The title of this blog entry is a little misleading, because there really was no official race preparation. Well…none that I would ever really recommend to others. As I’ve written several times, this was simply an event to enjoy, to savor and to cap off what has been an incredible year of competing.
There was no taper. In fact, it was actually a 16-hour IM training week. There was no official carb-loading or pre-hydrating ritual. There were no nerves, no sleepless nights. I ate normally all week long and enjoyed my usual glass of wine or two each night. A week prior, we had hosted a Holiday party at our house and that set the tone for an incredibly busy week.
Amy, Shawn and I left Austin for Houston around Noon on Friday and took our sweet old time getting there. We stopped in Brenham and had lunch at an Italian Restaurant called “Volare.” Italian food shouldn’t be consumed without wine so all three of us enjoyed a glass of wine with lunch and then topped it off by sharing a piece of chocolate cake and some Blue Bell ice cream (made in Brenham). Like I said, we weren’t really in “race mode.” I was more like “vacation mode.”
The Race Expo was at the Sheraton in Houston (where we stayed) and it was everything I’d always heard. We waited in line for a virtual “trick or treat” of race swag: nice canvas running bags, race hat, technical race shirt, golf shirt, stuffed animals, notebook, rain ponchos, etc. I felt like a kid in a candy store and was just so excited to FINALLY be here! I guess I should’ve read the race literature, but they also had a gi-normous pasta buffet for all of the runners…Again, I hadn’t done much preparation. We weren’t really hungry yet, and we had already decided on our own pre-race food: SUSHI! (I was very tempted, however, to eat some raviolis and apple cobbler that were spread out right by packet pick up. Fortunately, I abstained)
I know, I know…every time I tell people that I like to eat sushi before a race, I get some pretty weird looks and comments when in actuality, it’s a great mixture of protein and carbs. Amy’s husband and kids were an hour or so behind us so we all crawled up towards the Woodlands and had a great sushi dinner. I had a glass of wine and Amy had, well, a few….I also enjoyed some rich and unbelievably tasty rolls.
While I still wasn’t feeling nervous, I was feeling full, bloated and tired. We made it back to the hotel and I was in bed with my clothes laid out by 9:45pm. Shawn and Amy’s husband proceeded downstairs to the hotel bar for some of their own “race preparation.”
So, here I was on the eve of the longest race of my life and I was feeling completely relaxed…no expectations, no time goals and no real clue of what to expect from the course or my body.
Let the fun begin.