I'd spent vast amounts of time preparing for IM, not just physically but mentally – picturing the swim start and the crowding there, mapping the transitions, visualizing the bike course, planning the run course, etc.
I had also steeled myself for the week prior being totally insane – crowds and lines and nervous athletes everywhere. I was steeling myself to be brave and trust my plan and not be tempted to change nutrition/strategy/tapering based on urgings from the hordes of crazy iron people.
In thinking through the pre-week craziness I forgot to take into account that 1) I'd arranged to stay in a house well out of town and 2) I was going from working full time and having a crazy workout sched to only having an hour or two of scheduled anything per day. Life in the Penticton the week prior was very, very quiet.
Mum caught a beautiful sunset from the porch.
I went a little nuts with all the spare time and took up pacing as a new hobby. I kept trying to sit down then realize I was wearing a path in the kitchen tiles with no recollection of ever having left the couch. Next time I’ll bring a sudoku book or start on my macramé a little early!
Laying out the items for my gear bags could have taken up some of my time but that made me nervous and it took quite a while to commit to it. When I finally was done, pulling the drawstring closed on the bags felt terribly final and quite intimidating.
My Mum came in town for the weekend so it was fun taking her into transition the day before (they let people bring in their "sherpas") and showing her how it all worked. Walking her through helped keep me calm and forced me to actually visualize my route for race day.
Then it was an early pasta dinner, an early night and, strangely, my best sleep of the whole week.