It is astonishing how much is needed for one race. I guess needed is the wrong word. All you need is a swim suit, a bike, a helmet, and running shoes. If you want to increase your odds of finishing an Ironman you want more. Wetsuit, aero helmet, arm warmers, arm coolers, race belt (for your race number), your nutrition, etc. The list of items can be amazing. Plus all of the non-race gear that you need for your time at an Ironman.
I mentioned lists. I have a ridiculous number of lists. I have a checklist that I completed a week ago to make sure I had everything I will need. I have a packing checklist. I have an unpacking checklist. I have a checklist for my transition bags. I have a checklist for my special needs bags. I have a checklist to put in my transition bags to make sure I put on everything that I should when I am caught up in the moment of racing. I have a checklist to make sure I have my checklists. Even when I have all of these checklists I know that I will forget something. All I can do is hope it is not something critical. Like my bike.
A couple of weeks ago after doing an open water swim training I met another athlete who was getting ready for Ironman Lake Placid. I will not say he was freaking out, however he was starting to question his ability to complete the race. I asked him if he had been training and he had. I asked him if he had a race plan and he did. I asked him if he had a nutrition plan and he did. I said it sounded to me like he had done everything he could to get himself ready for the race and if he executed his plans then he should be fine. Coaches generally know what they are doing. He asked how I could be so calm about it and I said I had trained, I have a race plan and I have a nutrition plan. I also have faith that the system works - that having done the work and preparing I will be able to complete a 140.6 mile race. Until I finish the race I have to just have faith.
While my goal is to finish the race I also have time goals. I would like to complete the swim in 90 minutes, the bike in 7 to 7-½ hours, and the run in 5 hours. Will I? I have no way of knowing. There are so many factors that I cannot control. Other people, road conditions, weather, even animals. Who knows what is out there. I have trained, I have planned. I am ready.
|A bear crossing the course may slow me down.|