Friday, April 3, 2009

Ready, Set, Almost Time to GO!

The race production crew has been sporting Hello Kitty wellies.

View across the bay - lots of blue sky!

Hard to get the full impact from a photo, but this is the start of the run course hill.

My bike and gear bags are turned in. My race kit is laid out on the bed. My bottles await filling, and there’s not much else to do now but relax, eat a bit more and sleep. And thanks to New South Wales’ daylight savings, we get a bonus hour tonight.

I woke up this morning feeling good. All week my body has been giving me reasons to doubt my race readiness – but finally I feel that it’s all come around. I took a short final jog and felt as though I had to hold my legs back from breaking into a full-bore run. This is exactly how I would hope to feel the day before tacking a marathon onto the end of an epic swim and bike!

The weather forecast has improved significantly – downgraded from severe thunderstorms and an 80% chance of rain to merely showers and a 50% chance of rain. If it turns out anything like today, we’ll be lucky indeed. While there were some fierce showers overnight and earlier in the morning, the sky has cleared beautifully, allowing for magnificent views across the bay. This bike course is touted as one of the most scenic on the Ironman circuit, and if the sky remains clear I’m sure we’ll all be treated to the visual proof.

At the moment I’m icing my ankle one last time for good measure, awaiting a visit from friends Luke McKenzie and Amanda Balding (in town to commentate tomorrow’s action) and gearing up for dinner (kindly cooked for us by Belinda). Then I’ll climb into bed, a mix of nervous anticipation and calm readiness infusing my dreams.

I’ve been reminded today that it’s not the easy things in life that give us a chance to shine – it’s the way we tackle adversity, how we manage in the face of great and sometimes painful challenges, that allow our best selves to come forth. I only hope I can rise to meet the difficulties that tomorrow is sure to sling at me with the same grace and strength as the friend who has given me this reminder. It is, after all, that tenacity that makes us Ironman athletes!

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