If the training for an Ironman doesn’t kill you, the packing for it just might. Just as you think you are ready, you are then expected to pack what been strewn about your house and car and laundry room for the past 9 months into you car for the long drive and then into four drawstring bags for the day of the race!
I had remembered a blog post from @heidiruns over at the unpredictable journey about her prep for Ironman Texas last year (thanks for sharing Heidi!) and this noobie took a couple of cues from her and started to organize things into five different ziploc bags. These 1 gallon bags soon turned into 2 gallon bags as more and more was added. Doing this organization before has helped me to know what I still need and also to mental prepare for the changes in transition.
In addition to the packing tips, she also shared how she wrote reminders on her water bottles for when the going got touch. Well, I love me a sharpie and took to decorating my water bottles as well. There are the names of all those who have joined in the #takethattumor campaign as well as phrases and mantras to repeat when the times get tough, many of which came from you all on Facebook! They include…
- Limitless Potential
- Laugh in the face of pain cuz it feels so damn good to be alive.
- persistence is continuing when it is easy, perseverance is continuing when it is hard
- Pain is temporary, Ironman is forever!
- no pain no gain
- The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running.
- No regrets tomorrow.
- Unrelenting forward motion
- Quitting is forever.
- shut up legs
- I am worth it! And I am enough!
- Just keep moving
- we get to do this
- Effing interbike!
- Joy in the journey
- Unicorns & gumdrops
Maybe I should have been using some of these mantras as I was packing because I did have a little bit of a meltdown trying to get it all in the car and ready to go. Just kept thinking I was forgetting something. So I had to remind myself to HTFU and that between Walmart and the expo I could get anything I forgot there. Funny thing is that shortly after I got in the car and left, I saw a post from professional triathlete, Jesse Thomas on Facebook that said, “Hell on Earth is packing for a triathlon.” Comforting to know the pros go through it, too! (Here are his tips for packing.)
I had a lot of time to think about the past year on the drive here. It’s amazing to think that less than a year ago I was sitting in a hospital bed not able to walk even to the bathroom and Sunday I will be doing an Ironman. The sun was setting as I drove into town and it hit me how damn lucky I am to be here doing this race. And a big thank you to all those who have helped along the way, with words of encouragement, prayers, rides, and to those who have joined me in the #takethattumor campaign (more info here).
I’ll try to update again after checking in and scoping out the Ironman Village and transition. Can’t wait to see it all!