On Friday morning, you could feel the tension and nerves building in the hotel and among the few athletes mulling around the town. I was shaking with nerves. I kept trying to use self-talk and remind myself that I was doing this for fun. My time or place did not matter, I just wanted to finish my FIRST EVER IRONMAN!!! But my nerves continued to get the best of me…
I made matters worse when I tried to pull on my new swimskin to go for a quick swim, when, underestimating my own strength, I accidentally tore it along the crotch! Now what was I to do? Coach Larry had told me to swim, bike, and then run this morning. What if I biked, ran, and then swam? This could seriously impact my race (yes, it does sound ridiculous looking back). I made a phone call to Ryan to let him know what had happened. As much as I tried to prevent sending the sound of my tears through the phone, I imagine Ryan was probably able to discern the stress in my voice. I was so thankful for Ryan’s calm demeanor. He tried to console me, telling me not to stress the day before my race. They would figure it out and he would try and get me another swimskin that day! Soon after, I called Larry. He was probably able to hear my voice cracking as well. Larry assured me that I would be fine and to just go swim, bike, and run easy then test out the swimskin for a few minutes later in the day. Next thing I knew, I was out the door, finishing up my last few activities before not moving from my bed for the rest of the day. Everything went as planned and I felt decent-a bit tired, but I didn’t worry about it.
With one minute left to go in my short run, I spotted my parents heading into the hotel! I caught up with them and started talking, when I suddenly felt dizzy. After enduring previous fainting experiences, I quickly plopped myself down onto the sidewalk before fainting. If I was nervous before the morning workout, I was freaking out and on edge after this episode…and it was not even 9AM. After a quick, much needed breakfast, I headed back to my room to mentally and physically try and “chill.”
Ryan called me up and told me he could swing by the lobby of my hotel to drop off my new swimskin. I met him down in the lobby, with an apologetic face and my torn swimskin in hand. Ryan and I sat down and once we started talking I was tearing up, trying to avoid saying too much to prevent the tears from flowing down my face. I told Ryan I was just so nervous for my race and felt like there was so much pressure and such high expectations for me. What if I didn’t live up to them? What if I disappointed my friends and family who have been so supportive throughout my whole journey? Ryan provided me with comforting words of wisdom and assured me everything would be fine! It was my first IM after all and it was just one race. There would be more to come. Just relax and enjoy the experience. Take in all of the sights, sounds, smells, etc. and SMILE! You are here to have fun! Ryan-thank you, not only for the new swimskin, but for reassuring me and calming me down. I apologize for nearly breaking down into tears when you really just wanted to drop something off!!!
The rest of Friday consisted of a Criminal Minds marathon and lounging around in bed. After dinner with my parents, pasta of course, I headed to bed early anticipating an early wake up. I set three alarms on my phone, the alarm clock in the room, and requested a wakeup call.
Professional cyclist turned professional triathlete living in Boulder, CO.