Since Tommy pretty well covered all the pre-race stuff, I can almost just jump into the actual race day (thanks!)...but I'll give a brief recap of the week leading up to the race for me...
Monday before the race was the first day that it actually started to feel real. I was hyperactive at work and barely got anything done - which was a problem since I was going to be gone for a week – but by the time I got home that night I had calmed down some and the realness went away. Tommy and I made all our pre-race favorites – sushi, pizza from Collina's and mac and cheese and finished packing. I couldn't believe it was finally here, but it just didn't seem real.
It still didn't seem real when we were on the plane with 100 other athletes – all with their athletic watches and race shirts.
It still didn't seem real at the registration or the pre-race meeting. Tommy and I were both high strung and irritable (which is normal for me but very out of character for him!), but it still hadn't hit me yet.
It didn't seem real as we were waiting for the shuttle to drop our bikes off at the swim finish (and then we ended up shoving out bikes in the luggage compartment of the bus...which led to problems for me on race day, but we will get to that...). But the minute we arrived at transition and I put my bike on my rack and walked away, it seemed real. The real-ness of it all finally hit me like a ton of bricks when I left my bike at his home for the night knowing the next time I saw him would be when I was running away with him out of T1.
Holy crap. It's real. It's finally here. I am going to race an Ironman tomorrow. I’ve been exercising for 5 years and tomorrow I am going to participate in one of the ultimate tests. One year of training and tomorrow is THE day. Holy crap.
To say I was hysterical would be an understatement.
And BTW, nobody told me we would get body marked the day before!! The towels and sheets in our hotel room are ruined...I had two more showers to take before race morning!! But I found a great girl to write beautiful numbers on me (it is still my dream to do a race where they use stamps instead of markers, but alas, I found good handwriting which is ALMOST as good).
Here is Tommy with his primo, front row joe bike gear bag placement!
I was pretty much a basket case the entire shuttle ride back to the hotel. We wanted to say goodnight to our friends before retiring to our room for a room service dinner, so we headed up to the rooftop bar to join them for a quick drink (and yes we drank...our bodies are used to it, and I didn't want to shock it with the absence of alcohol!) I cried the entire way up in the elevator but I got myself together before we got there and made Tommy promise that the minute I started crying at the bar (because that’s just unacceptable), we would head out. Surprisingly, I made it through almost an entire glass of wine before I lost it.
Seeing everyone at the bar was amazing but stressful. They kept asking how we were doing and those are just bad questions (which I discovered is exactly what I did to friends before their races – karma is evil!!). Really, I just didn't want to think about it. After 30 minutes, someone said something to set me off and the water works began – Tommy quickly ushered me out of there, we ordered pasta dinners and wine from room service, watched some really bad movies with subtitles, and passed out early (only to wake up at midnight in a cold sweat fearing I had given my bike gear bag to the run gear bag people and vice versa).