Well, there's nothing left to do now but wait. My bike and bags have long since been dropped off. Once again my saddle is so high that it doesn't actually hang off the bike rack, but rather barely rests on it with both wheels firmly on the ground. If they are going to force you to rack by the seat they need to at least make it high enough that some of us aren't forced to tilt our bikes sideways in order to get them out. Also slightly strange was that the guy who led me to my spot on the bike rack said before he left me, "Good luck, Molly." I don't think I had told him my name and I don't think I had seen him before. Maybe I was just hearing things.
Anyway, I slept pretty well last night and was able to enjoy a little extra time in bed this morning. I think I mentioned before that in the past I've always done some short workouts the day before the race, but this time was different. I certainly didn't mind. I have enough to do tomorrow. We had our QT2 team breakfast and certainly did a number on the buffet at the Crown Plaza. Although honestly, you look forward to eating for such a long time, and then you're not training as much, not nearly as hungry, and have to stuff down all of this food. I'm not even excited about eating after the race anymore. But we will see if by the end of the race I will have built up a bit of an appetite!
After breakfast I packed up my stuff and dropped off my bags and bike. That was quick and painless, except of course for the bike thing I mentioned earlier. And it looks like it probably won't rain tonight... although with the way things have gone this summer, I suppose I shouldn't count on that! Now it says chance of "severe" thunderstorms for tomorrow. Things could be interesting. But really, as long as it's not too hot, I don't care. I had some lunch I didn't want, took a nap, and then watched last year's Ironman Hawaii on TV since it happened to be on today. I actually made the footage. Of course it was the one time I was there but not racing. Luckily, it is so brief and in the distance that I am probably the only one who knows it was me. Everyone else would probably have been looking at Chrissie Wellington just before she wins.
And now, there is nothing left but to sit around and wait for the race and hopefully get some sleep. Unfortunately there is a bit more food I have to somehow get down. Seriously, I'm not even excited about eating tomorrow night.
Tomorrow is my 10th Ironman. It is also the first one I've done in 4 years that is coming after a year off from the previous one. Let's hope that means I'm extra rested. It is my 6th year in a row here. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago that I came here for the first time, no idea what I was doing, scared out of my mind to do my first Ironman. In some ways, it doesn't ever get any easier. Sure, you have a better idea of what to expect. But for that first one, all you're really thinking about is getting to the finish line, and for me with no clue how it would turn out. So pretty much any number you see on the clock, as long as it is less than 17 hours, is just fine. I managed an 11:23 that first year, and I was absolutely thrilled.
The second year I went 11:08 and got myself a Kona slot thanks to a 3rd place age group finish and the fact that #2 had gotten her slot in Arizona a few months earlier. In 2006, all I really wanted to do was come in under 11 hours. Instead I went 10:11 and won the race. Unfortunately, it only got worse from there. 10:47 the next year, after crashing right at mile 56 and deciding that rather than kill myself before Kona, maybe I should take it easy and get to the finish line in one piece. Then of course came my awesome 11:37 (or something like that, I tried pretty hard to erase all of my pitiful 2008 race times from memory) Walking to the finish in the pouring rain, wondering how things had gotten so bad in such a short amount of time.
I'm hoping that tomorrow will be different. Am I ready yet to pull off another 10:11? Probably not. But at least I can see that with a little more time and work, I can get there again, and maybe even faster. I'm healthy, which is the most important thing.
You know what else is funny that has changed since those early races? I used to show up and know maybe 3 or 4 people, if I was lucky. Now it's like I can barely walk down the street without running into at least a few people. I haven't really had the chance to celebrate a good race with friends. Let's hope that changes tomorrow too!
For now, I've got to just relax and rest and hope that the mass quantities of carbs pass through my system in time for the race tomorrow. I don't know what the day will bring, but hopefully by this time tomorrow I will know the outcome, I will be sore, tired and satisfied.