The last few weeks have been pretty wild. Training wise, I have reduced my volume and taken some days off. That leaves room for all the other pre-race activities: packing, obsessing about the weather, bike tune-ups, carb loading and hydrating.
R2D2 - And this year's co-pilot is......Artoo! Every year I choose a PEZ dispenser for the bike portion of the ride. I've made room for Princess Leia and Wonder Woman in my bento box the past two years. This year, R2 fit the bill. I mean after all, THE FORCE AWAKENS this year! Plus, R2D2 plays a critical role in every Star Wars film (co-pilot to Luke when destroying the Death Star, rescuing countless rebel forces, his masters have been Padme, Anakin, Luke and Leia and he's the only one who knows the truth of the Skywalker family). Oh, I'm sorry. Did my inner nerd just leak out? He's the Forrest Gump in a galaxy far, far away.
BIKE ISSUES - I took my bike in last week to my favorite mechanic to get my race wheels loaded and ready to go. I took Lucinda out for her last long ride (two hours flew by!) and something wasn't quite right with the back wheel. It felt a little out of true, the brake was rubbing and it was a little noisy. I took her back in later that Saturday afternoon and Charlie found the problem: four of the nipples where the spoke meets the rim were cracked. The solution: replace all the nipples. [Can I call them Zipples?] By Monday afternoon, Lucinda had new brass hardware and four new spokes on the back wheel.
I am nervous and confident about the last minute fix. I trust Nick and Charlie. And, although another solution would have been to borrow wheels (I brought Jen's with me), I rode yesterday and everything felt fine. And sounded better. It'll give me something to obsess about for 112 miles tomorrow.
SEND-OFF PARTY - This past Sunday I had a send-off party with my friends, family and training buddies. We met for dinner and it was just what I needed to calm my nerves and bring joy to my world. Dad and Joyce were there, Anna, Colin and Parker made the trip from Raleigh, the spice girls made it as well as my newest friend and brand new ironman, Alecia.
Jen created the most amazing box of goodies. It was decorated with pictures from races and training days and inspiring scripture verses and quotes. Inside she had a book where all the guests had signed good-luck wishes to me. Of course, I can only read a few at a time before I start crying. She also created 140.6 REASONS WHY we do Ironman. Each reason was listed on an index card. It is amazing.
Renee gave me a road trip packet that contained two CDs and a Name that Tune game for the 12 hour trip to Panama City Beach. Plus, almost everyone made signs for the run course (I was only allowed to see three of them). It was the confidence booster I needed!
So here I am, the morning before the race, unable to sleep. I've been writing and reading through past posts in order to remember the good, the bad and the ugly in my training and racing. It's been a great adventure this year and I'm so excited to celebrate tomorrow! TOMORROW! I will see you on the other side of 140.6 miles!