Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today - 5/5/11 - 2 days before IMSG

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! And a happy 60th birthday to my "stepmom", Kathy Young.

So, we arrived yesterday into St. George, Utah. The flight and travel issues were negligible and we had a smooth arrival. Keeping in mind our arising at 4 am, factor in the time change, we were pretty beat by 7pm St. George time.

We checked in, freshened up and head over to Dan's place for a fabulous dinner with friends, meeting spouses, parents and children of my fellow captains. It went by in a blur ... I feel so bonded to the captains, it's nice to get to know the family - support system - behind the athlete!  We had dinner and socialized for way too short, but everyone understood the toll of travel on your body.  Home at 7:30, sleeping by 8:30! THAT'S HOW WE ROLL!!

This morning, bright and early, I arose in preparation for my first open water swim at Sand Hollow. I had my full wetsuit - and it would be my first time using it. I was excited!! I was picked up at 6:30 by Brian, Vic, and Annie. The excitement was building ... with an underlying nervousness!

We all donned our wetsuits and headed down to the water. There, of course, were other athletes there as well. The other captains had "booties" I did not. I felt sad.   :(

I entered the water and ... excuse my french ... HOLY SHIT~!!!!  OMG, OMG, OMG - It HURT. It's 57  degrees. Ironman will lie and say it's warmer, but Brian has a thermometer and it consistently read 57 degrees F.   Let me tell you ... I was OUT!  NO WAY.  NO - F'ing - WAY!!!!   This HURT.  I could not get past the cold on my bare feet.  Maybe with neoprene booties, I might feel better, but hey, how likely can I get those NOW??   I folded up my arms and the look on my face CLEARLY indicated to all my friends that I COULD NOT DO THIS!!!  I started on reasons to DNS - food poisoning. Vomiting. Meniscal tear. Migraine (never had one!). ANYTHING to get me OUT OF THIS!!!!.   The captains kept coaxing me to give it a few moments, get my face in, and just acclimate. HOW!?!?!?!  How does one acclimate to this??  

I got my face wet. I said, if I'm going to try this, we've got to GO - SWIM!!!  Dan lead the pack and I just bucked up and did it.  It hurt for about 2 minutes. I always chant: I can do ANYTHING for 1 minute. So, two chants!! :)  Honestly, after the few moments, I DID acclimate. And then the clouds parted (metaphorically speaking) and I saw the light:  I. CAN. DO. THIS.!!!!!!  And I did~!  The longer I swam, the better it felt. We were in nearly 45 minutes and after the acclimation period, I was truly comfortable in the water.  My feet didn't feel cold. Some of the others felt that their face was numb - and it was comical watching and hearing them try to talk - kind of like after being at the dentist and getting novacaine.  I didn't experience that. Plus, I do have a bit of "blubber" for insulation, and I'll take it - I can drop that before Rev3, but HERE, I'll take it!!

All in all, it was a HUGE mental hurdle for me to overcome!  A fellow captain is struggling with self-doubt. I've been there. We all have. My advice to her is to do your best and forget the rest. Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself in the same way you'd talk to me, or any other captain. The truth is, this is HARD!! We got the HARDEST course out there. We kind of got screwed ... better judgement could have prevailed :) The next generation gets a 70.3.  JEALOUS!!!!

We then headed over to the convention center and checked in, and picked up my bike from TBT.  I get a few things and am hoping to go get something "gifty" for myself! After all, I will have conquered IMSG!!!  Now I'm in my hotel room, chillaxing, set up all my bags, which I'll revisit tomorrow, and relaxing with a great book on my Kindle. I'm avoiding restaurants and being a tiny bit anti-social, but everyone totally understands. I need to focus, stay mellow, and rest.  No cycling or running for this gal ... there will be PLENTY of that on Saturday.  Gotta say, I'm really, REALLY getting excited!!! This won't set any land-speed records, but, due to the difficult topography, I'm aiming for a finish, and praying we all - all TEN of us - get what we want! One is shooting for a Kona Qualify, a few have times in their mind. I don't think I could pull off a 14 hr race, but I know I can finish this in the cutoff times, if things go as planned.  I'm stoked!!!  

Ed Slovenkay took today and rode the course. He has great advice for us, and he'll share it at tomorrow's dinner with our triabuddies. We all really value his input, and he's already made me feel better about the climbs, although "the wall" won't be pretty!! :)   Based on the intense heat we are having, I was going to forgo the arm warmers and shoe covers, but according to Ed: USE THEM!  Thanks for the input!! :)

Okay, checking out for now. Tomorrow, another Sand Hollow Swim is on the calendar for the morning, then bike check in later. Finally, dinner with triabuddies, and to bed at 7pm.  I'm really excited for Saturday!!!



  1. Wow. I'm getting cold just reading this!

    Good Luck. You will do awesome. I will be tracking you all the way!!!