One at a time, breathe, focus on the small piece...do one loop of swim, focus on that, breathe every third stroke, stay contained...don't let others kicking and flailing freak me out, breathe, focus on form...get out of the water, run over timing mat...breathe...swim second loop, just focus on that...don't think about the run, or crossing the finish line...baby steps, one piece at a time, breathe. Get out of the water, focus on transition one...do I have everything I need for a successful ride?"...breathe...bike the first loop...focus on high cadence, going at a reasonable pace, "staying within myself,"...breathe...let the others pass me, I will catch them on the run or they are a better athlete than I am...focus on me...do the second loop of the bike, breathe...now I know what to expect...focus on high cadence, easy riding up the hills, gain ground on the downs and flats...stay strong, within my abilities, breathe...cross the timing mat into transition 2...make sure I have glided up, including feet!, take my time, breathe...do I have everything I need for a successful run?, fuel, water, clothing...head out on the run...one mile at a time...one aid station at a time...breathe...don't think about mile 20, think about mile 1...go out SLOW, keep a conservative pace...better to run slower and longer than fast and bonk...breathe...no such thing as walking, no such thing...run, run, run...pass those who went out too hard on the bike and are walking...I have done this distance before, 8 times before, I know the pain, I know I can push through it, I know I can run...RUN to the finish line...see the crowds cheering, see my family, see my friends...see the ultimate goal...see IRONMAN!...breathe!
I am a jacked up ball of nerves right now. I am constantly visualizing the race, how I want to execute the perfect race for my abilities, how I will handle any set backs and how I will have the experience of my life. I am a goal oriented person, I always have course maps of marathons, triathlons, etc. posted on my walls at work...I have had my IMCDA course maps directly over me for 7 months now...I look at them every day...come Friday I will look at them no more...I will leave to start this adventure, this adventure I truly started 7 months ago after running marathon number 8 and looking for the next challenge...or maybe it started 14 years ago when I realized I ran one lap around the track without walking and that I wanted to see if I could run two...then three and four.... I cannot believe it is so close! There are crazy dreams creeping into my head...but the main thing in these dreams is a little voice that says "you can do it"..."go out at your pace, this is your race and no one else's"..."be conservative on the bike and you will conquer the run"..."you can and will do this!"...I truly feel so ready!
These are the maps I printed off back in November that have been looming above me at work every day, reminding me of what I'm working towards and what I will be tackling on June 21st.