I am an adventure seeking wife and mother first! Travel, and endorphins are my best friends. I will try anything once, unless I know
I would be in danger. I have a crazy love of God, running, triathlon, the outdoors, dirt, wine, friends, good Vegan food, Yoga,
animals, happiness, and life! I truly believe the only limits in life are the ones set by ourselves. So get out there and expand the limits!!
~~Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello...my name is Basket Case!!

My husband is telling me I need to be blogging right now.  Today??  “Are you kidding me?”  is what I am thinking.  This is the point in time, that I think I should NOT be blogging.  I think, people reading my blog with think I have gone off the deep end. And I am pretty sure I might have.  I mean, if I read this…I would think the same thing.  Yep, she’s nuts!!  

I cannot even begin to put into words what is going on with me physically, and mentally.  The tapering for Ironman, the race anticipation, the nerves, the hormones, the energy if this city, my friends, my family is CRAZY.  I cried ALL DAY yesterday.  It was Father’s Day, and I should have been celebrating the wonderful, amazing husband that I have, and I was crying.  Crying.  Every single thing mentioned by ANYONE about IM, made me cry.  I told Greg before we met with his family, to let them know, not to bring up the race.  He told me that was unfair of me to ask.  Everyone is so excited.  I warned them….and yes, even sitting in a bowling alley yesterday bowling with my in-laws, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, our kids…my mother-in law, mentioned how nice the weather is supposed to be Sunday for Ironman….I started crying.  See?  Crazy.
Today, I am just sick.  I have a lump in my throat, and am nauseous.  Having a hard time eating.  
Complete basket case.  I am going over transition stuff with a fine tooth comb.  Over and over.  Obsessing about every little thing.  Looking at it thinking it is not enough.  Each pile.  Swim pile, bike pile, run pile, 2 special needs piles (for bike and run special needs) making sure my pills are all in order.  Race Caps, Endurolytes, Sportlegs.  Thinking about the unknown.  What if I get to “Special Needs” on the bike, and my stuff isn’t there.  Yes, that happens.  Will I have enough fuel on the bike for the ENTIRE 112 miles, just in case?  Same with the run.  Bags not there, will I have enough on me to finish 26.2 miles?
And the swim…THE SWIM.  I have thought about it, drew out maps, visualized where I want to be in the pack of 2500 athletes entering that water.  Inside, outside, in the middle?? Front of pack (uh..No way) back of pack…but then I am quicker that back-of-the-packers.  Do I want to swim inside the buoys or outside?  Inside is nice, because not a lot of people know you can, so less kicks to the face while swimming, but then you deal with the cross-over at the turn around buoy, which you do have to swim around.  I am thinking about getting elbowed, kicked, losing goggles (do I wear 2 pair) about the people that will swim over the top of me…yes that happens too.  GULP!
Heading into this whole thing, I guess I really never anticipated these feelings.  I knew I would be nervous, and anxious, but figured the training would be the hardest part…and it has been long, and hard, but now that I am ready physically, the mental is killing me.

I am up and down like I cannot believe.  And this isn’t just me..This is everyone I know training for Ironman.  Just this morning I have had my phone ringing off the hook, from friends also racing. Emails are flooding in.  Friends are coming into town.  What a great support system we have.  We talked about this on Saturday during a swim, bike and run we did.  So nice to have friends going through the same thing.  ALL of us lean on one another.  And all of us have different concerns, worries, and it is nice to cheer one another along, because you know tomorrow it will be you freaking out.   We have had great BBQ’s together, to take our minds off of things, talk about strategies, have been given great advise from Ironman veterans.  The support has been awesome.  One of my friends last week, cried all day at work, and told her boss she was quitting.  LUCKILY he knew to talk to her, and asked her to wait until AFTER Ironman, to make a decision.  Smart man.
Funny thing is, that we all know, we will be fine.  This is all normal.  The things happening in our bodies....normal.  We have all trained hard for a year, or more.  We will cross the finish line and hear that we are an Ironman.  I know, come Monday morning, next week, we will all gather at Ironman Village as finishers,  with our heavy medal, and our finishers shirts, hats, jackets…and wonder what we were all so crazy about.  We will be sore, and tired, but laughing, and high-spirited knowing we conquered a giant.  And most of us signing up for yet another take at Ironman.  Perhaps we are all certifiable. 
If I looked at myself from an outsiders view, I would most certainly think I need to be locked up today in a straight jacket with a few lithium injections.
Worth the ups and downs?  The crazy taper?  The crying jags, the outbursts that come from no where, the irritable bowels, the puke-y stomach, the weak knees, the pit in the stomach sleepless nights, crabby attitude, aches, pains and jitters?  I would normally say, ask me the day after Ironman…but I can already say, EVERY SINGLE STEP was worth the journey.   Sunday.  June 27th.  Ironman. 

PS: Ask me in 2 minutes, I may have a different answer.  HAHAHA


  1. Oh Paula, I love that you can put into words exactly what you are feeling. It makes me laugh and cry...what is with all this crying?! We must have some xtra hormone...IMestrogen or something! You have trained so hard and you really are going to shine on Sunday!

  2. Hi Paula, I am a busy mom of three and I am also tapering for IM CDA this week and it was so comforting reading you blog because I have been going through the same thing! Tears, anxiousness, nerves, butterflies, self doubt, fatigue, excitement! So you are not the only crazy one out there:). This is my first ironman but I have done other races and have never been this emotionally unstable haha! I wish you the best out there and good luck making it through this week!! Pam

  3. holy crap! my IM distance race is 123 days away and now I'm nervous. Not crying yet though.

    Fast forward to next Monday...WOW! Having just read everything you posted, I think you have everything in order, whether you believe it or not. You will be an Ironman, period!

    I will definitely be sending all the positive vibes I can muster to you this weekend.

  4. Oh...although I don't really know what you're going through because I'm only training for a HIM, I know that we all get nervous, anxious, stressed, etc. before our big races! YOU ARE GOING TO DO GREAT! You have worked hard for this and have trained for this. Trust in your training! I cannot wait to hear all about you being an Ironman next week! :)

  5. I was just thinking about you and how it's going for...shhh...I won't say 'the' word;-)

    What an adventure! And isn't that what it's all about? I know it's easy to type that over here, as someone not doing the IM, but the whole journey has been cool...and feeling/being crazy is all part of it.

    can't wait for you!;-)

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  7. Good luck at IM CDA! Looking forward to hearing about your experience.

  8. HUGS Paula! You have every right to be crazy right now. I have a feeling when you get in that water and take off, you'll be filled with a wonderful sense of calmness (even despite the chaotic waters of the swim start). All the nerves will melt away and you will be in your element, doing what you were born to do. It's just getting through this week that will be hard.

  9. Oh Paula, I have been thinking about you all week. I know the mental part is the worst, and we all have our doubts just before the big day. But I know you have trained and are ready for this and you are allowed to be totally crazy. I agree with Marny that once you get in that water it will all melt away and it will just be you and the race. GO PAULA GO!!!

  10. Miss Paula. Thank you for sending this to me today, June 14th 2011. I feel normal now. =) What would I do without you and all of my wonderful friends?! Thankfully, I don't have to know the answer to that question. Love you!

    Cathy Stephens, Athlete #496, 2011....in 11 days!