Yesterday, after spending the morning doing a swim, a bike and a run as my last longish workout, I went to a swim shop to pick up a new cap and goggles. I wanted a back up set for my race, just in case. While I was there, I saw headbands with great phrases on them. I put two of them together and snapped this photo.
As I prepare myself mentally for my race next week, these phrases speak to me. I know I’ll have moments of doubt – moments where I tell myself that I can’t go on, that I can’t take getting kicked one more time in the water, that I can’t pedal another stroke, or that I can’t take another step. When any of that happens, I need to tell myself these things. Shut up and do it. You must.
This morning, I met my friend Erin on the trails and we ran some intervals together. My taper has worked. I felt a spring in my step. I hit the intervals I wanted to hit, and it felt easy. I think I’m ready.
This afternoon, I’m doing laundry and packing. I’m determined to be mostly packed today because I know tomorrow and Tuesday will be busy at work. I don’t want to be stressed about finding time to pack. It’s nice to have the time at home with Bread and Butter, and it’s exciting to get myself together for my fourth Ironman. Five years ago, I couldn’t imagine doing one. I certainly still find it hard to believe I’ve done three and am on the verge of my fourth.
I was thinking this morning as I ran the trails about the first time my friend Teri introduced me to Lady Bird Lake. It was 1999, and it was known as Town Lake at the time. She showed me the three-mile loop. Somehow she had convinced me to do a marathon training program with her. I was just getting started and couldn’t remember the last time I’d run three miles. But we went out there and she showed me where to turn to stay on the trails. We started at the Mopac footbridge and ran counter-clockwise. We were just past the boat dock when Teri told me that we were coming to the final bend and the homestretch. I thought, “We can’t get there soon enough.” I was dying, gasping for air, struggling to stay with her.
Now the three-mile loop is easy. I’ve run the trails and that particular bend hundreds of times. It’s fun to see how far I’ve come and how much my perspective has changed.
I’m giddy. I look in the mirror, and I see how strong I look. I look back on my training notes, and I know I’ve done the work. I feel rested and anxious to get on with the race. Jeanie, Malinda and I leave on Wednesday to head to Coeur d’Alene. As far as I’m concerned, we can’t get there soon enough.