It's that time again: the night before, when all the nerves get jangly and there's really nothing to do except distract yourself however you can from the useless wondering and worrying. We're here in the beautiful Coeur D'Alene, hanging out in a rented house, watching some TV on my cell phone and waiting to medically fall asleep even though it's still fully sunny outside. It took a while to get up here: we drove from LA to Northern CA to Portland to here, which is like its own Ironman, in a way... I still have a weird soreness in the side of my body that I can't account for. And then to make everything a little fun and dramatic, we had a full blowout on the highway only eight minutes away from Portland, after driving ten hours and had to go drop some coin on a new tire as early as possible so we could make it to packet pickup in time. (I like to think that the blowout was good luck, so tomorrow will be a technically perfect race, right? Right.)

I felt a little out of sorts from all the driving, and somewhat out of it, but today we got everything done that needed to happen: found speed laces for my shoes (weirdly there weren't any on sale at the expo, which I counted on), made sure I had everything I needed on my bike (was short a lever) went to the info session, biked a little of the run course, ran a spell, and drove the remainder of the bike course. I'd been feeling a little nervous, since I haven't been climbing a load on my rides, and while there is one hefty 5% grade, it seems generally pretty doable, and a lot of it looks like I'll be able to put on some speed, so I'm feeling a bit better about the race now. I think I have good odds of putting in a really strong show, so I'm just gonna go out there, channel all the positive thoughts and put out all the doubts and just enjoy the day. I've been a little down on myself because my feet are always sore from plantars, and it's tough for me to keep up sub nines compared to the past, but I need to just forget that and do what I can, because tomorrow is all that matters, and it's going to be an excellent day to race, in an ideal setting. Everyone told me that Coeur d'Alene was beautiful, and they weren't lying. As gorgeous as Cozumel was, the rolling hills of pine forests paired with expansive blue sky with perfect puffy clouds is more my style. That, and the fact that it's ideal racing weather. It was raining earlier, but looks like it will be partly cloudy and around the low 70's-- amazing! And to make matters all the better, the cold cold swim that I was fearing is not so cold this year-- the water is currently 61 degrees, positively balmy when compared to the rumors of low 50s that I was hearing. Which is good because the chin strap of the neoprene skull cap I bought to warm my noggin felt like it was choking me out when I tried it on. Apparently a size medium isn't any good if you have a full head of hair, I guess.

So all that's left at this point is to get as much sleep as possible, get up and at em and get the bike all set up before the swim start at 6:45 (or, in my case, whenever people with a 1:15 swim start-- they do it in flights, which is kinda nice.) And then: lots of yummy Northwestern craft beer to celebrate! Let's make it a good day tomorrow.

AuthorNikki Muller