Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just 5 more days: Ironman CDA

For those who know me, you'll never find me sitting on my ass doing nothing. I’ve done about all the things a girl could do in the kitchen (dinners are prepared three nights in advance…) I even found myself peeling oranges because I had no other fruit to cut up. My only explanation is that, food that is ready to eat is food more likely to be eaten. I've moseyed around the yard, pulling weeds and tending to the vegetable garden. Since I have nothing left to do, I thought I'd write a little something for you instead. (By the end, you'll likely have suggestions of things I can do). 

I still remember 15 days ago when I found comfort in the fact I could still count the number of days to Ironman with my fingers and my toes. It leaves me a little disconcerted that I no longer need my toes or the fingers on my left hand. Only five fingers remain.

For the last few days, a number of events have preoccupied my time. I volunteered at the TriFusion Kids Triathlon by setting up on Friday, only to parade all the kiddos through transition the following Saturday morning. Later that afternoon, my family accompanied me to Cheney to watch me graduate (FINALLY!) with my Doctorate degree. I don’t think the sun could have beat down on Roos Field any more strongly than it did Saturday. My fellow classmates and I roasted underneath our black robes and felt doctoral hood.

Sunday, I ran my last longish (1-hour run), swam my last longish (1.2-mile swim), and enjoyed an afternoon recovery bike ride along the Centennial Trail. Today marks the 5th day out from Ironman Coeur d’Alene.

While I’m on the downward slide of my 3-week taper, I allowed myself an early morning ride this morning. After last night’s thunderstorm, the fresh, clean smell wafting from the verdant forests of Riverside State Park helped me forget about the road grime that splashed up onto my jersey and legs. Never mind the fact I’d washed my bike last night (having nothing better to do). I had plenty of time to clean it up again this morning when I was finished.

I seem to be handling this taper without too many qualms. Perhaps my nerves are a little vexed, my mind a little uncertain, my muscles a little confused. Sure, I’ve cried more times in the last two weeks than I can remember crying in a 5-month span. What’s scarier is not knowing exactly why tears form in my eyes. All I know is: Sunday, I will run a race I swore I’d never do. I will showcase a body hardened by over a year’s worth of training. I will rely on the cheers, encouraging words, and fist pumps from a crowd filled with family, friends, and people simply inspired by the sport itself.

Join me in Coeur d’Alene this Sunday, June 23. When you see number 302, tell her to keep moving. Encourage her to stay within herself. Remind her she signed up for this out of her own aspiration. Tell me to breathe.

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