First off...thank you to everyone for the good luck wishes!! I never thought I would have so many friends through blogging. I hope to meet a few more bloggers at Disney tomorrow, but I'm sure we will all "run" into each other one day down the road. I really appreciate the kind words, encouraging advice and just the committment to checking my blog and writing comments so that I had an incentive to get up every morning and do something fun, hard and challenging so that I would have something to write about on my blog. I guess all you bloggers (and readers) have held me accountable to my training for the past couple of months. To all my blogging training buddies and supporters..thanks!
Well, Karel left at 8:45am for Lakeland. He has a tune-up race today and then the state crit championships tomorrow. There is race money for both days but only tomorrow will the state champion be awarded. I think karel is going to do really well. He felt great all week (even though he really didn't say much about his training) but I could tell he had a calmness that I usually don't see in him. I think speed week gave him that extra boost of confidence and I know he would really like to do well this weekend. I guess today will be a good opportunity to get a feel of the other races. Most people will probably just race on sun. but for Karel, he likes racing two days in a row. however, with the race at noon, he isn't too happy about riding in the heat. Oh well....Good luck Karel!!!
I woke up around 6am with Karel and packed up my stuff. Actually, re-packed. I like to pack my stuff 2 days before I leave for a race. It just makes me more calm than trying to gather everything before I leave. Also, with our place filled with boxes (for our move on tues), I had to think ahead when packing up our stuff. I then warmed up with a 17 mile ride and a 2 mile run. The bike was a bit windy and I got rained on toward the end of the ride. I didn't expect rain but it came quickly and then it was just wet and cloudy. I put on my running shoes and felt great. I was just running along and noticed there was a 5K race on the street behind me. I had a few people tell me that i was about to miss the race start. I just smiled and kept running.
I said bye to karel and made breakfast. Now I'm just hanging around anxious to leave. My parents are picking me up and we are heading to orlando together. It is nice to have my parents with me. I don't ask them to come to any of my races and I tell them that they shouldn't drive to a race if the drive takes longer than the race itself. However, when it comes to a 70.3 race, at least the 2 hour drive to Orlando makes up for a hopefull "sub-5 hour" finish. Of course, it is great to have my mom to cheer and my dad to take the pictures (which I will post on my blog with the race report).
I don't always feel this way about a race so I don't want to come across as super confident. However, I am feeling really good about this race. Not nervous (you might want to ask me again when I line up for my wave with the 18-29 women, 145 of us total, 115 in my age group), excited and ready to hurt. Karel gave me a little pep talk and told me to pace myself so it will come down to the run. I was thinking the same thing. As I was warming up I found it strange that I felt so good. HOwever, my good was very relative to my opinion of good and mot so ready. I guess the old Marni would think that I was feeling good if I felt fast and without aches. A not-so ready warm-up would be soreness from overtraining or not resting properly. Perhaps not enough sleep or not keeping up with good nutrition. However, this time I only had one thing on my mind for not being ready. Pain. The pain I felt going into Kona and not being able to run for 31 days before I ran 26.2 miles in kona. The pain I felt walking (with a horrible limp) for 2 months (1 month with crutches). The pain I felt trying to run at 4.5-6 mph for another 2 months. I guess now I feel so good about this race because I have no pain. I am not sure if my legs are sore, if I am not properly trained or if my muscles are tired. I am feeling so good because I can go into this race (and hopefully finish) without any pain. Of course I am going to work very hard and it WILL hurt as I push my body but that is why I worked so hard. I don't expect to go a time that i didn't train for but i expect to enjoy this experience because I am not in pain. Racing in pain is not fun and I don't like the feeling of wanting to just finish. I hope that after the race, even if I don't reach my sub 5-hour goal (I am aware of the difficulty of reaching this goal) I can find something positive in this race. There may not be an age-group award, there may not be a 70.3 World Championship qualifying certificate and I might not set a PR (last year, 5:09 finishing time). However, I will have a medal to show for my Ironman Florida 70.3 finish and if the above "goals" don't happen, I will try to dig deep and remind myself of where I was 7 months ago.
Good luck everyone racing. too many names to mention so a BIGGGGG good luck to those who know I am cheering for them!!!