I have been remiss in not mentioning in all my blogging that my Flat Friends have made the trip with me. They have spent a lot of time hanging from my window curtain in the room, but they got out today for a little bike ride:
Then it was back into town and back into the lake (for those wondering, I stuff the wetsuit into a backpack, along with the swim cap and goggles). Today’s swim was much much MUCH better; I swam about half the distance. There are 24 buoys and I turned around at 6.
I have to admit that I am an emotional athlete; I can get caught up in the joy or despair of the moment. My coaches have always tried to get me to overcome that. It can work in your favor when times are good – your pace quickens, you perform better when the crowd is with you, but it can destroy you when it goes badly. In the excitement of the competitors, always on race day, my adrenaline surges, my heart rate speeds, my breathing increases – not so good if you are about to embark on a 2 hour swim. I have worked so hard on focusing, removing the distractions, listening to the bubbles (swimmers know what I mean), and today I did that beautifully. Which was easy, since there were about 10 of us in the lake at the time. When there are 1200, not so easy.
I have met some positively lovely people since I’ve been here. I’ve already mentioned Didymo Dave, Jim and Susie from Auckland. I’ve also met up with Liz and Allie from Canterbury, England (insert obligatory small-world comment here – that’s where daughter Glenda’s boyfriend Sam lives), and Leo from Hawaii, and Bill and Ginger from San Diego. Everyone seems, like me, to be having the time of their lives. Today when I was fretting over the swim, Liz and Allie invited me for coffee and a scone (a scone!! During training!!). I am sorry that I declined in my edginess to get in the lake. If I find them tomorrow, I’ll invite them for a beer!
So, this picture of my foot may not seem amazing…until you realize that I’m taking it underwater! I’m in water up to my chest, I bent over and put my fancy waterproof camera into the water and snapped this picture. You can’t imagine what it is like to swim in this! I told my daughter Glenda today on Skype that it is like swimming in an aquarium. I haven’t seen many fish (Taupo is the trout capital or something) but we stay relatively near the shore. We pass one of those floating golf greens, where the tee is on the shore, and I can’t help but chuckle when I see all those golf balls on the bottom – some of them WAAAY away from the green (shankapotomus, I guess).
Then I wandered through town again, because I just can’t get enough of seeing everyone having coffee on the sidewalks, and seeing the other triathletes biking, walking, running through town. I don’t have an explanation for this picture:
After my jaunt through town, I stopped at the info booth to buy a ticket to the Women’s Breakfast on Friday (can’t wait for that), and didn’t mean to stage this shot, didn’t even see it til I came back out:
Finally I headed home to my shower, my green salad, my glass of New Zealand red, and the comforts of my little home. I’m about 3k from town, and every day on the way home I see two things:
So, in summary, I’m having the time of my life. I’m still both wildly excited and wildly apprehensive about Saturday. Tomorrow the Expo begins — FAO Schwartz for triathletes. I plan on spending most of the day looking at all the toys. Bike Tires! Running Shoes! Wetsuits! Heart Rate Monitors! Riding Jerseys! Red Blinky Lights for the Bike! Gu Gels in Every Flavor!
As always, and most humbly, thanks for reading.
March 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm
I hope all goes well with the summit/climax of your journey – you have obviously prepared well, as you have always done in life – one of your many traits that I’ve always admired. Love You, gal! Linda
March 3, 2010 at 8:26 am
Thanks Linda – I’m absolutely having the time of my life! I’ve met so many interesting people here and there are sooooo many inspiring stories; it seems like everyone has some motivation, some issue, some trial they are struggling with. It’s been such an enlightening experience – and I still have the race yet to go!! Thanks for your kind words…I’ll be thinking of all of them during the race!
March 3, 2010 at 4:06 am
I imagine that you’re probably at the Expo as I write this and having another marvelous time. Looking forward to more stories when you get back. Hopefully I’ll have a few good ones of my own vacation to swap.
When you start to get all wound up one way or another, just think about your breathing. Whichever way you need to go, the rest of your energy should follow that. Of course, I forget to breathe during swordfights, so who am I to talk?
March 3, 2010 at 8:30 am
Deal. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours. And the breathing thing – that’s really it, isn’t it? Thanks for all your support – I remember it along the course!
March 5, 2010 at 3:17 am
Hey Gayle, that’s it all done now! Although you do have one triathlon you have to do today – you know the one – eat, drink, sleep! Have a blast tomorrow matey, really good luck with the race, and we will be cheering you on as we see each other round the course.
We have not known you long, but we know one thing – you are a very special lady, and you are about to join a very special family – the Ironman family. You’ll understand exactly what that means on Sunday.
Take care, and enjoy every minute of it, even the tough ones.
Ali & Liz xx
March 5, 2010 at 5:09 am
Oh, girls, thank you so much! You will never know hoe much you have helped me this week! Your friendship already means worlds to me – can’t wait for our next adventure!
As you can see, I’m chilling, relaxing, snacking, enjoying the fam…just like you said! I’m trying to memorize this calm spirit for tomorrow morning! See you on the course and at the finish!!