I thought I was going to dinner with a couple of Steph's friends. This was technically true, though about 50 other people showed up for what certainly was a surprise Ironman Arizona send-off party.
To make it clear, months ago I specifically told Steph NOT to plan any kind of send-off party for me, though it's tradition on our team to have such events. My belief was that I've been enough of a burden with this blog, constantly writing about my thoughts and feelings to the point of people probably rolling their eyes with each new post. That's honestly how I've been thinking about the blog towards the end of this journey. I didn't want to ask anyone to do anything for me since I believe my friends, family, teammates and co-workers has been more than accommodating with my schedule and my crazy neurosis. It's one of the reasons why I stopped tweeting every post. In the end, I simply felt that the people who want to follow this blog do, and those who don't, really don't want to hear about it anymore.
But last night showed me that my grouping of true friends and family don't see it that way. Which is a relief to me. A huge one at that. I haven't made people sick of me or what I have to say after all.
I was truly touched to see so many people show up to wish me well. I was especially touched by my teammates' turnout, since the vast majority of them raced this morning in Malibu or Calabasas and opted to celebrate with me instead of going to bed early for their pre-race rituals. And many of my friends showed up whom I haven't been able to see in months due to my crazy training schedule. That's the ultimate form of love and friendship. Even when I know I haven't been quite there for them, they were most certainly there for me.
Even though I essentially didn't train this weekend (one hour cycling and one hour of yoga...taper rocks!), I still feel like I got a performance boost. First, I psyched myself up by writing the initials on my shoes of some important people in my life and then I had the ultimate benefit of being stunned and humbled by the outpouring of support I'll have going to Arizona in just a few short days.
My energy level is up. My spirits are up. My body feels good. The culmination of more than 600 hours of training is at hand. Race week is here, and thanks to many important people in my life, I am ready.
ONE WEEK TO GO.