Well, we are in taper, and I am officially paranoid.
Every move I make is accompanied by a small pause and half-eye-roll back into my head analyzing the subtle pain I just felt in my knee, ankle, back, neck, toe, and/or ring finger. It is not a pleasant state.
I am also a little grumpy. Quiet. Introspective. I’m internalizing all of these feelings and emotions. I’m sure many people around me will pay the price for the next 10 days, and for that, I apologize in advance.
Despite all of the moodiness, I am very excited to race.
I want to feel the cool rush of Lake Monona with 3,000 others who’ve made tremendous sacrifices to be in that water. I want to find that breathing zone that can only be located on long swims. I want to spot the swim exit and start gearing up for the bike.
I want to coast down the helix with thousands of people screaming and ringing cowbells as I roll out the first mile of one hundred and twelve. I want to soak in the sun as I cruise down roads I’ve probably driven, but can’t remember. I want to climb those big hills with people yelling motivation in my ear. And I want to see Madison on the horizon as I close in on the bike exit.
I want to embrace the rush of running out of transition and onto State Street, eyes peeled for familiar faces. I want to hit the tunnel and emerge inside an empty Camp Randall one day after 80,000 screaming fans propelled my Badgers to a lopsided win. I want to hear the energy of the finish line, then turn the corner to complete my journey in front of my home state’s capitol.
I want to hug and high five all of the people who have made this an emotional and spectacular ride. The Fab 5, friends, and family. I want to settle down, relax, and reflect on all it took to get there. Then start planning for the next one.
Until then, I must simply wait.