Things to learn and remember:
1. The finish line in the dark is burned into my brain. I can elicit the goosebumps and watery eyes just picturing it. I want to get there.
2. When I get there, I want to savor it. Slap the hands of the spectators, raise my arms and wave, and smile and cry at the same time! There is no need to sprint it in, unless of course, it is 16:59!
3. Swim: long sleeve wet suit, neoprene cap, and ear plugs. It's fucking cold! And wait as long as possible to get in- stay on the edge of the concrete until you have to actually swim.
4. Use the volunteers- let them help you up the stairs, wet suit stripping, in the change tents.
5. Disposable sock arm warmers and/or jacket. It's really cold coming out of the water, but it will get hot as soon as the sun comes up. And change completely out of anything wet.
6. Practice 3 loops on the bike and run. Lap 1- yay, I'm done with the swim and on the bike, lap 2- yay I'm almost half way done and I know the course now, lap 3- yay, I'm almost done with the bike and I'll be glad to start running!
7. Change completely again. Use spray sunscreen- their lotion doesn't get rubbed in all the way and looks really thick and gross.
8. Run- practice longer walk breaks. Practice running in the dark. Head lamp and long sleeve in special needs bag. Reflective stickers on shirt.
9. Have sherpa pick up your bike- they have a release paper they can sign. Have sherpa bring you a fleece jacket for immediately after- it gets cold once you stop moving. And keep moving. Stop and you fall down.
10. Hug everyone in sight, Mike Reilly if you can. Otherwise, the finish line volunteers, friends, family, photographers, sherpas. Cry and blubber if you need to. Get the finish line stuff and hand off immediately to sherpa.
11. There are cabs 50 ft from the finish line. And the athlete food tent shuts down before midnight- have sherpa bring hot food to you at the finish.
12. Find someone willing to be sherpa.
13. Thank all the volunteers you see- they may be future Ironman triathletes and are so stoked talking to the athletes actually out there right now. Thank your family and friends for supporting you. Hug everyone and tell them you love them.
14. 11/21/10, 11:30 pm...