Alex and I feel like our child has gone to kindergarten. With a recovery week and then 4 weeks of taper to the race we are starting to regain our previous life. Dinner hopefully will no longer be a rotation of omelets, spaghetti and meatballs and steak sandwiches.
I’m tired, not doubt, but, today I’m feeling pretty good about the race. I love the level of fitness that I’ve brought my body to, I feel honoured by the people who I know that are finding inspiration in what we’re doing and not matter what happens on November 22 I know I’ve become a better person on this journey.
This was the weekend of the big ride. Saturday, at Duke’s cycle I picked up what I presumed to be chamois butter – let’s not mince words, it was butt butter. Sunday morning I applied said butter to my riding shorts. I pulled said shorts up. I experienced a sensation not at all like the cooling feeling that butt butter gives. My first clue should have been the distinctly mentholyptus smell but, it was really early. I wasn’t smelling yet.
Having been overly warmed by what was indeed warming balm, I decided a quick shower would take care of matters. In case you’re wondering applying hot water to warming balm is counter productive unless the effect desired is more warming.
I have one pair of 7 hour shorts. They were now tainted. Quick thinking had me add a pair of compression shorts as a base layer to put a firewall between heat and tender bits.
So, off we go to met up with our local IMAZ posse to do our ride. Three loops were planned with a Subaru aid station. When we left Toronto, as I recall, it was 2 degrees Celsius. When we arrived in Hamilton it was 1. But, it was clear, sunny and the leaves were glorious. I piled on the short sleeve jersey I had brought over my long sleeve, added arm warmers and a quilted wind stopper top. Three layers on the bottom completed the overstuffed package. The temperature was invigorating.
After two laps we met up with a couple of friends of our IMAZ peeps. One, who we had met briefly before, had brought doughnuts. DOUGHNUTS. Ah, sweet sweet sugar. After the required time to have introductions I started eating expressing my love of sugar, my realization that Iron eating had to end soon, and my most profound thanks. This appears to have been the right thing to do as, unknown to me, one of the friends had been literally sick worrying about riding with us. “You’re normal” she said and then gave me a hug. I told her I remember so well starting out and going for rides with people with Ironman tattoos. It WAS intimidating but, now, on the other side, I can say that triathlon is about inclusion and welcome.
The last lap was tough, my Garmin ran out of battery but I had nothing to prove. I saw, for the third time, the pretty little cat hanging in the ditch at the side of the road, I turned for the last time onto what I now think of as Dead Raccoon Road and I rode past a white domesticated turkey that looked to be just the tiniest bit lost. I did resort to some 99 bottles on the last 10 k but I felt strong and alive. Alex had added larger front rings and new crank to Doris Day the day before and I loved having those extra gears to push.
Now, with a week off for recovery and then the four weeks of taper I know that I’ve done everything I can to prepare. I am looking forward to a less time intensive off season but there is no way that I ever want to change this lifestyle. Ask me again November 23rd but I really think that I want to go Iron again. In a couple of years.
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