6:40 am, the elevator door opens and guess who is there.
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Not before my coffee!
We headed down to the swim start. The gulf was angry and not accepting triathletes. Actually it was swallowing them whole. I’ve seen much choppier water but still that didn’t mean I felt obligated to get in the water and swim. So I didn’t. Instead I went to Coffee with Crowie.
Not a joke. No really it was Coffee with Crowie. Mike and Kara scored these tickets to go to the Newton-sponsored event. So really it was a caffeinated Newton commercial. But that’s ok. I’ll never pass up free coffee and plus…it’s Crowie. He’s easy on the eyes. Caffeinated or not.
He talked. And he was interesting to listen to. One of the guys from Newton moderated the event and asked Crowie the questions so we were able to avoid hearing the dreaded "so what is your nutrition plan?". I could care less what he eats! I want to know what goes through his head at mile 18. I want to know how he copes with injury. I want to know what’s next, really after you’ve been world champion what is the next level for him and how does he stay driven to get there.
So what else did he say? I found it interesting how he talked about his development. He’s been a pro for 15 years. Think about that. It took him 13 years to get to the top of his game or 70.3 World Champion. Reaching your full potential takes time – and sometimes too few athletes understand or have the patience to wait. Early on he realized he had natural talent for the sport, but knew that natural talent would only get him half way. The other half is hard work. Lots of it.
He talked about his strength training (functional, sport-specific, one-legged, hip strength). He talked about his family – his source of his inspiration. He talked about Newton shoes (I’m still not sold but would be happy to test them if a free pair should arrive at my doorstep) and he talked about vegetables (his favorite: green M&Ms).
Next up I went swimming with Kara, Mike, Mary and Kara’s sister. They’re staying at a posh condo near the harbor and convinced me it was safe to swim there. Mike let me test out an Orca wetsuit which I was grateful for after I got into water – chilly! The wetsuit slipped on better than anything I’ve ever tried. And, it was so comfortable – no chafing! We swam for about 10 minutes. Cold water and murky – sounds like the perfect place for a Bull Shark.
After lunch time we met up with John Hirsch (www.johnhirsch.org). I just love this guy, his spirit for the sport and his energy. He’s from New York City. Enough said. He’s also the organizer of the Spain camp. So we talked Spain. I stood there and got so fired up for this trip. Cycling, yoga, running, swimming, even a chef. February can’t come soon enough.
Erich arrived soon after that. Erich is one of my athlete’s from California – fast kid, contagious passion for the sport and a gusto you can only get away with when you’re 23. I took him over to the secret swimming hole, got to experience the pre-race day speedo swim (again, you can only get away with that look when you’re 23) and then we waited for Chris to come back from the pro meeting.
Ah, the pro meeting. I told Chris to wear the Chihuahua Race t-shirt to the meeting to psyche out the competition (if Potts blows up tomorrow, you know it worked). He said he sat next to Matt Reed. When I asked if he touched him (appropriately, of course) he said no but some girl sat on me.
In big news, the swim location has been changed. I assume it’s because of the risk of riptides in the gulf. It’s pretty turbulent. The harbor side is much calmer and should make for some fast swims. The age groupers go off in time trial start which I think might actually help spread the field out and make the race…..(gasp)…more fair. Or not. The pros have an in water, mass start with the females going off at 6:45 am and the males going off at 6:53 am. In any case, it should be an exciting race to watch. If I were to make bets (and even if I don’t make a bet feel free to send me money anyways), I’ll put my money on the Bennetts.
Dinner was around 5:30 pm. Surprisingly Miss Daisy did not beg for dinner at 4 pm. I realized I didnt have to force feed myself pasta so instead I ate salad and M&Ms. I call that sugar-loading for tomorrow's spectathlon. Tomorrow will be a long day. It could be worse though. I could be spectating Ironman.
The boys are busy doing pre-race preparations. Chris forgot his watch (typical) and Erich is wearing his swim cap (bizarre but also typical). I'm wondering if Dunkin' Donuts will be open tomorrow morning at 5:30 am. And Miss Daisy is upstairs reading her book about loose women.
Or so she said.
Good luck to all those racing tomorrow! And remember this: it's easy to get complacent in this race. It's November (late), this course is monotonous and historically there has been a lot of drafting. It's easy to get frustrated by those factors and let them influence your race. Keep yourself in check and race yourself to the finish line. Avoid letting the actions of others get in the way of how you react in your race. And do as Crowie said: you worked hard to get here and you qualified. You clearly had a formula that worked. Don't change a thing. Get out there on race day and do what you know how to do - stick with what worked because it obviously worked well.