Here we are only 5 days away from one of the hardest things I'll probably ever do (physically) in my life. The funny thing about tapering is that not only does it provide you the time to solidify race plans but it also gives you the opportunity to put your training, dedication and effort into perspective.
I have always been a bit jealous of other folks who have this incredible network of friends, supporters and family to cheer them on during race day. I'm not sure why I'm envious because when I think about the countless hours spent alone during training and what I've learned about myself this year, I am satisfied with the realization that i'm not doing this for my friends or family - I'm doing it for me and that's all that matters.
I do constantly have to remind myself of the enormity of an Ironman and how one's perspective can change your life. Many of my neighbors - most of which are not cycling or running buffs (save Andy the mountain biker) - have any context on what it's like running or cycling farther than the house to the mailboxes. When I tell them I cycled 120 miles or ran 20 miles, their eyes usually pop out of their head, they pick their chins off the floor and comment in some neighbor-friendly way what a damn fool I am.
In some ways, they're right -
A. Cycling 112 miles is not 'normal'.
B. Running a marathon is not chump-change.
C. Swimming 2.4 miles is a distance migratory whales swim.
Attempting all of them in one day is nothing short of amazing. I'm sure I will pinch myself at some point and the magnitude of the Ironman will sink in.
"Anything is possible"