I just spent the last twenty-five minutes watching this video from the awards dinner for the 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship. It follows pros and age group athletes through the day and conveys beautifully the emotion of this race. I’m a huge fan of Jordan Rapp, who is part of this video. I’m also a fan of the age groupers who are featured. Their story is my story and the story of so many athletes who do this thing, not to win, but in an effort to better themselves. Be careful if you decide to click that link for the video. It’ll make you want to do an Ironman.
In just eleven days, I will be racing my third Ironman. I’m not packed yet, but in every meaningful way, I am ready. I’ve done focused training for the past six months, including the MS150 in April, a 2.4 mile open water swim and an Olympic Distance triathlon in June, a half-Ironman distance race in July, and the double dam loop and a century ride in August. I’ve spent what I think is an incredible amount of time on the bike because I knew that’s where I stood to save the most time.
It surprises me how nervous I am even though this is my third time around the block. Most of all, I want to finish within the time cutoff so that I’m an official finisher, but this year, I have a real sense of my ability to do better than that. I want to finish with lots of time to spare. I would love for my finishing time to start with a 15 rather than a 16, as it has in my last two races. To accomplish that, I hope for a few things. I hope for good weather in Penticton on race day. I hope for a clear path on my swim. I hope for no technical issues on the bike. I hope to feel well-fueled in terms of nutrition when I start the run, and I hope to run comfortably the entire way. Is that asking a lot? Yes. But Ironman is about asking a lot of yourself, so I send those hopes out into the universe, too.
I’m on this email list called “Notes from the Universe” done by http://www.tut.com. Sometimes they’re strange, and I just read and delete them. But sometimes the words speak to me. Like today, my email said:
Really, really soon –
That’s certainly my hope and prayer where this race is concerned. August 26 is really, really soon. I’m ready for really, really good.