In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been absent from the Internet for awhile now. I took a bit of a mental hiatus from all this triathlon stuff — stepped away from my blog (and Twitter, and your blogs), made lists of the million and one non-tri things I want to do after Sept. 11, began the process of overhauling my horribly outdated “real person” closet, etc. — and it’s been GREAT.
As you know, I was a disaster when I returned from my course preview trip. And while on a week-long vacation at the beach, I discovered that one of the healthiest things I can do to keep from stressing about this little race I have coming up is to step back and just let some of it go. I’ve done all the right workouts, I’ve written my race plan and gotten coach’s approval, I’ve put myself through a lot of physical and mental hurdles I expect to face on race day, I’ve lived and breathed Ironman for nearly eight months. But two weeks out, there’s nothing more I can do other than rest up and get excited about crossing that line and hearing Mike Reilly say, “Emily, you are an Ironman!”
So instead of spending every second picturing every possible thing that could go right or wrong or worrying about whether I could have spent an extra 10 minutes on the bike here or tacked an extra 500m onto my swim there, I’ve set the whole thing aside, and I’m far more relaxed because of it. Sure, I still have big goals and a little bit of pre-race anxiety, but that freakout I had a few weeks ago is gone, replaced by excitement and this realistic perspective: that whatever happens, Ironman Wisconsin is gonna be AWESOME.
As I tracked friends doing IM Louisville today, I realized that in just two short weeks I’ll be swimming/biking/running the streets of Madison. There’s nothing more motivating than watching people you know — or even those you don’t — accomplish something so great. TWO WEEKS, PEOPLE, TWO WEEKS!
Another thing that started to make this feel real was this little email I received late last week:
Athlete’s guide! Schedules! Details! Bib numbers! Wait, I actually signed up for this? I wasn’t just playing around for 20 weeks? I’m gonna be an Ironman?
So, onto what’s left to do before I actually cross that line. I’ve been tapering for a week already, but this weekend was my last long-ish brick, my last long run, my last hurrah before race day. I did a 3-hour ride plus a 30-minute brick on Saturday before Irene arrived and knocked down trees and flooded parts of the city, while Sunday morning was a 12-mile run with some short pick-ups followed by an easy 1-hour spin on the trainer. All that’s in my TrainingPeaks account now are a few long and steady swims, an open-water session or two, some short bricks and a few easy rides and runs.
Otherwise, I have to get all my gear in order and start thinking about packing, as I have to drop my bike and gear bag at Bonzai by
next Monday Sunday. I’m going to clean the Felt really well and take it in for a pre-race tuneup after my ride this Saturday, so time is ticking. To stay organized, I’ve started making lists. Color-coded lists. I know, I’m my mother’s daughter. I have a master packing list, a list for each transition and special needs bag, a list for “real-person” items I’ll need when I’m not racing, a list of what’s going in my TriBike Transport gear bag and what’s going on the plane with me. It’s a lot of lists.
And in between all of this, I’m reading and rereading this and visualizing all the things I’m going to experience in Madison: