It was sunny on Monday. It was beautiful. I was smiling all day long. I took the boys to Portland to do some errands but most importantly, to pick strawberries. We do this every year. I love fresh berries. We have them from mid-June to early July. That's it. They were in jeapordy this year with all the rain. So when the sun came out...we hurried to pick. This is always our "event for the day" and then we get there and realize it takes about 20 minutes to pick 8 quarts. We would pick more, but they'd rot in our fridge. So we must stop. It's like picking apples. I remember it taking all day as a kid. In reality, it takes no time at all to fill our little bags.
We picked at the fields rigth next to the beach. A few posts ago, I referred to the beauty of Maine. That beauty has been elusive. However, MOnday we saw it again. There was not a cloud in the sky. I decided that groceries and other errands could wait and we headed to the beach for a walk. Within 5 minutes the boys were running into the ocean with their clothes on. Now, we live over an hour from there. They looked at me with pleading eyes, "Can we??" Hell ya! Go for it guys. But remember you'll be wet and probably naked all the way home. I sat myself in the warm sand and felt like I was in heaven. Finally I had warm sun on my face. It was amazing. The boys stripped down to nothing in the car and away we went. Perfect. Summer...are you really here?
I woke up the next day to clouds. Ok, not too bad. I woke up at 3:50 that day. I had to get up at 4:33 but my body woke me up at 3:50....My nightly trip to the bathroom. Bad timing. I stayed in bed instead and prayed for 30 more minutes. No such luck. So off I went to the pool.
I had a good 3000 yard swim. Nothing to report about the swim. It was fine. It was step 1 to my final big long training day.
step 2-prerace breakfast. This started on the drive home and continued for the next hour. It's kind of hard to stuff that many calories in!! I know it takes a lot for an Ironman so I just kept eating. At least 500 calories. Woah....
Step 3-100 miles. My final century. I was ready. I was --excited? I guess so. The distance isn't so daunting anymore. Except that it takes All Day Long! I realized tonight at dinner that my family could basically drive from Maine to Lake Placid in the time it takes me to ride about 100 miles. Scary. Now Finally my kids began to realize just how long I am out there. They remember the trip there last year.
So, I was ready for the ride. I was doing my standard 2 loop route. It even has a 4.5 mile climb at the end. Perfect for LP. As I pulled out of the driveway, there was my old friend. The rain. Shit.
Already??? And did I mention it was 52 degrees? It was July 7th!!!!!!! WTF!? Yes, I swore through most of this ride. I swore at the log trucks FLYING by me without so much as courtesy brake. I swore at the damn cold rain. It just poured and poured on me and I was frozen. I couldn't see...glasses were totally covered or my eyes were getting spit into. oh. you know the story. At least those of you in Maine this summer know. It's getting so damn old. To be honest, I am not sure I remember a long ride I have had without at least Some rain.
So I just rode hard. I rode and rode and at one point, thought I might cry. I contemplated the trainer for loop two. How pathetic!? July folks. So I got to my hubby's office to pick up my new bottles. I was grateful for a loving smile and hug. I wanted to crawl into his car and turn on the heat. I got new socks but that didn't help because my inserts were saturated. That was the ride. not much changed on loop two. More rain. More cold. Harder efforts. When descending that mtn at the end I nearly fell off mybike b/c I was so tense from the freezing cold.
But I did it. I rode 100.1 miles without quitting. I never actually quit...but I did want to. I wanted to stop. I guess I feel stronger not only from the ride, but from toughing it out. If race day is rainy, I'm covered. It'll be annoying and miserable but I'll have 2000 others around me for quiet moral support. There was no support out there yesterday. Just log trucks flying by me trying to squish me into p3 soup.
I have never been so happy to walk in teh door of my house. oh ok. that's not true. I've had happier home reunions but damn it felt GOOD to take those wet things off and lean the bike on the washing machine. The boys were absorbed with legos and air hockey. "Hi Mom." No biggy. They had no idea how much their Mom had just done!!! will they ever "get it?" Who knows.
Ok, I changed into run stuff and off I went.
step 4-40 minute run.
When I start my run, I have to go up 1/2 mile. I trotted....light and fresh??WTF? I felt GREAT! I was so excited. I continued on and it never got hard. My pace was fast and fresh and completely fatigue free. I am sure my legs would have become heavy after another 10 miles, but hey, the 5+ that I did run were amazing.
True emotions filled me. It actually overwhelmed me. I am proud. I am proud of what I have done to get here. I have worked so so hard. I have made sacrifies. My family has made sacrifices for me. I have so much support but it has been hard along the way. I am a Mom of 3 boys and my husband has a very busy job. I am proud of my body and feel lucky that I have been given the strength and health to get to this point.
I am so ready.
I went to bed feeling energized for the big day.
And today-the rain poured down harder. Temps did not rise. I woke up tired. I woke up a bit sore. I had a headache. The kids are sick and tired of inside play in the summer. They are tired of babysitters so mom can train. We were all at each other today. Grrr......
What a difference a day makes.
Tomorrow. I will hit rewind to Monday. The sun will come out. My body will be more rested. I will reenergize again and head into the final 2.5 weeks.