It is a day of rest in the training gambit, that I am calling the calm before the storm. Little to no strenous activity today, a little bit of light activity tomorrow, and then Sunday tons of physical activity - around 32 miles of it to be exact.
I am super excited, but also a bit nervous. I start to think about the race and I can literally feel my heart speed up and the butterflies in the stomach. I have set the packing and errand plan and am pretty much sticking to it. I'm taking off work a little early today to help keep the plan on schedule and try to find time to do a little visualization of a nice, successful race too. But the lack of exercise today is making me a bit batty. The exercise helps with th estress relief. Of course, I'd rather sit pretty today so I can compete well on Sunday. But it's still somewhat difficult to be still after so many days and weeks of distances that before this were somewhat unimagineable to me.
It's also been a day where I've had thoughts about the path that got me to today. My decision this past September to do a sprint triathlon because I needed a goal with my workouts - other than just losing weight. And then Angela phone call that her cancer was terminal and my feeling utterly helpless only to have another friend tell me about a radio ad she heard for Team in Training, and then hearing about it on the radio myself later that day. Being the believer in fate and destiny (despite my intense desire to try to control it all so it turns out the way I want even though I know that doesn't necessarily work), I emailed and the rest was history. The day after I did my 1st sprint was the start of TNT training. I feel as though there is a bit of God in it all. How else can you explain the gift of this love for everything triathlon and for doing something with purpose. In a way, it's saved my life too - between health issues and sometimes feeling alone in a new city - it's a gift that I could have never expected.
It's funny too in a way because it's shown me how much I succeed at the small things in my life that I don't give myself credit for. A friend said to me today, "look at how far you have come. You have done so much already from being someone who would skip the gym to eat with a friend to someone who relishes the training, and all the money you've raised." I had to stop for a moment and really think about what she was saying because I have been doing this because I was compelled to do something, anything to try and change the past while knowing I could do no such thing. I can't bring Angela back, but maybe I can help someone else like her. That's a good bit of what I have been chasing, and I've been too busy to realize that I was doing just that. And I told her, "Yes, I have done alot, haven't I?" Yet I don't feel like I'm done. And that, my friends, is a good thing. While I won't be doing Team in Training this Fall (I think poor Bill would not be able to handle it and really the idea of swimming in the Potomac with all the pollution makes you think twice - even if you get a wet suit out of it), I hope to do it again soon.
So the best reward I can give to all those who have popped into my life, all those who supported me on my quest to raise money for cancer research, my wonderful husband who has been a great babysitter for our girls, and to Angela who through a round about way inspired this all, is to sit and relax and continue to slowly carb load so that Sunday I can go the distance. I know I can do it. I've trained hard and I believe in myself (because without my mindset my training is irrelevant). Now it's just time to do it. Perhaps that is my reward as well... I can do it and I can make a difference even if it is in just my small corner of the world.
News to come on race day results... but probably not until I return on Monday (or if I'm too tired, then on Tuesday). And then it's on to the Ironman 70.3!