The bike and gear bags are dropped off; tomorrow is the big day. It’s agonizing being here so many days before the thing actually happens, trying to get in workouts and organize my shit and trying to stay off my feet (which is impossible).
I feel both totally prepared and totally unprepared at the same time; I am both excited to be racing, and excited for it to be over. A few months ago I went to a live recording of Sugar Radio cohosted by Cheryl Strayed, the author of Wild. When asked about through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, she said it was “retrospective fun”. I.e., it wasn’t fun while she was doing it, but in looking back, it was fun.
I think Ironman will definitely be retrospective fun. I asked DJ if an Ironman was twice as hard as a Half, or harder then twice as hard. His response? It’s harder then twice as hard, but it’s easier. ? So we shall see.
I’ve gotten a lot of advice from seasoned racers about doing my first Ironman:
One mile at a time.
Enjoy the moment, you only do your first one once.
Start out slow and ease off. (ok that wasn’t advice to me but I still laugh every time I think of that race “strategy”)
The race doesn’t start until mile 20 of the run.
Race your race. (don’t let people piss you off in the bike and work to pass them, just follow your plan)
When it gets shitty, count your blessings.
That last one wasn’t advice, but it’s something DJ said he does, usually around mile 18 of the marathon. I would hazard a guess that if anything, this race is all about attitude and focus. Panic is bad. Any kind of whining or negative thoughts could make finishing agonizing (I know this, as I’ve certainly been there during all-day races).
I have many things to be grateful for, I think it’s safe to say that counting my blessings would take me a long time. Which I might need. 🙂