But I will try.
I am going to follow the lead of fellow blogger Marit C-L and write this report in parts. There is no way I can sit and do it all at once.
The week before my first Ironman was TOUGH!!! All year long, I had Ironman on my mind. From time to time I would get some nerves and think about the reality of that day. I had been "nervous." But, nothing prepared me for the emotions that engulfed me on the Sunday before the race. It was the marking of '1 more week.' I think I had jitters all day long. I was irritable. I was quite simply, freaking out. Ok, I admit, those of you who have known me all my life know that this is not atypical pre-race Ange behavior. I know. But let me assure you, this was different. I do Not usually get like that a full week before. I did settle down as each day moved along. Sounds strange but I really did get a bit calmer as the day grew close. I packed thoroughly and hit the roads on Thursday. Alone. My 3 boys and hubby came the next day. It allowed me to collect my thoughts. It was a good move. I felt somewhat lonely at times...but definately what I needed.
I arrived in LP and felt Great! I was calm. confindent. Ready. Watching the other athletes and seeing the venue again gave me a strange sense of peace. I guess I knew it was where I was supposed to be. If anyone was ready, I was. I trained so hard. I have focused all season on this goal.
I picked up my packet, got Weighed!? (didn't like that with my big clunky fat heeled shoes and post big bagel lunch--such a girl), and headed to our room.
The next day was spent making and freezing nutrition bottles, packing the Transition and special needs bags and assessing every little tweak in my body.
I was able to have dinner with Mary and Andy, to chit chat with Mike and his family because their room was next door, ride the giant hill with Tim, and get lots of comforting words from MaryLou and Nat. Those last few days were good. It was going fine. No major problems. I did a few teensy tiny "workouts" and waited. It's funny to look back on those final workouts. Hard to call them that....20 min swim, 10 min bike, 10 min run....stuff like that. But we took them seriously. Even the 45 min run before I left town. they all seem so insignificant now. I now understand how they work. They just keep you from going insane. They allow you to move your body a little....but not much. I am glad I took this very seriously and erred on the side of rest. I needed All I had inside.
My family arrived and it was wonderful. But ah, crowded. I have 3 bouncy boys. They are just awesome kids. I have to say that. I do appreciate them so much. They are boys though!! we had a suite but it was tiny. In our bedroom...we had 2 double beds. 5 people. One about to do an Ironman and one is 6'3". We had a plan. Camping air mattresses!!! The boys took my "warnings" seriously. I told them that the ngiht before and 2 nights before were Key for sleeping. they did great. I got my own bed, Mark shared with 1 boy, and the other two were on teh floor in sleeping bags. Not a spot left on the floor. But, they were quiet and I slept. thanks guys. :) mark was amazing. He did Everything with the kids. Just took them away and let me chill.
Saturday-one day to go. I couldn't sleep. I got up and went to the lake. I did a tiny swim and hurried back to eat. I had to get it all right. One more thing to do. Rack the bike and turn in the bags. By 11:00 that was done. I headed to the room and got on the bed. I stayed there...literally...until 4:30 p.m. I had my feet up all. day. long. I felt good about this.
After dinner with a table full of Mary and Andy, my brother, my family, my parents, and my in-laws (with 12 other friends behind us at another table), I was off to bed.
7:45. Ligths out.
nothing more to do. Please please please let me sleep!!!
3:50 a.m. and I woke up (yeah..I slept) and scurried to stuff my face. My husband came out to hug me and be with me but I carefully told him I needed the time alone to dress, eat, and walk to the start. He knew this....we hugged and said our good byes. I tried not to think about what was coming. I had to just go through the motions.
Mike (friend from home-training partner sometimes) was next door and we had planned to walk over at 4:45.
I ate all I was supposed to eat. oatmeal, almonds, bagel with peanut butter (why is it SO hard to get these down on race morning!) and coffee. I couldn't do the banana. I was stuffed. I sipped water and amino vital for the next few hrs.
I was calm. It was strange. I had a lump in my throat but I felt ok. I was just doing my thing. We walked to the team tent area and found Nat. Nat is amazing. He is my friend and my bike mechanic and just a calm experienced presence that I love having at races. We dropped some of our gear and walked down the road to hang our special needs bike and run bags. Done.
Ok. off to body mark. To pump tires. Just go through the motions Ange.
It was dark. There were nervous athletes everywhere. We were all scurrying around. there was no more time to think. Just do it.
I think it was maybe 5:05 a.m. at this point. We walked back through our team tents on the way to the body marking. "Hi Ange." I turned expecting to see other athlete friends...but no! It was Mom, Dad and my brother Jeff! I tell ya... they are amazing. 5 a.m. and they're ready to roll. I had the greatest support that day!
I looked for all my friends. I hadn't seen Mary yet but I knew I would. At my bike I finally saw Melissa. We were so happy to see each other. I knew she would have a great day. there's something about seeing freinds out there!
The next hour went fast. I hurried from the tent to our hotel and then to the beach house and then another hotel, avoiding porta potties. I found secret bathrooms all morning.
The next thing I knew, it was time. Wetsuits were on. Everyone was quiet. Cap on. Hugs goodbye. "see you tonight!" Mary and I were quiet. We walked towards the beach.
Next: the Swim. I'll post that in a few hours. The fun begins.