Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Ironman just got harder....

This being my last Ironman why not make it harder?

Why not make it harder? Because it is hard enough. Over the past few days I've been talking with Alice and just cringing as I think of doing the race.

It's becoming real and the realization is it's going to hurt.

I'm now getting all these flash backs to many of my other races and the pain I feel on the run. It doesn't matter how good of shape you are in it hurts and it's that last 3 - 6 miles that is the worst. Your legs are spent, you are mentally done and just want to quit and even when you have one mile to go you swear it's never going to come.

Then it's even worse afterwards when you finish and then have to retrieve all your gear and bike and make your way back to the hotel.

As I was relieving these past Ironman's in my mind I was shaking my head to myself and wondering why I thought it was a good idea to do this again? Why didn't I decide to retire from Ironman's after number 11?

It's like I'm going on a death march and I know it's going to hurt severely and there is no turning back. The only way for the pain to end is to race through the pain and finish. I look to Alice with big sad eyes and keep telling her how much I'm not looking forward to this and I know it's going to hurt, the question is just how much?

To add to the event that it will be a high pain situation is that after last night's 7 hours of standing on my feet at the Boise Hawks game, my feet were bloated, like I was pregnant and I was getting blisters. Yes, blisters.

I never wear my runners other than to run and I haven't had to stand in them, so blisters have started to form on my feet. Not to mention I'm shuffling and can hardly bend my knees. I'm in a post Ironman stat pre-Ironman.

This morning the alarm went off at 5 am. That gave me a 4 hour sleep. Yup, just what the body needs a 4 hour sleep the night before the Ironman and the night before the Ironman is usually the worst sleep you will normally get. If you don't get a good sleep the two nights before you are at a real disadvantage. Needless to say, I'm at a disadvantage.

I did have the weirdest dream last night. I was being chased by a guy with a gun. It was like an action adventure movie and he was the oriental-asia like villain. Yes, in my dream he seemed Filipino.

He was chasing me and others were around. He was shooting and killing people and then kept chasing after me. I kept dodging the bullets. Eventually I came upon a baseball and grabbed it and somehow got him on his heels. I threw it and it missed his head and hit a glass on the ground instead and broke it.

I then grabbed the broken glass as he jumped on me and slit his throat. Killed him. Yup, killed him. Didn't feel bad about it either, I think he had killed friends and family and was trying to kill me.

So I woke up thinking, wow, that was an interesting dream, it was like being in an actual action adventure movie. Then I thought maybe it's a premonition of what is to come during Sunday's race. In many ways the Ironman a killer, it can kill friends and family. The last Ironman that killed me was China, an Asian Ironman.

When I say kill, I mean that the Ironman makes it so tough to quit for whatever reasons that you do not finish, that you drop out. When you drop out you have been killed.

I'm HOPING my dream comes true that no matter how hard the race is and how much adversity I face that I still manage to finish, to win.

After I woke up today I was tired. In a surreal way. It doesn't even feel like it's real. I had to shake Alice awake. She was out of it. Which is unusual. I then couldn't risk going back to sleep. If we missed the 6:30 am flight then I'd miss the cut off times to put my bike and run gear in place.

Even staying walking distance from the airport we were a little late to check in and they weren't guaranteeing that our luggage would make it back to Denver. We were also the last people to get on the plan, again.

When the plane touched down in Denver I was relieved. I knew things were getting more probable that I'd get my gear set up.

The drive from the airport back to boulder I was near falling asleep at the wheel. I was so tired. All I wanted to do was sleep. I couldn't. I had to get my bike, drop it off at Transition one, and then take my running gear to transition two.

I've learned that the best time to get your gear set up is first thing in the morning when they start accepting gear. The timing worked well that by the time I got back to the hotel, got my bike and gear and got down to the Boulder Reservoir it was 10 minutes after the transition zone opened. Even then it was busy. Of course you had to park a ways a way and walk the bike in and walk out. Just what I needed, more time on my feet.

It was also hot out today and not having the air-conditioning working in my car working added to the adversity.

Next stop was the school and dropping off my running gear. I'm sure my shoes were in the bag, 99.99999% but didn't double check when I dropped off the bag.

Before heading back to the hotel to try and catch up on my sleep we stopped at IHOP. All I wanted was a big breakfast. Pancakes, French Toast, eggs, hash browns, sausage and coffee. What do I have to lose? I can't get fatter and I don't want to bonk tomorrow.

When we got back to the room I managed to get a 90 minute sleep in. My heart rate is through the roof and my feet throbbing. My Achilles tight and I can hardly bend my legs, even lying down. I'm pretty much in rough shape. Not the ideal pre-ironman race shape.

In my 90 minute nap I did have a dream that I started running with the wrong shoes and then somehow was now wearing two different shoes. Maybe a premonition.

Mentally I'm not in the right positive frame of mind, at least not yet. I'm still in the "dread" phase. I need to get myself into the "embrace" phase by swim start. I'm not looking forward to getting up at 4:30 am and busing from the hotel, to the school and from the school to the reservoir.

The water does look nice. The bike I have no idea on, it's a single loop and the run is on trails. My biggest fear is the run. I kind of like out and back boring runs. This one is on twisted trails and it's well shaded. It might be a little dark in the mind if it's dark outside and you are shuffling these trails.

I spent my afternoon playing Elvis. Just lying in bed. I had the big lunch breakfast, more sugar the quicker I'll sleep. Then I had a snickers bar snack, hoping that sugar fix would help me sleep more. It didn't. I've basically slept 90 minutes and been in bed for the balance. The only time I've gotten up was to go to the bathroom and answer the door from room service. I ordered a pizza. No toppings. Don't want to risk any food poisoning. And when I say "getting up", I mean shuffle.

There has been times I've thought how great it would be to bail. I can't unfortunately. I'm racing to raise money for Doctors without Borders. If you haven't donated please do by clicking here. The other reason is just out of principal I don't want to bail. It's my last one and I want to finish it. I just hope I don't get my money's worth. I have up to 17 hours to finish and the longer it takes the more of your monies worth you get.

I know before the race start I need to get in my happy place mentally. I know I need to smile and enjoy every adverse thing that happens to me tomorrow. I need to enjoy the pain and if I have problems just enjoy the epic day.

So as I write this I'm still lying on the bed. I ate near a whole 12 inch pizza, had some salty sunflower seeds and have a wake up call for 4:30 am and my phone alarm set as well. My dream would be to get a full 8 hour sleep.

Right now all the negative stuff is going through my head. The waking up at 4:30 am. The getting ready and going through the pre-Ironman dance.

The one thing I know for certain is I couldn't Carbo Load anymore and I could have rested much more. Doing the Salmon Social Boise Hawks night and travelling to Boise derailed things. One more day of sleep and rest and I'd be in much better shape.

For those that are following the race online my number is 356.

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