Three days until the race. I am getting more and more nervous. This is really going to happen. There is so much time to anticipate everything that could go wrong that it is making me crazy. I have some lists of tasks to do so I am trying to just do what I need to do and know that things always work themselves out on race day.
I went down to the water today to meditate this morning before returning to registration for another shift. As I was wandering by, 9-time Ironman world champion Paula Newby Fraser was giving a talk. I stopped to listen for a while. She had some great race day advice about making sure to go as hard as you go in training. She said that she sees a lot of athletes that go hard in training but hold back too much during the race. She said that on the run your legs will no doubt feel shredded but not they are not too shredded to run on so you have to just keep going. She said to push a little if you are feeling good because you are going to feel tired no matter what. I will think of this. She also said that everyone is nervous, and even she herself is usually very very nervous and sick to her stomach.
I should not have signed up to work again this morning. Last year when I was not racing, it was no problem to work twice. This year, the athletes were giving me nervous anxiety. I didn't feel like talking with them anymore and I had trouble being friendly and cheerful while explaining everything. I would have wanted a better registration experience than I could give to these people and I felt bad about not being able to provide them with that. 30 minutes in I was ready to go and I did end up leaving an hour early. CC came to my line to deal with a registration issue and I left with her to go outside and eat a sandwich and decompress.
I spent the afternoon preparing my transition bags and special needs bags. I also went to the store to get the food I want to eat before and during the race. There are so many details to remember, I am freaking out about forgetting something or not having thought of everything. My five bags are all laid out on my living room floor with their contents on top.
This evening was the race dinner and athlete meeting. CC and I met down at the Terrace so we could sit together. The meal was a complete carb-fest with pasta and sauce, bread, potatoes, salad, and cooked vegetables. No protein in sight! We talked to two guys across the table from us - one of whom had just done Ironman Germany a month ago, and one like me for whom this would be his first Ironman. The dinner program was entertaining and funny, hosted by Mike, the voice of Ironman... the guy who announces at the finish line that "You [fill in name], are an Ironman!". They played a game with the audience to see who had lost the most weight training, and it was a woman who had lost 101 lbs! They gave her a deluxe scale and she was very modest about the whole thing. They also featured the youngest and oldest male and female athletes. The ages for the women was 67 and 19, and for the men 77 and 18. The event was fun, and I have now started to wonder if maybe I should sign up for next year after all. I feel so lucky to be a part of this...