May 21, City Hotel St Polten, Austria
My darling hubby/support crew extraordinaire and I are in gorgeous St Polten for the weekend. Several months ago, when i was uninjured and feeling strong, I signed up for a half ironman…. thinking this would be a pretty easy race distance and good practice for the full ironman I intend to do at some point. I have run, cycled and swum all the distances pretty easily in the past and within the cut off times. Hmmmmm, feeling a whole lot less cocky now! It has been six weeks since I injured my shin, and i have only run for 20 minutes in that time (two x ten minute runs in the last week), and only cycled a couple of times. Worse, I seem to have developed a back problem so everything hurts – even walking hurts. Oh well, I paid the money and it was non refundable, so i thought I may as well try and race. And, my hardcore physio was ok with me giving it a bash…. in his words, ‘oh well, just gut it out and see what happens’. I am oscillating between crapping my pants with fear and then trying to remind myself that it doesn’t matter – ideally I will finish, but if not, it aint the end of the world. Think I managed to mostly hold it together today, except for a bout of overwhelming panic and awe as we went down to breakfast this morning – we were surrounded by enormous lycra clad, ironman branded, bronzed, aryan looking germans and austrians! f@ck me – they were giants!!!! with long rangy muscly legs!!!! Holy crap on a crap stick, these folks are going to eat me up and spit me out.
The panic eventually abated enough for me to leave the hotel and go and figure out the registration process. All signed up, collected the bike, sorted out the transition bags, dropped the bike, went to race briefing, went back to bike area as had forgotten to pick up timing chip………, hopefully everything is in the right bag. If you have never raced a tri before, be warned, there are epic amounts of kit that you need to have, and it all needs to be in the right place. Oh, and don’t forget the lube!!!!!! there are also too many rules for me to follow, so i am sticking to remember the drafting rules, and not too litter – as that is grounds for immediate disqualification. Also trying to remind myself that as long as I finish, i will be the first woman from NZ to finish (I am the only one entered!!). Am heading to bed now, stomach is stuffed full of carbs as have gone on a major carb loading effort today. Fingers crossed I can get my wetsuit off easily tomorrow and I don’t miss any of the cut off times. Oh, and fingers crossed I can figure out how to pee on the bike….. maybe just a quick google before I sleep to figure that out. Alarm is set for 4.30 am 😃.