We slept in on Friday. Around 7, Doug knocked on our door to tell us that it was snowing outside. Do you believe that? August 27th and it is snowing. Awesome. Between the wind and the snow, I was feeling totally sick to my stomach.
Today was the day we would go down to the village and register, then at night would be the mandatory athlete meeting. We also planned to do a practice swim to test out my wetsuit that had been glued.
We headed downtown, the dark, winding road looked a little better in the light. Still steep and winding! I kept thinking how fun it would be to drive this road on Sunday night after Ironman…
We got down to the village around 11. We decided to go register. I saw the water – it was pretty choppy and I decided I didn’t want to swim in it. So typical. We went and got registered. We signed our paperwork, got our packets and our wristbands. It was seeming a little more real. I was freaking out.
I was looking at the water and it was nothing like Klineline pond, where we train. It was rough waters and I wanted to cry. Upon further thought, we decided we would go for a swim. They had buoys set up along the shoreline. It was a nice place to practice.
I needed a little help getting on my wetsuit. Trevor stood behind me to pull my sleeve up. His hand slipped and he totally punched me in the face. Hard. Now I am prepared for the swim. We laughed SO hard about that. Otherwise I would have cried.
We got in the water and it was cool. Not too bad, but cool. We started to swim. We figured we would swim about half way down the shoreline and then out and then back. Holy shit, the water was rough. I had a long conversation with myself “this suck. I don’t need this practice. This isn’t helping me. What am I going to do on Sunday if its like this. Oh God, what have I gotten myself into”. I stopped a few times and breast stroked. Then I realized that I need a plan – because it was probably going to be rough like this on Sunday. I wanted to cry. I wanted to quit. I wanted to get out and go home. I didn’t want to do Ironman. I didn’t want to do any of it.
We got to the turn around, swam out a bit and headed back. I breast stroked a lot more than I wanted.
Then I realized that it was a great thing that we had done this practice swim. Now I don’t have to have these conversations with myself on Sunday. I can just adapt, breast stroke for a bit to get my bearing and keep going. If I need to. Otherwise, I can just put my head down and swim. Like I always do.
We got out of the water and went to have lunch. I couldn’t eat, I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to cry. I was so upset and nervous. These feelings followed me through the next 24 hours or so.
We headed back to the house – up the hill. Cleaned up, packed up our bags for race day, had dinner and headed back to town – down the hill - for the athlete’s meeting. This is where they go over the course and the rules. They asked how many people were racing their first Ironman. About 75% of the room stood up. I asked Doug if he thought other people were feeling like I was feeling. He said “most of them are feeling worse”. That helped. But I still felt totally sick to my stomach. The meeting ended and we headed back to the house – up the hill.
We went over our bags one more time. There is so much stuff for triathlon. For Ironman, it is even worse. You don’t set your stuff up at your bike like you do in smaller events. You put your stuff in bags and you have to drop those bags off before race day. You have to plan ahead. Lots of planning. Too much thinking!
We had some dessert and went to bed. I didn’t sleep well at all. I felt really sick to my stomach and so uneasy. I hate this part of triathlon. I get SO worked up. I hate it. That is my least favorite part of the sport and I don’t know how to train it out of me, but I need to figure it out.