Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ironman Louisville is Coming! Don't worry, I'm not secretly racing!

This week is very exciting here in Louisville.  The Ironman is coming!  Yay!  Its funny, because this is my third time living here for the event, and I have been so excited each year.  It has been interesting this year to reflect back on what the race has meant to me over the years. 
2011- Awe, inspired, desire- After spectating, I knew I had to do this race.  I was crying because I was so pumped up and just wanted to be out there.
2012-determination, fight, will-  I was going to do this race no matter what.  It was a constant battle to get through the training and get to the start line.  It was hard, but I was living a dream, and how often does that happen?  I loved every bit of pain.
2013- Excitement, peace, contentment.  I will be volunteering and working for Ironman for this race.  I don't have the desire to race.  However, I also know how I felt in the past when a race comes around and I am not racing, and I feel left out, despite thinking I would be OK in advance.  This year is different.  I really do think I am going to be OK.

I was thinking about how blessed I was last year, and how I really am thankful that I did the race last year and not this year.  I had a few people close to me try to convince me to wait, but I just knew that last year was the year.  Do it now, don't wait! 

-Support- I had close friends, Cristina and Jennifer racing last year.  I had Amy and others to advise me, I had people like Terri, Rhonda, and Erin to train with me here.  I had events lined up that prepared me well to keep me on track.  I had the swim practices, babysitters, neighbors, friends, and family to help me get it done.  Of all these people, Rhonda is the only one racing this year.  My network wasn't there.  I probably could have created one, as there are a record number of people from my tri club entered this year.  But not my bestie or my neighbor.  Mindy thought about it, but opted out, as did Cristina.

-No Injuries.  I did get pneumonia last year, as well as fall off my mountain bike, but the crash in May was bad.  It was really bad.  I am amazed that I was not hurt any worse than I was.  I cannot even believe I was able to finish Muncie.  It maxed me out training for it this year with my job and my injuries.  I feel like if I would have signed up a year in advance, it wouldn't have worked out.

-Weather-  You can't plan a race around the weather.  You just have to deal with it.  I dealt with it last year.  It got all cool here last week, and a few people I chatted with were starting to wish they were racing.  Then, the weather got all normal and back to being hot.  I am so glad I didn't let this be a factor in my decision.  I knew it would be hot and was well prepared.  With the earlier part of the summer being more mild, it might have been harder to prepare this time around.  Rides that I did last  year in boiling heat were done in sleeves this year.

I feel good and excited going into this weekend.  I have a temporary position with Ironman!  Doesn't that sounds cool?  It really is more exciting sounding than it is.  My job yesterday was to set up the store in the ballroom.  It was kind of crazy how things went from an empty room to a fully stocked store.  When I arrived, most of the grid panels to display merchandise were already standing, but completely bare.  They needed to have hooks installed and all the products placed.  I opened bins and boxes and sorted them by type, and then got them arranged with one item on each hook, and then others came and filled them in.  The big task that I was given that had some creative energy was organizing the fuel belt products.  There are a zillion different kinds of fuel belts, boxes, and bottles that you could get.  I felt like it too forever to get them organized, but it was really fun to be able to organize something the way I wanted it, and have the space to put everything.  It was a lot different than home organization, where I run out of bins, hooks, ect.  This is Ironman, so they had everything you needed to make an awesome display.  I didn't take a picture of it because I felt weird, but I am pretty proud of the way everything came together.  It was remarkable, and I know that a ton of people will go through that area.  I'm sure they won't think anything of how great everything is organized, but hopefully they will be able to find what they want without thinking too hard about it.  I'm not working again until Monday, because of the kids and my schedule.  I probably won't make much money, though, because I do get a discount and they will just get all their money back!  The kids need new irongear, they have been wearing their same shirts since 2011! 

Saturday I am hoping to go downtown for the underpants run again.  I've always had fun.  Due to a communication error, I do have to bring the kids on my own.  This is not ideal.  I thought the whole family was going to go down.  I paid the money to the charity, so I am now debating what I want to do.  Should I find a sitter, take the kids and run it, or just take the kids and pick up my stuff and observe? 

Sunday is race day!  I'm volunteering at the swim start, hoping to head out to the bike course before church, teaching church, and then hoping to go down to the finish after.  I'm expecting the swim start to have me lose it.  I mean, I can't even hear the song, "My Old Kentucky Home" without tears when I think of last year's start.  I am just thinking they will be more tears of nostalgia, not those of being left out or regret.  Volunteering should be an experience on its own.  It will be a busy day. I hope I can fit everything in.  I guess the good thing about not having anyone super close to me racing is that if I don't make it to see everyone finish, no one is going to think less of me.  Spectating is exhausting, so hopefully I don't wear myself out too much.
Finally, I am really looking forward to Monday at the expo.  I will be selling the finisher gear!  The picture above is my work shirt.  I think it will be really fun to see my friends coming back to get their gear.  I know it is hard to track everyone down, so hopefully it will be fun.  I'll also get to buy whatever I want at this point.  Funny, looking at the gear at the expo, I realized yet one more reason that I was excited that I raced last year and not this year.  I LOVE my race kit from last year.  I put a fleur de lis on my bike, and the race kit from last year has a big huge fleur de lis on it.  This year it did not!  I never regretting doing the race last year, I have always felt like it was my time, and these things have cemented it.  I feel like these things are making me content with the weekend.  I do not need to do this race.  I'm sure I'll choke up about it on Sunday, but I'll have no regrets.

1 comment:

Rebecca Jo said...

I am such an Ironman nut too - so thankful it comes to our area. I would love to volunteer for them but always ends up on a weekend something else is planned so I'm always just able to slide for a few hours to come down to cheer on the athletes... & I LOVE doing that... so inspiring...

This year, I told my husband this may be going on my bucket list.. he laughed at me :)