This year has been one with many unexpected challenges, and I have never gone into a race with this much uncertainty. Because of a nagging IT band injury, I haven't been able to train as much as I would normally have done, especially with regards to running. As a result, I spent more time swimming; not only has this helped me to improve my stroke, but also I have come to enjoy swimming much more. Although my swim time probably won't be faster than last year, I am happy to be back to my pre-crash state (more or less). Because I have basically spent this whole year rehabbing, I do not want to set myself back in a major way. While some pain is to be expected in an Ironman, I am hoping I can know the line between enduring to the finish and risking permanent harm. At Lotoja in September, the left side of my back and shoulder became quite weak and my IT band really started to hurt after 150 miles or so. It might have been wise to stop at that point. Lately, I've been able to ride without pain most of the time and run without pain for about an hour. I feel that I should be okay on the bike, and we'll just have to see about the run. I know that seeing many friendly faces will buoy me along the way, and that I am not the only one who has faced extra challenges training this year.
But, more importantly, I am looking forward to once again being in the community of amazing people involved with Triabetes, from last year and this year. And maybe some new people will discover us and join us for future adventures. I can't wait to see the documentary and to meet up with my Triabuddy Elisa, and to visit with Ray & Nella (her parents). Their dedication in filming and producing this documentary is unrivaled and I know I share the gratitude of many for their efforts. Saturday is a celebration and Sunday will be a time to enjoy having so many friends and family members on the course while I enjoy my little "catered workout" in Arizona.