I had one last confidence building swim on Thursday. The lake was calm and I felt great swimming 2700 yards- it was one of the best swims I've had since I started training for the Ironman. I worked out just over 4 hours total during the week pre-race and felt good.
On Friday I checked in and got my wristband, transition bags and other stuff for the race. It was very well organized moving from one line to the next for each set of items. The volunteers took their time explaining race logistics which I appreciated.
On Saturday I racked Mortadella. I was excited to be finally here in Madison for the race. I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing and just checked off the boxes of stuff I needed to get done pre race.
I packed my T1 (bike) and T2 (run) bags on Friday night and dropped them at the convention center on Saturday. It was difficult for my "OCD must check the bag 100x" personality to just leave them behind, but I knew everything I needed was in them. I just had to trust myself.
After checking in all of my stuff, we went to the finish area to listen to the athlete briefing. They went over the rules and other race logistics. The one thing that stuck with me was to treat the race as a training day. I wasn't going for a specific time so why stress about anything? My only goals were to finish upright and avoid the med tent. (Spoiler alert: both goals were achieved)
I was thankful to have an amazing support crew of my Daad and my L with me throughout this weekend. They certainly earned the status of "IronSupporters" after this weekend.
We ate at hopcat for lunch and had dinner with my coworker and her 30 triathlon friends which helped calm my nerves a bit after talking to them about their training and prior IM race experiences. Soon it was time for bed, because in the morning I would experience the greatest day ever!