Today was my day.
People always ask me if I'm nervous for the Ironman. Of course I am--but it goes in waves.
Some days I wake up petrified. I can't even believe I signed up. I start thinking about how long that ride is going to be, and can my legs really do it? Can I really get to that finish line?
Other days I wake up and I'm so pumped. I have these weird little flashes of parts of the day--which is strange, because I've never even been to Madison. But I picture myself in the water, on the bike, running in the dark...crossing that line. And I get all giddy inside--like the feeling you get the night before Christmas when you're 7, and everything is magical.
Today I woke up like any other day--no swim this morning so I headed to school and tried unsuccessfully to get a bunch of stuff done. Things just kept flying at me. I felt like I couldn't keep up.
Then, at 11:12, I got a phone call I've been waiting for.
My doctor--not the one looking into my chest stuff, but another one. I held my breath.
All results are normal.
One more round of tests in 6 months and I'm home free.
I felt like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders. Outside, it was 52 degrees and sunny. I knew it was a run day.
After school, headed to doctor #2. Did a few more tests--breathing tests, asthma tests, a pneumonia vaccine (I didn't even know they had such a thing), and another chest x-ray.
Everything looks normal. The chest is a little congested but nothing out of the ordinary--it will just take a bit of time (even a month or a bit more) until things are the way they were before the stupid pneumonia hit.
I couldn't wait to get home and run. I strapped on my Brooks Adrenaline size 10.5 and put on shorts--SHORTS!--to head outside. My workout was supposed to be 1:15 with 3X5 minute pushes and 5 minutes recovery between each. Turned on the iPod shuffle and hit the pavement.
The two miles or so were pretty slow, as I was just getting the feel of things. Probably around 11 minute miles. I know my past few runs have been disappointingly slow and I've been a little down on myself because of it. But for some reason today was different. I felt like I got my legs back. And I wasn't worrying about my lungs. I didn't even wear my HR monitor--I'm not going to be a slave to that thing. It was all about pace today. And the pace was nice and easy.
First push--Pearl Jam's Go came on. I LOVE that song. I got all pumped up and picked up the pace. I have no idea what the pace was for those 5 minutes, but I just kept hammering.
Recovered, then did it again. Tom Petty's Learning To Fly, which as I've mentioned before, for some reason really makes me think of Ironman. Good timing, iPod.
Recovered, and did it one more time. Spirit by the Caesar's. The IM MOO anthem for Wil and I.
Is this thing reading my freaking mind?
I felt great. I felt fast. I felt strong again. The sun was setting but I didn't care.
One more push.
(Wasn't supposed to do 4, but I'm on a roll.)
Then I was close to home. I backed off the pace to do some recovery at the end. I figured I would be negative splitting it, but I wasn't about to even look at my watch until I got home.
Social Distortion's I Wasn't Born to Follow.
*thump thump thump thump* of shoes hitting the sidewalk
There's my house--
1:13.19--negative split by almost 2 minutes.
9:51 average pace.
Wouldn't ya know it--that's my exact marathon pace from my PR at The Pig last May.
And just like that, she's back.