gear bags, it hit me! I would burst into tears randomly for no reason or for good reason. It didn't really matter.
Last night was the welcome dinner and it was pretty inspirational. Very inspirational. We heard some cool stats for this rate. 55% of all participants are from the great state of Texas. 700+ are first timers and 25% are women. It was awesome having the chance to spend this time with my teammates and of course, Keith. What a great, great night!
Today started off with a practice swim in Lake Woodlands and then a quick bike to make sure it was in good working order and then a short run. Everything felt good despite the super humid weather. Tell me again why I thought an Ironman in Texas in May was a good idea? After that, it was time to get the bags ready and the bike checked in. Keith came over to help me out and I was a mess, bursting into tears every so often. He then asked me if I wanted to carry some of his mom's ashes on the ride with me and I REALLY burst into tears.
As I sit here now thinking about dinner and my big day tomorrow, I'm still feeling overwhelmed. Having never been "athletic", I'm attempting something that many super fit people would never try. There were times over the past few days I felt so out of my place when looking at all the trim & ripped REAL athletes. But that's ok. :) As I lay down tonight, it will be hard to go to sleep when I know thoughts of the race will be sprinting through my head. The most important thing for tomorrow is to do my very best and never give up. I've met lots of new folks this week and all who have been to this dance before, offerred up tips. Focus on the event I'm in at the moment. When swimming, think about the swim and don't worry about what's next. Same for the bike & run. Be in the moment. Ok, tears again.
There are so many people I want to thank and I will thank EVERYONE in the coming days but for tonight, there are a few I want to thank.
My family, both immediate & extended. I can't tell you how much it has meant to me to have so many words of encouragement from family I haven't seen in years and have only recently reconnected with. Family is family no matter how much time has gone by or how far you are. I love that. Of course my immediate family has been wonderful. Stefanie has been to almost every single one of my races and my mom & other siblings have made it to as many as they could. They do a lot of sitting and waiting but they don't seem to mind. I'll never forget my first tri and I was doing HORRIBLE. My mom came out on the run course with me and encouraged me to keep going and saw me cross the finish. Tears again.
My coach Gena & my teammates have been awesome through this. Having training partners and now friends to lean on is incredible! I'm so excited for each of my teammates who are racing tomorrow, especially the first timers. Michelle has been an incredible training partner. We've shared so many laughs on the bike....between her navigational skills and my ability to launch water bottles in her general direction, there was never a dull moment. Stew has also been awesome, always answering my dumb questions when we're getting ready to ride. Keith owes him BIG time! And I can't forget about Chris who was my lane mate in the pool for so long. This lady would push me & push me, heck, we pushed each other. Honestly, I could say something about everyone but don't have the time this evening! I promise that in coming posts there will be more thanks!!! Lynn, Leslie, Dee, Misty, Brandi, Colin & Greg have all said something to put a smile on my face, make me laugh or encourage me.
I of course can't forget about Jill who got me into tris to start with. Thank you SO much for getting me hooked, always offering advice and being so encouraging. I can't wait to see you on the course tomorrow and I hope you make it to the end to watch me! Special thanks to Shellie & Kathleen as well who have given me great advice....Kathleen throughout and Shellie recently as we FINALLY met!!!
Finally, I have to thank Keith SO much. He has been so encouraging throughout this journey and has told me a million times how proud he is. The past week he's been especially wonderful and has helped me with everything I needed. It's funny b/c back in 2005 I was going to give up tris (after doing 2) and then he surprised me with a road bike for Christmas. Well, I couldn't give up then. And then I signed up for IMTX and he surprised me with a tri bike b/c he wanted me to have something better for the race. I'm a lucky, lucky girl. Thank you baby!!!
Ok, it's time to visit with Stef, Doug & Avery who made their way up here today. I will be doing a last check of my special needs bags and then trying to sleep. I keep telling myself it's not the destination, it's the journey. I will give it my all tomorrow. I won't give up. I will gut out the run b/c that's what I'm going to have to do. And God willing, I will cross that finish line before midnight and get to hug anyone and everyone still there!!!! I absolutely can't wait.
Thank you ALL for supporting me so much through this. Every email, text, blog post, everything has been so appreciated. I'm so looking forward to a blog post tomorrow with the story of a lifetime!!!!!!
Good night!!!! Wish #325 lots of love & luck!!!!!!