I'm excited. The nerves are there too, of course, but that just adds to the excitement. I think about the race in my free time. I spent 2.5 hours thinking about it on my train ride up to New Jersey today. I had motivational tunes blasting on my iPod and just visualized how I wanted the race to go, from start to finish. What I wanted my emotions to be, how I would feel during the swim, how my legs would feel during the bike, and what it would feel like to run the whole marathon. How it would feel to run around the Olympic oval and cross that finish line. Would this Ironman finish feel just as amazing as my first Ironman finish? What do I need to accomplish to get that same high? Is there anything better than your first Ironman finish?
Anyway, enough deep thoughts. Even though the workouts got shorter this weekend, I was still tired. Maybe I need to go to bed earlier. Or maybe I would sleep better if I didn't have a cat sleeping on my head, another cat sleeping on my side and a dog sleeping on my feet. I did an open water swim on Saturday morning. There aren't a whole lot of open water places to swim nearby to DC... except... the Potomac. One word: ick. You couldn't pay me enough to ever do the DC Tri or Nations Triathlon and swim amongst the "sleeping" fish in the heart of DC. The lower Potomac, where the swim was held, appeared to be cleaner. The water didn't stink, no "sleeping" fish, and there were living things in the water (in the form of LOTS of weeds). So, the open water swim wasn't too bad, once you got past the weeds. Then it was off on an hour run through some nearby neighborhoods. Then a BBQ with the team, a great way to cap off a morning workout. Mark treated me to an awesome dinner of homemade pasta, red sauce and grilled vegetables on Saturday night. I managed to stay awake through half of the Deathly Hallows movie before crying uncle and going to sleep before 11. The exciting life I do lead.
Sunday was the last substantially long brick before Ironman. I wanted to make it a good one. The past few weekends I haven't been as focused as I should've been through the workouts. I was supposed to do a T-run after my long bike ride 4th of July weekend. I forgot to write it down and forgot to do it. I was so irritated with myself when I figured out my mistake a few days later. Swims have been cut short here and there because of time constraints. So, even though I'm excited about Ironman, I still feel like there are a few things I could do better, like be more focused. I need to focus on more than just the emotions and feelings of the race - I need to figure out a race strategy and make sure I'm taking the necessary steps over the next few weeks to execute that strategy. Anyway, Sunday's brick was good. I FINALLY rode with Kerri, we're both doing Placid and I kept missing group rides with her because I never manage to get my lazy butt to a ride on time. It was a good, hilly, hot ride with an equally hot and hilly T-run (yes, I remembered to do my T-run this time). We rode on some different roads in Poolesville and had a really great time, it was nice to switch up the ride from the usual route. Though, I did take a wrong turn and found myself riding up a dirt road. I was too stubborn to admit that I might've been going the wrong way, so I just kept going, until Kerri finally called me out. Tri bikes don't make the best off-road bikes, I really thought I was going to bite it once or twice.
So, last big weekend of workouts complete. Taper has begun. It's time to make time for more sleep, eat healthy, drink lots of water with Nuun tablets. Write up lists for packing, think about race strategy. Dream about the perfect race. And plan out a strategy for the post-race food binge.