Anyone that knows me knows that I have always been wired to be a more tired person. I have never had a lot of extra energy that I have envied in other girls. I remember in high school one of my friends told me, "Could you just not complain about how tired you are today?" And although I don't complain about it as much as I used to (or at least I don't think I do, except to my mom), I definitely feel it.
Every pre-race blog or article that I have read encourages any athlete to taper off in their training the week before the big event. I started doing that on Monday of this week. I continued my biking and swimming, but cut down the amount of time and intensity that I was working out. The intention was to give me more energy, but through the week I felt even more old and achy than ever.
The last thing I wanted to do on Wednesday was to get into the pool for my second to last trial swim. As a household we have had experience a bumpy patch with our 2 year old, Alexandria. She had been extremely fussy and would not go to bed at night for the past two weeks. On average it took us over an hour to get her to go to bed. Which can be draining, especially when you are with your child all day long with no breaks. When I got into the water, I just wanted to give up. I would never really give up (I am too frugal to waste all of that money), but I really wished I could. I felt like my breaths were raspy and my arms were going to fall off, but I endured, forcing myself to push forward. I used this time as I normally do, as my prayer closet. I prayed to God for the people who I knew that were hurting and for myself, as I was feeling pretty low about a lot of things in my life. About halfway through the swim a girl stopped me and asked if she could share my lane. I said sure. Sometimes when someone swims next to me, my competitive nature kicks in and I try to race them, however this time I told myself that I wasn't going to do that. I was there to train for a distance swim and sprinting wasn't going to help me at all. The girl had really good form and I was pretty impressed that she swam without stopping (even though I lapped her about four times-apparently I was competitive enough to count that).
She took a break in her laps about the time I finished mine and she asked, "How do you swim so fast?" Out of breath, I laughed and said, "Thank you." I explained I started swimming in October 2011 after my daughter was born. I began by stopping in between each lap and realized when I didn't stop I had more energy to swim longer. I added 5 minutes every couple of months to my swim and eventually got up to 40 minutes (present day). I was delighted when she said that she usually swims in open water and was training for the Iron Man that was in August in Louisville. I am also encouraged by any other female swimmer/cyclists/athletes I meet. She told me that her and her husband had done several Iron Mans together and ensured me I would do great in the coming race. She gave me her phone number and said if I ever wanted to get together to swim or bike to let her know.
When I got out of the pool and went into the shower room I felt like a new woman. I couldn't help but smile that God had sent this fellow swimmer my way to encourage me like no one else could have at that moment. It was funny that we only spoke for a few minutes, but I felt like we had that camaraderie that you can only have with someone who was training for a multi-sport event.
I read an article recently that said that the Buckhead Border Challenge was one of the most seven super challenging races in the United States. Mainly because of the swim across the Ohio and also because of it's uniqueness that it starts in one state and ends in another. After speaking with the girl at the pool instead of this being a scary thing, I actually thought it was exciting and made me want to continue on my course to completing the race.
This morning began my day of rest. After a miraculously good sleep, even with all of the butterflies, my husband, Alexandria and my parents (who came out to cheer me on) made our way to the Big Four Railroad Pedestrian Bridge. From the top of the bridge, which is smack dag in the middle of the Ohio River, I saw the route I had to swim. It looked a little bit daunting, but not as scary as I had imagined it. I looked along the Indiana side of the river and saw the road that I had biked twice last weekend. I remembered how my legs hurt and my feet screamed, but I also recalled how beautiful the scenery was and how inspiring the river was as it flowed.
|The Great Ohio|
|A picture I took while bike riding along the Ohio|
So nerves or not, when I wake up in the morning I will tell myself, "Let's do this." Because I know that I can. And I will.
|Looking at the river that mama is going to cross the next day|
|Part of my cheering section (Mom and Dad)|
|My niece and nephew are excited about the big race.|
|And Laurel, my partner in crime. She is to run the 10K in this relay.|