1. Stayed up late watching the Ole Miss v. Alabama game last night . . . what a slugfest! I am neutral on these teams, but it reminded me of Rocky I. Ole Miss was throwing haymakers and Bama kept getting back up. Both teams responded to seemingly insurmountable challenges by digging deeper when you thought they were toast. The Tide was down 20 at the start of the 4th quarter and chipping away against an Ole Miss team that seemed exhausted. An Ole Miss receiver was overheard in the huddle telling his team “It’s all mental now, dig deep!” Bama had the ball with 3 minutes left and a chance to win, but Ole Miss intercepted a pass to seal the victory. A great Ironman metaphor for not giving in too early in the race.
2. I’m trying my best to keep Chattanooga out of my mind when my head hits the pillow . . . but it’s tough. I have a habit of trying to visualize the race step by step, but it’s not good when you’re trying to sleep. Next thing you know, it’s 12 hours later and you’re up feeding the dog with bags under your eyes.
3. I’m not sure how serious the algae situation is in Louisville, but this could be a major bummer for people doing that race. I’ve talked about it before, but I just can’t imagine having the swim cancelled. While I realize its impact on the race time is small, for me, the swim is the coolest part of the race. It’s the heart and soul of the anxiety. Not having it changes the entire complexion. My first Ironman was at Wisconsin and I’m not kidding when I say I thought that swim every single day of the year. It is easily my strongest memory in triathlon. I really hope the river clears up for Louisville. Maybe they should move it back to August.
4. Tapering is a funny thing. Our instinct is to go balls-out for 6 months, then shut it off for a couple weeks and hope for the best. Believe me, that’s what I’m thinking. It’s taking every ounce of energy I have to remain focused for one more week. It’s kind of like when I cut a video and am done with the basic structure. There’s always relief at that point, but I know I still have to “master the project by adding graphics, mixing the sound, and tweaking the color. These are the little things that “tune-up” the video and it takes another surge of mental energy to go there. You’re “done,” but not finished.
5. Sometimes I can’t get over the fact of how fortunate I am to even be able to DO an Ironman. Pretty cool when I think back to where I was just four years ago. This will be my THIRD Ironman. A true testament to the power of the human body and spirit, and it honestly doesn’t take that long if you put your mind to it.
6. There really is something about the atmosphere of Ironman. Literally thousands of optimistic people together in the same “room.” And this goes far beyond the people racing. Everyone who spectates and supports these events have great attitudes and understand that life is about pushing limits. Everyone has hope, and hope goes a long way in this world.
7. Crushing Iron t-shirts already a big hit in Chattanooga! Check out these fans crushing it at Stump Jump! We may have some at a tent on the lawn on Saturday and Sunday during the race. Indigo Blue, same shirt used by Ironman, and only $20! If you want to get your own, send me an email at email@example.com and we’ll coordinate logistics.