The day before the race is generally my least favourite of the entire journey to race day. Once you've dropped your bike off at the check in, checked your gear bags in with the volunteers, and gone through your final race day checklists, there isn't a whole lot to do besides worry and wait... or blog.
I feel prepared and confident going into Ironman this year. I think that has a lot to do with a culmination in a lot of things going right. And that has a lot to do with all of the people that have taken me this far and supported me. I'm going to name a few off right now, and I'm no doubt going to miss someone, but I'm going to try my best here....
First and foremost, I'm going to thank my wonderful wife Shirley. Usually I save my thanks for her til the end, but not this time. Nope. She's been incredibly supportive and any Ironspouse will tell you that its a challenge to be in a relationship with someone who's also in a relationship with their bicycle. This summer has been a little bit chaotic following the floods, but she's pushed me and made sure that I held myself to my fullest potential, never skipped out on training, and kept my goals in mind. So to Shirley, thank you and I love you.
To my family, my parents, and my brother and sister, thank you for all of your support and patience with my endless hours of training! And to my sister, I can feel the love all the way from Spain Jacky!
Of course, I must also thank my many friends who have trained with me, raced with me, or put up with me talking about training and racing. For friends like Keith, Jon, Ang, Shayne, Dave, Marj, Blair, Jen, watching you guys at your races the past couple years has been amazing and I'm grateful to have been a part of that. Knowing the race anxiety, the nerves, and the mental obstacles that we all have to overcome before getting to our first start line, I really do draw inspiration from you all as well.
To Rob and Nic, thank you for letting me swim in your lake all those times! I'm stoked to watch you guys run your first half marathon this November in Vegas! I may or may not be there, but nevertheless, can't wait to see what you guys run!
To Melissa, thank you for waking up sooooo early to bodymark and then catch at Calgary 70.3!
I'd also like to give a big thanks to my amazing friends at Lululemon, the small army of fellow ambassadors, and all the awesome folks who come out every Tuesday night to my run club! The community at Lululemon has really afforded me a lot of awesome opportunities to learn, meet new people, and share my passion for sport. For that, I thank you a million times over and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that community.
And to my friend Lindsey, who this last week left for NYC to follow her dreams at Parsons New School of Design, thank you for your friendship and guidance. I know we'll talk soon but I'll really miss our chats for now. Rock it Linds, you're meant to.
I've also got to give a big thanks to the awesome crew at Ridleys Bike Shop in Kensington. Ron, Travis, and Jon are awesome guys and they put up with me being such a bike geek, so I've got to give them a big shout out.
To all my friends, the Facebook ones who I've only met once or twice, the Twitter friends who I hope to meet someday, and everyone who I'm fortunate enough to see all the time (but promise to buy a beer for because I didn't mention specifically here), thank you. I've seen all the texts, good lucks, the well wishes, and the words of encouragement on Facebook and each and every one means a lot to me!
To my fellow racers, many of you I know read my blog, thank you and good luck tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Before every race I look around and am in constant awe of the focus, determination, and fitness of all of you, and it's an honour.
Time for me to sign off now though. In the next day or two or three you'll see a race report right here. And I'll just leave you with this photo. Where I sat when I wrote this post... maybe it'll create more of a connection or something...