We left on Thursday morning, a rainy, windy and cold morning that made me wonder if this was an indication of things to come. About 140 miles outside of Oklahoma City my fellow team member, SK, pointed out that we should remember how far this was because that's how far we would be going on Saturday.
Well that really puts things in perspective. I stopped my nervous chatter to contemplate that for awhile. Then I decdied it was better not to think about it.
We arrived in OKC and met up with the rest of our team at the hotel. A few of us, me reluctantly, decided to go for a quick bike ride around the lake. Mind you the wind was so strong I could barely open the car door. I had visions of me being blown into the lake instead of just riding around it.
The wind was pretty terrible but I was not blown over the dam and into the lake. I did stop once for a few minutes to calm down and convince myself that a little wind (or 40 mph wind) wasn't going to get me. I noticed my 2 teammates constantly looking back to see if I was still there. I wasn't sure if I should be comforted by that or more worried.
After some lunch and a shower we headed out to pick up our race packets. It seemed like everything we did made what I was facing on Saturday even more real. Dinner was nice chance to relax with everyone and talk a little before the rush that would be the next day. Oh and the beer helped me relax a little too. I just had one this time, not six like before the marathon. Didn't need to make that mistake again.
I slept surprisingly well Thursday night and woke up ready for my first wetsuit swim. We were at the lake by 7am and it was a beautiful morning full of promise. I felt great in the water, like I could swim for miles. Hopefully I would still feel that way Saturday morning. It's amazing how much of a difference the wetsuit makes and, except for the fact that I felt like I was being strangled, it felt pretty cool.
The rest of the day was spent packing, checking and repacking my transition bags, checking my bike into the transition area (gulp...it's real now), eating and sitting through a meeting where every boring and obvious question imaginable was asked.
I finally got to bed around 11pm and then woke up again at midnight wondering if it was 4am yet. It wasn't. Damn, more sleeping. I went through the race over and over in my mind and could only hope that Saturday would dawn clear, cool and not too windy. Nothing left to do but wait now.