Well, R. Kelly is a modern dude, but I've adopted him since I adore this song. It really speaks to me, especially before a race. I believe I can fly; I believe I can touch the sky; think about it every night and day; spread my wings and fly away....
So here we are. 12 months of training and putting in all the time and miles, of missing dinners and happy hours and getting up at the crack of daylight and staying in the LA Fit Pool churning out laps long after everyone else had gone home; after spending Saturday and Sunday mornings out on the bike or the run while envying people who where having a leisurely breakfast: it all coms down to this. Actually, that was pretty dramatic, but it sure sounded awesome.
The wind is pretty brutal here. It's supposed to blow hard tomorrow, up to 25 mph, and when Patient Spouse and I did a short 15 minute warm up bike last night it was like biking into a hurricane. Still, I am prepared to deal with whatever God gives me for the day tomorrow; wind is just wind and I've biked into worse wind than 25 mph.
Patient Spouse did the sprint race today and I'm very proud of his efforts. It was his first race open water swim and it was not short--530 yards--and he did it, and had a great bike split afterwards. He finished the run upright and earned his medal. Now it's my turn.
I expect to be a bit nervous about the swim--after all, we head straight out to sea for the first lap--but I also expect to settle into my groove after about 500 yards and just get it done. It appears it may get a bit warmish on the run, but I'm prepared to hydrate and be cautious with my speed. And best of all, I plan to have some fun. I think I will enjoy the swim--the water is 71 degrees and comfortable, although the conditions on the shore do not permit anyone to warm up swim (oyster beds will cut your feet up), and plan to enjoy the bike along the coastline where I grew up as a child. The run is 4 loops through the Moody Gardens hotel area, and that gives me a chance to connect with Patient Spouse every loop which will be nice.
The volunteers here are simply awesome. This is a great event and should be fun. Since it's a qualifier for the National Championships, a lot of pros and top age groupers are here and should be exciting to watch, although many of them will be finishing before I even head out on the bike!
After watching Patient Spouse finish his race, I laid out my gear and arranged things, went for a five minute easy jog on the course, sat out by the pool for ten minutes, had a big lunch, tried unsuccessfully to nap, attended the pre race meeting (Lord help me there were a lot of fit looking people there!), checked in my bike, packed up my food, and we ordered room service (including dessert!) for dinner.
Patient Spouse will do his best to log on through my iPhone tomorrow if possible and give updates; if that isn't possible I'll recap the race tomorrow night. I am getting ready to hit the sack by 9 p.m. since I didn't get more than a 15 minute nap today, and the more rest I get, the better I will perform. I have a bit of a tight thigh muscle so I took a hot shower and some Advil, and I should be fine by tomorrow morning.
I have faith and confidence in myself and in God's ability to point me to the finish line. What a great experience this will be!
See you at the finish line.