Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pep Talk

One of the locals.

Yesterday, I received some serious pep-talking from a collection of friends – exactly what I needed, since I’ve been struck with nervousness unlike any other I’ve experienced prior to an Ironman race. MJ helped calm my fears about the potential race day weather conditions, reminding me that even if it is dumping down, we’ll have the full width of the road, minus traffic, at our disposal. She also promised me that, when the third round of hills of the bike and run hurt, I can rest assured she’ll be feeling the same pain. HPP encouraged me to relax as much as possible on the bike, even if it is pelting rain. The best way to lose control is to let the fear grip me, and the best way to prevent any trouble is to simply steer smart and keep pedaling through the wet and wind. Nicole encouraged me to embrace the inclement weather, to be a badass chick who digs adversity and appreciates the wind-burn for its simulated suntan effect.

Last night I lay in bed, wondering why on earth I had let the first few days here get me so freaked out. I certainly didn’t come all this way and work this hard to be reduced to wimp status by the weather. I came here to race an Ironman, and an Ironman is never meant to be easy. So does it really matter if the pissy skies add an extra element of challenge? Who’s afraid of a little thunderstorm?

And so I woke this morning feeling a million times better. The storm calmed a bit through the night, and I slept long and soundly. I accompanied Mike to the airport for his departure and to collect my own rental car, which I managed to convince the agent to release to me without a driver’s license. I had left my license in the apartment, but thankfully Aussies are a trusting bunch, as he handed over the key with my promise to phone in my details – something which would never transpire in America. After successfully navigating the left-side driving challenge I felt further buoyed in my I-can-do-anything mode, and promptly executed a rainy ride/run brick workout. Then it was time for MJ and me to retreat to our pre-race massage appointments, followed by shopping for dinner. Now, with a full belly, a relaxed body and a vastly encouraged spirit, I’m simply kicking back until bedtime – and another glorious long sleep – arrives.

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