Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's an Ironman - it's not The Hunger Games!

I can't believe that in less than 12 hours I will be racing an Ironman.  Well at least attempting to finish one! :)  The past two weeks have been filled with strange dreams, and the race seemed like this far off, distant, very scary thing.  

Finally I told myself to stop it.  It's not The Hunger Games!  It sort of feels like it - we arrived Thursday and Friday and Saturday were filled with all sorts of preparations for the race, including a group ride, practice swim, pre-race banquet, athlete briefing, expo, etc, all in preparation for the big unknown tomorrow.  

But it's not The Hunger Games.  It's a race, and one where we can all come out as finishers.  I've done lots of races, I've been nervous before lots of races, and after tomorrow this will be another race I have done.  I remember freaking out the night before my first  Half Iron -- the thought of being out there for 6+ hours terrified me, the out and back lake swim terrified me, running a half marathon after biking 56 miles terrified me... the second time around (Musselman) I wasn't even phased.  I just went out there and had a great time.  

Yes, there is the possibility of not finishing.  Tomorrow is going to be hot.  The bad news is, it is supposed to hit 91 degrees right around 4pm when I will likely be towards the end of the bike.  The good news is, it's supposed to cool off a few degrees every hour during the marathon, so perhaps ONLY 82 degrees at the finish line.  

Tomorrow will be a long day.  And for it I am thankful.  I am most thankful to my amazing husband for supporting me through these long hours of training -- all 386 hours of training I have put in since January.  He has put up with an alarm clock permanently set at 4:50am, he has taken the kids for the entire day during my peak season 8 hour training days (yes, there were about three of those), and right now he is at CVS buying me toenail clippers because I left mine in Virginia.  I am thankful to my parents for their amazing support, for watching Susie and Jack during our tri-camp weekend and during races, and for coming down to Louisville to support me.  I'm thankful to my former boss who told me in December to stop talking about Ironman and sign up for one.  I'm thankful to my family for putting up with this Iron Dream for the past six months (even though I annoyed my brother to the point that he hijacked my iphone and reported on Facebook that I was retiring from triathlon.)  I'm thankful to my experienced Ironfriends who have given me many words of advice during this training cycle.  

Here we go.  Game on.


  1. Gretchen,

    Our admiration knows no bounds. Agree about Jamie - what a great guy.

    And seeing the lovely Susie racing is priceless.

    You're already a winner.

  2. You did fantastic...loved tracking you. Can't wait to read the race report (read the recap on Dailymile). Well done Ironman!