You plan your event months in advance and prepare for practically every scenario.
You pack accordingly and try to minimize your load for the big journey.
You know that no matter how you prepare, weather is always the one thing that is out of your control.
When you get to the race or airport, you do so with optimism that you’ll actually reach your destination in the allotted time.
Airplanes, like bicycles, are prone to mechanical issues and you handle these temporary setbacks with patience, grace, and a little sense of humor.
However, after the third mechanical or weather setback, your patience and nutrition reserves start to deplete.
You look around and notice other people who don’t seem to be having the issues you are having. In fact, they look just plain happy. How are they doing it? What are they doing that I’m not?
Race officials and airline personnel are as friendly and helpful as they can be, but they can only do so much.
When you realize you are up against the time clock, you try to revise your plan over and over. If I do this, will I finish sooner or will it screw me in the end? Should I just stick with my plan and be happy?
Ironmans and air travel don’t discriminate. Pros have crappy race days and First Class passengers also have crappy flights (they just get free wine).
There will be many peaks and valleys throughout the duration of the journey. Some moments you’ll be filled with joy and optimism. Those feelings of elation can quickly give way to despair and frustration.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you are the first flight or the last….It’s all about reaching your destination in one piece.
Whether you’re racing or flying, all you want to do when you get home is shower and sleep in your own bed.
The memories of the journeys, both good and bad, will last a lifetime.