Neil Diamond--what a great name for a superstar, and yes, it's his real name, too (Neil Leslie Diamond). He was such a great crooner of many types of songs, and I forgive him for his missteps (Turn on Your Heartlight? Oh, please.) He wrote some great jogging songs (Brother Love's Travelin' Show and Cracklin' Rosie) but also some lovely crooney ballads. I happen to like She Walks On Water, and the long version (not found on iTunes unfortunately) has a great piano riff in the middle.
Although I don't walk on water, and don't plan to start anytime soon, I found that in my wetsuit swim last week there was simply no way to sink into Davey Jones' locker, or even his attic, for that matter. Even if I quit treading water and tried, I could not go under. So drowning is just not a possiblity in a wetsuit, and with that in mind, I'm really actually looking forward to the swim portion of this race for the first time ever in a triathlon. Last year, when I did my Oly race, I was dreading the 1500 yard swim so much, although the lake was like glass and I was in the last wave to start with no one to run over me. I did it, but I worried my way through most of it. This time, I am a much better swimmer (thanks Coach Claire) than last year, and I find that I really enjoy swimming to boot. So there is no reason that I should not look foward to this swim and enjoy it while I'm in it.
So much of a race is taken up too often with worrying about what comes next or how far you still have to go. I know I'm guilty of that mindset. One of the articles in the great little book Becoming an Ironman talked about a woman's first Ironman race in Hawaii--she forced herself to be in the moment each moment, noticing the flowers and the signs and the beauty of the sparkling water during the swim (I won't quite have sparkling water, but I can notice the sky and clouds and horizon). I hope to keep that mindset during my race, enjoying the dadgummed thing at each moment rather than working myself into a frenzy over how far I still have to pound it out. I've been able to do that on a bike--it helps to smile at the volunteers and thank them because they are working hard too--and now it's time to do it on the swim, too.
Last night was a 2300 yard swim (longer than the race, so I know I can do this distance) broken into 300's mostly, and I tried out my new Darth Vadar goggles (awesome, no leaks) and practiced a little sighting and mental thinking during the long portions of reach, pull, reach, pull, reach, pull, flip turn, and start again. This morning was a short, easy, 30 minute run at average 11:27 pace just to keep my legs and lungs awake and remembering what this is all about. I'm done. I will hop on the bike for about 15 minutes Friday or Saturday to check out the gears and shifting, and probably jog for 10 minutes easy on Saturday to loosen out any kinks, but for all intents and purposes, my last pre race workout was today.
It's critical now that I get as much rest as possible the next two nights (especially tonight, since Friday night will be a short night with Patient Spouse's race being Saturday morning, but I intend to nap Sat afternoon), eat sensibly and start adding some carbs and protein to my meals (tonight? cheap Italian food, yum), and keep hydrating well (but not crazily) the next 3 days, carrying a water bottle around with me at all times. Also doing some simple easy stretching to keep that bursitis on my left hip quiet and my hamstrings supple.
I'm about 94.5% packed (still need to pack a few things, but not many) and will of course spend tonight going over my gear three or four times to be sure that I haven't forgotten anything--sunscreen, bandaids, lip balm, transition towel, bike gloves--I plan to wear them for this one, mostly because they are so darned convenient to wipe your nose with--race watch---well, my list runs for pages.
I'll keep posting up until race day and then Patient Spouse takes over. He's funnier than I am, but more concise. That should be entertaining!