OMG. I am down to counting days to two hands, and no toes. It's almost here.
I didn't have time to start obsessing about the race until day, because I've been so screaming busy at work. Nothing like work to take your mind off training, and vice versa, so I guess it balances out.
I'm easing into a taper, which is always just delightful after months (a year?) of pounding yourself into smudge spots on the asphalt. It's always so tempting to keep pushing, keep working hard, but evidence (that science again) shows that about 14 days before a big event, the cake is in the oven and you had best not try to overcook the dadgummed thing before the starting gun. You won't get any stronger, and you can easily get injured or overtired. Tapering down is supposed to bring you to maximum effort on race day.
So Monday was a 45 minute jog/walk (12:15 average pace, which would normally send me clawing my eyes out in panic, but I am serious about going slow), Tuesday was a spin class where I kept the tension bar fairly low and just tried to go with a fast but aerobic cadence, keeping the legs awake and reminding them there was more to come soon. Wednesday a 1700 yard easy swim, which is now a short swim for me, and it felt good and the water felt like silk to me, as I tried to recreate the feelings of the start, sighting, being bumped, etc. as best I could in a 25 yard LA Fitness pool (thanks to the plump lady in the lane next to me doing jumping ups and downs, which helped recreate some wave action). Last night I went to bike repair class at Richardson Bike Mart, and took apart my wheels, chain, etc., and fixed a fake flat with only one question for assistance (why does this thingamajig not come off? Because it's not supposed to? Oooohhh). I now feel confident that I can change a front tire in about 15 minutes assuming and a rear tire in about seventeen hours, depending on the temperament of my chain and derailuer.
This morning was another 45 minute jog/walk, average pace increased to 11:50 a mile because it was really hard to go easy with the nice weather--cool and very little breeze. Tomorrow is a 2 hour easy bike (with the wind, it will be hard to go easy, but I'll do my best) and Sunday is a 30 minute open water swim with Patient Spouse, after expending 3,304 calories squeezing into the wetsuit.
I've checked the extended weather forecast for Galveston every day but it's only running through Thursday so far (nice, but breezy, but I plan on that); I've checked the trial website constantly, and today they posted actual cutoff times which freaked me out, but, to be honest, they are pretty generous, and if I don't have a rear flat with a temperamental chain on top of it, I should be okay. I have to exit the water no later than 9:35 (my wave starts at 8:20 and if I can't complete the swim in an hour fifteen, I need to quit and go watch reruns the rest of the day), and I have to reach mile 48.2 by 1:18 p.m. on the bike (I love these non round numbers. If I reach mile 48.15 by 1:18, that will be tough on me). Assuming I'm out on the bike around 9:35, that means an average of about 13.7 mph to get me there, and that is surely doable even with a mean wind. Gotta finish the whole 56 miles by 1:51 p.m.. Gotta start the fourth lap of the run (around mile 10) by 4:31 and be across the finish line by 5:20.
So, assuming nothing untoward happens like a bad cramp in the swim, or a freak out (which I don't expect, but I know better than to discount it), or a bad flat, or TWO flats, or a total and complete bonk on the run (which will only occur if I fail to execute my race plan properly, including hydration and nutrition), or an injury or crash, these times are well with my range. My Pie in the Sky goal for finishing is 7 hours 45 minutes. I will be happy to cross the line anytime, however, before official cutoff time.
I'm washing my hands like Lady McBeth this week, trying to avoid catching a cold or virus, I'm planning to get as much sleep as possible next week (please everyone tell my clients that for me), I'm trying to eat well, stretch, loosen muscles, and visualize success (the mind being the most powerful muscle of them all). I'm ready for this baby and excited about it. When that gun sounds (actually, it's a horn) I'm going to shout YEA BABY (just for you, Julie Casey!) and go into the swim with a stupid grin. How utterly awesome to be able to even participate in something like this.
By the way, Take It Easy is an excellent Eagles song that really shows off their country origins. And for your information, in Winslow AZ, there is a cutout of a man with a guitar standing on the corner. Truth.