When I got out of bed this morning, I heard a little “clink” on my hardwood floor. I looked down and saw that my Ironman pendant had fallen on the ground. My pendant was a gift from my mother – something she put around my neck when I crossed my first Ironman finish line in 2008. Once I got over the shock and horror that my sweet mother had purchased anything Ironman before the race – something I never do for fear that I’ll jinx something – I loved it. In fact, I have worn that pendant nearly every day for the last six years. But somehow over night, the clasp on the chain opened and, when I stood up, the pendant fell. Because my mind immediately goes to the negative, I thought, “Does this mean I’m not going to finish this race? Have I fallen away from being an Ironman?”
Ridiculous, I know. But my brain is wired towards fear in some respects, and I have a terrible tendency to assume the worst. A fallen pendant does not mean an unfinished race. A fallen pendant does not mean an unfinished race. A fallen pendant does not mean…
I’m just nervous. I always get like this before my races. I have lots of weird superstitions around my races. For the last four Ironman events, I’ve worn the same swim bra and top and the same multi-colored flowered socks on the bike and the run. (I have two pairs, so I can put on a fresh pair for the run. You can imagine the drama when I did laundry one day and ended up with a lone multi-colored flowered sock. But to my relief, the pair eventually revealed itself. Phew!) I’ve also run in the same red Longhorn Triathlon hat and the same black Race Ready shorts. Sure, I could go buy new stuff, but the old stuff has been successful in the past, you know? I also get a pre-race pedicure every time. These are stupid little mental games, I know, but I continue to play them.
I’m feeling a little behind because I haven’t made my packing list yet, and I haven’t written out my detailed nutrition plan. I have to drop my bike and gear bag off this Thursday to be transported up to Coeur d’Alene, so I need to get that gear bag packed, which means I need to know what nutrition I need to buy because I ordinarily ship all of my food and bottles with my gear bag. My body’s ready, but I still have some stuff to do to get myself and my head ready.
And now I need to decide if I’ll wear my pendant this time. I don’t want to lose it, but I’ve worn it each time since Mom gave it to me. I don’t wear it on race day because I don’t need any weird rubbing or chafing, and I don’t want to worry about losing it during the race, but I do think I want to wear it up there. Maybe I can find time to take the chain in tomorrow to see if the clasp needs work. Add that to the list of things to do.
I get stressed out in the days leading up to getting on the plane, but I so love arriving in my Ironman town, whether it’s been Coeur d’Alene or Penticton, and getting settled into my home for the week.True to my superstitions, for this year’s race I’ve rented the same house I rented last year in Coeur d’Alene. It’s a great house within walking distance of the start and just a block or two from the bike and run courses, and the woman I rent through is super nice and easy to work with. I can’t wait to get there and walk down to registration to get my race wristband and go for swims, rides and runs in the days leading up to the race. It’s going to be a wonderful week. I just need to get there.