Just sitting here... waiting for the gun to go off so we can just start racing already... except that gun isn't going to go off for several more days (4, but who's counting?) and I'm not actually done packing yet and we still have to get ourselves over to the Big Island...
Taper week is crazy... as in I'm going crazy... because really I just love to train long and hard and all this short stuff with 30 second pick-ups is killing me. It's a different kind of taper than I've ever done before... hopefully one that leads to 'peaking', whatever that means. I don't think I've ever actually 'peaked' before, even when I've been 'rested' for a race.
One thing that has helped me get through this week has been reviewing my log book. When you've been lucky enough not to get sick or injured during your training, and have had a high level of motivation to get through all of your workouts exactly as prescribed (with a coach who actually knows how to prescribe them!), it really leaves you with no excuses come race day. You know, usually I've got some sort of excuse up my sleeve... something to throw out the week before that gives a reason as to why my race might not be as fast as I wanted it to be... but this time, I have no excuse. I've done all the work*. I've been healthy. My nutrition has been good. I've slept and recovered appropriately. I feel great.
It's almost scary, knowing how prepared I am. Because the fear is still there, lurking in the back of my head, like what if it all doesn't come together like it should? What does that mean? I try not to think about that. Instead, I'm trying to envision the race turning out like I want it to.
So before we go, I have to give a huge thank you to a bunch of people who have really helped make these past few months the most enjoyable I can remember in my (long!) training history.
First of all, a huge thanks to Jen for sending me all those workouts week after week and really helping me focus on my run. I did more specific run training this year than I ever thought possible and 100% of the improvement I'm about to show myself during that 13.1 mile run is due to her guidance. Thanks, Jen!
And to my incredible swim/run partner, Nalani... you are the best!! I couldn't have asked for a more consistent, reliable, positive person to get to play with these last few months. And I can't wait to see you racing out there on Saturday. I'm sure you are going to impress yourself immensely! And you deserve every bit of it.
To my new friend, Jenny... like looking in a mirror, she said when we first met... YES! Without having you to trade off kid watching duties, I wouldn't have been able to get myself outside on my bike twice a week in the middle of the week... I wouldn't have been able to do those intervals week after week up Pineapple Hill... and I wouldn't have had another good friend to cheer for out on the race course! I hope your race is incredible as well. :)
My consistent and reliable biking partners Mike and Sandy and Spence and Amy and the rest of the Pac Velo crew... thank you for teaching me how fast I can go on the bike and how hard I can push for hours on end. Riding with you guys week after week was like motor-pacing. Pac Velo is going to have quite the showing this weekend, no?
To Ryan over at Island Triathlon and Bike- thank you for going over my bike with a fine-toothed comb and making sure it's going to work perfectly on race day.
All you bloggy friends out there... I've been more inspired and motivated because of so many of you. It'll be great to know that so many people I consider friends (even though we've never met!) cheering for me while watching online on Saturday. :)
And of course, none of this would have been even remotely possible without the 100% support of my awesome husband, Scott. The flexibility he has shown in allowing me to train every morning before he goes to work... all the Saturday mornings he didn't blink as I snapped on my helmet and pedaled away...
So you know what? No matter how bad it starts to hurt on Saturday, it won't hurt as bad as giving birth without drugs. So it's not going to kill me. And no matter how it turns out, I'm going to have a wonderful husband and a precious baby who think I'm the greatest waiting for me at the finish line. And I'll know that I did everything I could (legally, of course!) to give myself the best shot at having my perfect race. That's really what it's all about, isn't it?
*In reviewing my log book, I had to use all of my fingers (and most of my toes) to count the number of 56+ mile rides I did this year with brick runs afterward. And though my log book in 2007 (last time I trained for this race) had quite a few entries that said, "Slept in and skipped it", this year the number of times I wrote that was zero. Seriously, it's almost scary.