Friday, November 13, 2009

The Storm Before The Calm...

I made it to the sunshine state safe and sound. After a quick two hour flight from Pittsburgh (with a 4:15am wake up call - hence, the hat), I was arriving in Tampa at 10:00am and my wonderful friend Jim was there at the airport to pick me up in the "Birchmobile" as he calls it. He's such a trooper that he drove down from Michigan the week before to cheer on Ironman Florida finishers before coming to Clearwater! What a guy right!? On the van ride back to my hotel he told me to look in the back for my Christmas / End of Season present. Well, I'm not sure what this says about me but my gift was above! It's kind of special though because we met in St. Croix in May of last year and that's where this rum is from. I promise not to drink ALL of it on Saturday night after that race (but definitely a little!). We posed in front of the white sand castle 70.3 just before heading in to get me all registered up! I immediately noticed how cold it was off the plane and the wind was really whipping. When we started walking down the beach, I noticed all the "no swimming" signs and I asked Jim what was up? His only reply was that Ida wasn't quite in full effect, but she certainly was still impacting things in this area. I ate a lot of sand as it kept stinging my face and I could see the white capped waves rolling in from the ocean. I only hoped it would be better on Friday morning when I did my practice swim.

Once I had my packet, the last station was weighing and body fat analysis. Oh..that's just what I need right now.. It wasn't too bad but I'm not quite sure what Ironman needs to know this much about me!

Finally, we checked out the expo quickly. We stopped to send each other "miracle mile" messages that will come up when we each cross the 6 mile marker of the run, and saw my Mark Allen Online coach, Luis.

Randomly we ran into some fun tri girls and one said she actually reads my blog - who knew! I hugged her because, well, I'm a hugger and I thought that was pretty cool. I do have people that read this thing!!
They also mentioned the drafting and how rampent it was last year. I'd heard this many times before, but I guess I never really cared much about it until now. What I'm most afraid of is not that I'll draft (because I"m going to do everything in my power NOT to do it), but that I will get mad if I see girls going by me who ARE doing it and that even though I have goals in terms of where I want to place, that it won't matter because people aren't getting their place "fairly." I'm trying to come to terms with that fact that it just might be the case, and that I have to ride MY race and really concentrate on being safe and playing fair, regardless of how the chips fall in terms of place. Hopefully, I'll be able to remember that if I see packs flying by me tomorrow. I want to be happy with myself when I look in the mirror above all, and if people pass me I'm going to back off (hopefully quickly enough that I don't get a penalty either - that scares me too!!).

We swam this morning, and it was pretty rough to say the least. When a wave would come up and then drop out below us it would almost take my breath away they were so large. I really really hope it gets calmer tomorrow for the swim or things could get ugly. They were talking about a reroute to the harbor if it stays like it is now. For someone who's not that fast in the water already, I don't need any extra swells!

Some free swag from the Mark Allen Team was nice!! Thanks for all the well-wishes on my last blog. That's just makes me feel so good and I appreciate it so much. I really hope it goes well, but either way, I just want to do my best and be thankful to be out there doing what I love tomorrow. We really are blessed to have this opportunity so if you look at it that way no matter what, you can never be truly disappointed about the "outcome."

It's the journey, not the destination right!! Look out for number 790 tomorrow if you're watching online!! Please pray for a good race and a safe race for myself and all the other athletes.

Here we go!!!!

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