The night of the race, I was strangely calm and feel asleep without any issues. It wasn't until about 2:30-3 that I woke myself up with a knot in my stomach from being so nervous. I tossed and turned and tossed and turned some more. I finally got up and went to the bathroom to vomit. Oh how fun. But as soon as I did, I somehow felt better and went right back to bed.
My alarm went off at 4:45 and I was headed down stairs at 5am. I met my family in the hotel lobby at 5:05 and we all made our way to the great lawn (aka transition area). I put my bottles on my bike and loaded my bento box with my nutrition and capstick.
Once all my stuff was ready, I met back up with my family and Victoria and we all headed down to the swim start. The swim is a point to point, so the swim start was about 3/4 of a mile walk. It seemed longer than that though and it was dark out and the paths were not lite up. We found our way to body marking though. This was really happening. I had my sister draw a kitty cat on my shoulder to keep my company the whole race.
After body marking was more walking! The swim line was long! It was lines and lines of people. We walked and walked some more. I thought the end of the line was never going to come.
We had to of walked at least another mile. As mentioned before the race, IM Louisville's swim is not a mass start. It is time trail start, meaning people jump into the water one by one every 10 seconds or so. The first person gets in the water at 7am and it may take up to about 45 minutes to get everyone in the water. The swim line is first come, first serve. I herd to fist person was in line at 3:45am. I thought the 5:30ish time would put me somewhere in the middle, but I didn't end up getting in the water until 7:30am. Also note that regardless of when you get in the water you still have to finish by midnight, so not every body gets their full 17 hours to finish the IM.
Anyhow, I'm not sure how long we waited in line? But we entertained ourselfs.
The volunteers were a little nasty and would not let friends and family stand next to their athletes, even if they were not in the way. People were getting yelled at for taking pictures standing next to their athletes. A little silly I thought. I took one anyhow.
Once the cannon went off the line started moving and there was no more time left to be nervous. My big day was here and I was excited. I took a second and gathered myself as I got closer and closer to the ramp.
I was most nervous about the swim, so I knew if I would make it out of the water alive that I had a good chance of becoming an ironman!
I made my way down the ramp, adjusted my goggles, and before I knew it I was pressing the start button on my watch and jumping into the water.
Shot this was really happening. My journey to becoming an ironman had began ....