Norseman full-iron starts in 7 hours.
My favorite part about traveling and about doing events (or adventures!) is putting myself in some unique situation and taking in all the ups and downs of the experiences the new situation produces. This race has been on my mind for over a year; those who know me know that is much longer than I am usually capable of thinking about something. Spending 3 days at race headquarters has given us the opportunity to feel the excitement build. It is very real now. It`s not the first time I`ve said, `this is going to be the hardest thing I`ve ever done.´ But that is not why I am here.
A friend of a friend asked me before I left, `Why something so extreme?´ And I never thought of it that way (seriously- despite the word `xtreme´in the name of the race). How did I answer? That as you approach the difficulty of something like this it`s feasibility becomes real. Suddenly it is a reason to go to Norway and a time to put myself in a very unique situation indeed. The `hard` part of it is harder than anything I`ve done, but not by leaps and bounds. During the lows I have an adequate bank of experiences to draw upon for motivation and during the highs I can experience something like never before. All this in one of the most beautiful environments I`ve ever been in. And with friends who traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to help make it happen.
We`ve already met lots of people, Norwegians are very excited that we came all the way from California to be here. They ask how long I have been a triathlete and how many times I`ve been here to do the race. I tell them that I never considered myself a triathlete and that I slept on couches for two months to save money to come here to do this race. They appreciate that we sleep in the gym and cook all of our meals.
Pre-race concerns are the obvious ones: Did I swim enough? Cycling is my strength, but did I ignore it too much to swim and run? Have my two weeks of traveling before hand make me soft? Will the stiffness in my left knee get better as the day goes on?
Goal 1: Finish the swim. Period. Goal 2: Make it to the mountain checkpoint before the cut-off (if the weather is bad, you cannot finish on top of the mountain and you finish out the run on flat). Last year all but a handful made the cut-off, the year before only the leader finished on the mountain top! It depends on the weather.
Am returning to this post now at 930pm, before I go to sleep. At the pre-race meeting this afternoon they announced that they had to move the swim deeper into the fjord due to some international triathlon governing-body rule about water temperature minimums. Now the bike is 12 miles longer! I don`t mind so much, but man, it`s already going to be a long day. The race starts at 5am local time, 8pm Friday night in California. Think of me before you go to sleep and again when you wake up!