It's time! We leave tomorrow afternoon for Phoenix. I'm ready. I'm packed. Let's do it!!
I'm really looking forward to the warm and sunny weather. It's going to be perfect for the race and even perfecter for the rest of the vacation. I packed clothes that I haven't worn in months and I'm looking forward to getting a tan. As I may have mentioned (ha ha), it's been cold and rainy here. And it's going to be like this for months! So I'm going to soak up every ray I possibly can.
I'm also really excited about seeing all the family and friends that will be there to support me. Deana and Dana are flying down- they have been great supporters of Zach and I in all our races around Portland since we moved here. Plus we have family that lives there, Zach's aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandad. Zach's dad and stepmom are driving over from San Diego too- Melanie (Zach's stepmom) has been a big inspiration and basically got me interested in triathlons after hearing about her tri adventures. Also, I am excited to finally meet fellow blogger KelsaLynn! I'm thrilled that my wonderful friend Maritza is coming down from California. It means so much to me. She and I ran our first marathon together 4 years ago and the rest is history. And last but not least, Inga, my bestest and oldest friend, who lives in Phoenix. I wouldn't be doing this race if it wasn't for her. Having a built in support system in the Phoenix area made this race seem approachable, and her support has been huge. She's been my best friend for 25 years (holy shit, really?) and I can't wait to see her. With all these people cheering me on, how can this be anything but amazing?? I love that IMAZ is a loop course (3 loops for the bike and 3 figure 8 type loops for the run) so I get too see my crew like a dozen times. I will never be alone!
After the Ironman weekend we are spending a couple of days in Phoenix and then driving over to San Diego for Thanksgiving with Zach's folks. We are all doing the Turkey Trot together (I'll walk it with his Dad, Zach and Melanie will run it) and then feasting with the best of 'em. We've done Thanksgiving down there like 5 of the last 6 years or something and it is always a great time. I can't wait! It's going to feel SO good to finally be able to truly relax. After 6 months of training for an Ironman, you better believe I'm going to indulge myself.
And the icing on the cake is that when we get back to Oregon there will be parties and celebrating with all my kick ass friends here- Emily, Alisa, Sarah, Amy, plus more Deana and Dana (you can never have enough Deana and Dana!). And Zach's Mom and stepdad from Montana are coming to visit in early December too! And of course, it'll be Christmas time. Which is my favorite!! Cookies and Christmas movies and shopping and carols and yay yay yay.
My mom and dad aren't going to make it down to Arizona, although I know they really wanted to. I wish they could but it's fine- plus I know my mom would be so worried seeing me when the smiles stop in the later miles (to put it mildly). Ha ha! They have been so amazingly supportive of me my whole life and especially in this latest endeavour. Although I have to tease my mom- last year when I registered, I was visiting for Thanksgiving and when I ran in to tell them I got an entry, my mom had the most worried look on her face! "I was hoping you wouldn't get in," she said, only half joking. SO cute. Don't worry Mom!! I GOT THIS.
Mom and Dad will be tracking me online on Sunday and so can all of you. Visit www.ironman.com and watch for the link which should appear on race day. Right now the athlete tracker is not obvious but it should be on Sunday. Zach will also be posting updates on Facebook and maybe a couple pics too.
I will be thinking of all of you every time I hear that Beeeeep of the timing mat. I will know that you are right there with me, just as you have been along this whole awesome journey. Thank you all so so so much for your kindness, encouraging words, and reassurance. I am inspired by all of you- all your marathons, triathlons, half marathons, everything- I read all of it and I am so impressed and proud to call you all friends!! Thank you for being a bunch of hard core athletes and for creating this environment of crazy that we all thrive in.
Since apparently this is turning into an Oscar acceptance speech, I'd like to say one final enormous thank you to Zach. He is my bubby bear, my best bro, my coach, my training partner, my chef, my psychologist, my hero, my reason for living. I am the luckiest girl in the world and I could not have done this without him.
There's no need for a "Goals" section here because my one and only goal is to finish. Of course I have a strategy, which involves pacing, but who knows how this will ultimately play out. I have 17 hours to finish the race (with various cut off times for each leg throughout the day) but I think I'll be finishing in under 14 ish. For tracking purposes, I'll give my planned time for each leg of the race. Of course anything can happen, but based on my training and assuming everything goes good, here it is. Swim- 1:35. Bike- 7:30. Run- 4:30. ISH. Who the hell knows?! It's going to be crazy and awesome and difficult and who knows. It's going to be an adventure, that is for sure.
Finally here are just a couple of photos from the last week. I'll update you all as soon as possible after the race. Whew.
Good luck flowers from Mom and Dad sent to my work:
Rainbow after one of the many rainstorms (pic taken from Zach's office window)
Mt. Hood at sunrise. This photo makes me want to cry.