Sunday, October 12, 2008

Longhorn 70.3: PRE-RACE

4am came really quickly. as soon as my alarm went off, i was in race ready mode. excited, nervous energy coursing through my veins, ready to take off and take flight. i was trying to harness that energy in order to keep it at bay until the gun sounded, still 4 some odd hours away. i wasn't doing a very good job. my head was everywhere and nowhere all at once. i headed straight for the ice chest and then down to the breakfast area where a gathering of anxious racers were already standing in line for the microwave. there were some exchanges of pleasantries and good lucks, but these were all men in my midst and the focus wasn't on the niceties of the back country, the focus was on the nutrition for the long day ahead. i heated up my sweet potato/barney butter concoction and added some grilled chicken breast in the mix for a little added protein to keep me full through the pre-race rituals to come. as soon as it was down, i headed back to the room to start the walk through that would eventually lead to the big show. i had packed my tri bag the night before, as all triathletes do, but i still took everything out and repacked it as i would put it on in transition - just to be sure. it was, after all, my first transition in over a year and i was dead set on not forgetting anything instrumental to my success for the day. swim. bike. run. everything was there and it was time to head out and down to BG's room to get the rest of the Team Barney Butter crew moving.

like i said, my energy was running rampant like a red headed step child left alone on a Saturday afternoon to amuse herself in a room full of feather pillows ;) the rest of the group didn't seem to have the same energy overload that i did and weren't shy in letting me know that i needed to take my 10 down to about a 2 until we reached the starting line. i tried. i failed.

i sang. i danced. i drove and talked and sang and danced some more. i was so ready to get this thing on. i had been waiting for this moment for 3 years - my first half ironman and it was finally here. no one has ever come right out and told me i couldn't do it, but there have been those in my life who i was pretty sure never thought i would and today i was going to prove those people wrong. there have been a multitude of people in my past who i could never impress, never live up to their standards, never be good enough for even if i trekked straight up to the moon and brought back the stars around it. today was my day to do it. to take those stars and hold them for myself, declaring that i am worth everything i think i am and more. looking back, i didn't need this day to prove that, but how sweet it is to have had it just the same. to look straight into the face of fear and weakness and beat it down with courage and strength. now i know that i didn't do this for those people who didn't think i would, i did it for me who wasn't sure i could.

i got to transition and set up my spot, exactly how i had imagined it should be in my head. everything had a place, everything had a purpose - directly in front of me were the tools i would use to get me successfully through the day. i did the usual 5 trip dance to the port-o-potties and got in a 10 minute or so warm up/stretch combination. the air outside was a bit cool, so i decided to forgo a swim warm up in order to preserve my body heat and comfort while waiting for the first 5 waves to go off - and then it was me. me in a sea of brightly colored pink swim caps. me in a sea of warm bodies covered in neoprene. me in a sea of women, all ready to do one thing - tackle the swim to get us to the bike that would eventually lead to the run that would in turn get us to the finish line that would, in the end, make us what we so craved - half ironmen. with no familiar faces anywhere to be seen, i looked inside and found all the strength, power and peace i needed to start and finish this race. i stood there in the water on tip toes and recited my Hail Mary's and Our Father. and as the countdown began, a wave of serenity passed over me as i closed my eyes and saw Clark's face flash through my mind. this was it. my journey of 70.3 was about to begin with 1.2...

official time: who knows, we were on an hour and a half delay
official temp: felt like high 60's
official elevation: 0 ft - i'm pretty sure i was standing still for this bit ;)
official feeling: excited, nervous, can't wait to pee my pants!


rocketpants said...

The excitement is a building!

Speed Racer said...

"no one has ever come right out and told me i couldn't do it, but there have been those in my life who i was pretty sure never thought i would and today i was going to prove those people wrong."

I can tell this is going to be SWEET! Can't wait to read the rest! I hope their reactions are just as satisfying as you've hoped, because I'm sure you kicked ASS out there!

Anonymous said...

Awesome warm up to the tri-story...keep it coming kb! Can't wait to read the rest!

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