Feeling the Strain

On my bike trainer this morning, I watched a re-broadcast of the Paris-Tours race from this year.  A rider from the Radio Shack team (Geoffroy LeQuatre)took off from the lead group with about 18k to the finish and tried to make a gallant surprise run for the upset victory.  The Frenchman opened up a lead of about 30 seconds on some hill climbs and kept it until around the final kilometer, where he was swept up by the peloton and eventual winner, Oscar Freire. In those final few kilometers, the commentators (Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin) were talking about how the Radio Shack rider was "deep in the pain cave" based on his panting, teeth-gritting, exhausting presentation.  Clearly LaQuatre was spent and doing everything he could to coax himself to the finish despite being well beyond his red zone.

That's sort of how I'm feeling about getting ready for Ironman Arizona.

But not from the physical aspect.  Physically, other than some minor fatigue, I feel great!  Surprisingly so, to be honest.  I expected to be in the pain cave by this point myself.

It's more the anticipation of the race itself that I'm talking about here.  WHY CAN'T NOVEMBER 21 JUST BE HERE ALREADY????  Don't get me wrong.  I'm fired up for IMAZ like no other.  And I think those around me feel the same way. However, it's gotta be a slog to hear me constantly talk about this stuff, or be asked about it by my curious friends.  Whether I'm talking about it or someone else is, Ironman becomes the giant elephant in the room.  The unofficial third roommate.  The anchor holding down the social calendar.  The wet blanket covering up the sweets and chili cheese hot dogs.  I can only imagine that my family, friends and even Steph just want to see the finish line for this race just as much as I do.  Yet that November 21 finish line is just out of reach and we're all struggling, willing ourselves to the big day. Panting.  Teeth-gritting.  Grinding it out.  One. More. Day. Of. Training.  Three. More. Weeks.

Just a bit more until this race is here and gone.

Unlike the fallen Radio Shack rider, I'm hoping I can keep it together in the coming weeks and finish this journey as strong as I started..  And keep my support system intact as well.  We're almost there!

24 days and counting.