The drive out to Boise wasn't particularly eventful. Dave and I stopped a couple of times to eat. Dave believes that every off-ramp is his bathroom. Not that he finds a bathroom or anything. No, the off-ramp itself is his bathroom. Dave is from a small town out in a somewhat remote area of Utah. And my theory is that this resulted in a belief that all the outdoors is his bathroom. He doesn't even bother to find a tree or a bush. He would make somewhat of an attempt to conceal himself, but if some oncoming traffic could see deed, so be it. He must have a small or overactive bladder, because probably stopped every 5th exit or so for him to take care of business. Maybe he is just an exhibitionist. Anyway, it took us awhile to get to Boise.
Once there it was a cluster. We arrived later than planned by over an hour and so we rushed to check in at the hotel and drop off the bikes, rushed to check in with the Ironman people, rushed back to the hotel to get the bikes again and drop them off at T1 at the lake. Then we rushed back to meet Fish and his family for dinner at Outback.
My iPhone gave me the wrong directions to the Outback. I thought it was the iPhone's fault, but it turns out that I typed in the wrong street name, "Overlook" instead of "Overland". We ended up at a retirement home instead of the Outback steakhouse. Not exactly what we had in mind. We finally arrived at Outback where Fish had ordered for us. The food came out just as we sat down. During the meal, I ate Dave's a la carte baked potato accidentally, but other than that all was well. I had a great time catching up with Fish and his family. But my mind was really elsewhere.
I was feeling really weighed down by life at that particular time. The triathlon really felt like something I shouldn't have done. I was feeling like I had been selfish training for this thing and spending the money associated with it.
I also received some other business related news while I was out there which also totally had me tubed. And Bridget was short with me on the phone when we were talking about the aforementioned news, too. Pile that on with trying to sort out issues dealing my Dad's cancer, mainly helping him handle his estate, finding time arranging things so I can go out and help... I just was not feeling at all in the zone mentally. In fact I really felt like bailing on the race. The stress I was feeling did not feel at all worth the payoff of finishing the race. It felt like the universe was conspiring against me. Well, maybe that is overly dramatic. Basically, I just didn't feel like bothering with a stupid race that was going to be so damn hard. And it was not like I was going to even be in the top half of the finishers either. "What the hell was I doing out here?" I thought.
But, after another conversation with Bridget who was dealing with our 3 boys at home, I felt better. She apologized for the earlier phone call, I apologized for being an idiot, and all was well again. She put me more at ease and I recommitted to the race again. Or at least to trying to finish.
The reason for doing this, even though I suck, even though I am slow in the swim and the run and mediocre at best in the bike is because it is about the journey. At least that is what I told myself. It is about pushing yourself to do uncomfortable things. It is about trying to stay somewhat fit so that I don't get diabetes like others in my family have gotten. It is about trying to stay healthy so that I don't become like still others in in my family that have had heart attacks or heart disease. Yeah, I have great genes. Nor do I want to be fat again. And these sorts of events motivate me to stay healthy. It is probably worth it when viewed in that perspective. It is worth it assuming I don't drown during the swim.
Speaking of the swim, I stuck my hand in the water when we dropped off the bikes at T1. It was cold. But not as cold as the Snake River last year. The water looked peaceful too. I am thinking that the swim will be fine. My mind is set at ease a bit about the swim. I tell Dave there is nothing to worry about. We both should have been worried. Below are the only pictures I took on the trip, that of Lucky Peak the night before race day. Looks pleasant...
Anyway, Dave and I were in the same hotel room. Neither of us could sleep much that night. We ate oatmeal for breakfast and made ourselves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.
We drove to the lake and found that we couldn't park in the area adjacent to the lake. Instead, we had to park below the dam. We had to hoof it about a mile to bring the rest of our gear. Oh, and the dirt road we walked up climbed about 300 feet in elevation. That sucked. Oh, and we had to do it twice. Once to bring up gear and once to take pumps and stuff back down to the car and then to get back up to the start. Fun. They neglected to bring that up in the info packet. The smart people took the shuttle to the race and avoided all that extra work.
Since we were there pretty early, Dave tried to nap, and I read a book. That helped pass about an hour pleasantly. I wished I had made more PB&J sandwiches. Then immediately before the start I was glad I didn't. I was feeling a bit anxious.
Fish, Dave and I chatted a little bit before the start. I was nervous. My heart rate was holding steady between 140 and 150 beats per minute during the 30 to 45 minutes before start. That swim course sure looked awfully long right then. But, at least at that point all of my other mental baggage was forgotten. I had taken my race supplements, a couple of ibuprofen and Imodium (you never know when that urge will come, and it has come during longer distance event before--not a fun thing)
Tomorrow I will relate the horror of the swim. Well, maybe not horror...but it wasn't fun.