Taper week has started really well. I started the week with an open water swim where I met a fellow Ironman Louisville participant and finally got a chance to relax and hang out with friends. I joined up with our Team-in-Training tri group and ended up hanging out and relaxing in the parking lot until the sun set. It was nice to catch up with friends and also get some really good advice from some Ironman veterans. No amount of advice is too much at this point and it's reassuring to know that everyone goes through the roller coaster of emotions. One guy told me that if' I've been moody, emotional, and flat out mean sometimes it means I'm ready. I'd say I'm pretty ready then!
I took the opportunity to go do my shopping for the Ironman Louisville trip tonight. It seems like I have a million things to do before I leave and knocking out this task will save me some headaches next week. Initially I had a pretty short list of items to get, but then I found a checklist for an Ironman trip online and immediately realized I wasn't thinking through the entire situation. Being my first attempt at this distance, there is a lot I don't know. There is also a lot I would never think of on my own. Before I went shopping I decided it would be a pretty good idea to talk to my coach as well. I stopped by my local bike shop where he was working today and chatted with him about some items I should pick up. My main concern was my special needs bag for the bike and run. We talked about having it as a resource for anything that might arise along the way : gastro issues, chafing, blisters, hunger, bonking, rain, cold, heat, motivation. We wrote down a list of things I'd need and off I went to the store. I know the people at the checkout must have thought I was crazy. Here are a sample of things I purchased:
Gallon-size Ziploc bags
You get the picture. Pretty random and it makes me look like I suffer from chronic gastrointestinal issues. I do think I wrapped up my shopping for this trip though which was a relief. I ended up buying pasta and some tupperware containers so I could cook it and send it with my parents. My coach said it'd be a good idea not to eat out the night before the race so I'll plan on making my own pasta dish at the hotel. I also decided I'd throw in a few treats in my special needs bag so that's where the Nutter Butters come into play. Does anyone else have anything to add to the bags? Am I missing something? I'll have the usual : tubes, co2, socks, gels, contacts, etc.
I also just got my bike back from the shop after a final tune-up. I'll take it for a spin tomorrow to make sure everything is working well and will knock out one more long ride this weekend before I send it on it's way with my parents. I can't thank my parents enough for lugging all of my gear to Kentucky. It saves me so many headaches and allows me peace of mind that it will show up in one piece. My parents are a huge piece of the puzzle next weekend. I hope they realize how much it means to me.
The rest of the week will be pretty tame. I'll ride tomorrow, swim Friday, and use the weekend to read through the athlete guide, ask questions, and start prepping my gear. I also have my last doctor visit before the race tomorrow afternoon. I'm curious to see what he thinks of my Achilles condition and if he can give me any tips/advice on easing the pain during the run. Hopefully he'll have some magic potion I can rub on it before I leave T2. I'll report back again soon.