Update for the tracking link - This is specifically for me:
Browswer and Iphones go here:
Handheld PDA and Blackberry/Palm go here
The race is 4 days out and putting the finishing touches on any race prep. I contacted the owner of Maplewood Bike (best bike shop in St. Louis in my opinion) and he got back to me immediately. Stewart used to be a very accomplished mountain bike racer so he understands pre race psychosis. I asked in "if you were doing the biggest race of your life this weekend, which of your bike techs would you want to look at your bike" He told me Jim and that Jim puts the hyphen in anal-retentive. That is good news because I know Jim and he built my bike in the first place. I picked it up last night and after checking everything, replacing the chain and some adjustments it is ready to go.
Today is pre packing all of my special needs and T1 bags so I don't have to spend all day Saturday doing it. Today is taking my bike apart and marking everything so when I put it back together it is exactly as it is now. For those of you that have never done this, being on a bike for 6 plus hours is (by itself) difficult. It is critical that you bike balances your body's ability to produce power while at the same time being comfortable. The more "aggressive" your layout on the bike the faster the setup but also the more uncomfortable. The more "conservative" your layout, the more wind resistance but more comfortable. I have had my bike fitted by maplewood early in the year using the Retul system to find that balance as scientifically as possible so it is very important I get everything exactly as it is now. Even the difference of an inch in a critcal area can turn a great day into a much more difficult one. Soo... that is what I will be doing today.
This will probably be my last big post before the race. I will be sending smaller ones via my phone with some video and pics throughout Saturday.
Lastly I want to thank everyone that contributed with thoughts, posts, emails, well wishes to the Olney's, financially, and even the silent prayers. The support in all aspects have been felt and personally I want to thank you. My last count I estimate that over 50 people will be tracking me the day of the race and those are only the ones that I know about. Although I will be the one where the "rubber meets the road" this has truly been a team effort. From my management team at Acropolis understanding the couple of times that I have had to leave a bit early or come in a bit late to get a key cycle of training in or just random people that have asked and wished me well. I know it is just polite conversation for most but really makes a big difference.
Lastly, Lastly I want to send a note to my kids when they read this one day. KGB, you will not remember this years from now but I will never forget it. We were watching the IRONMAN world championships one night and they were showing the people melting down being carried away on stretchers and as jazzed as I was for the challenge I looked down at you and you were crying. When I asked you why you looked up at me and said you didn't want to see me get hurt. That day I decided to not skip a workout, to do everything in my power to prepare the best that I could because I don't know what I would do if I saw the look on your face if that was me. Kathryn, I have prepared and now what happens happens.
NBB, you telling me that one day you want to do an Ironman with me is enough. No I am not going to win as you hope....but if the day comes that you want to do one of these, I will train with you and if my body is able (please don't wait too long) you have a training partner. I you wait until you are 40 like I have, I will definatley support you just as you have supported me.
What I want both of you to know is that the random pictures wishing me luck that I find that you have drawn me the night before a really long or really tough workout have inspired me. Walking in the back door from a 15 mile run and KGB meeting me with a glass of water has meant more than you know. However, one of the best pictures that I found that I don't think was even meant for me to see that says "my dad can do anything" with a picture of a stick figure swimming, biking and running is the one that I will have in my head in the toughest hours. I have wondered if the time away from the family these past 2 years has been worth the short term sacrifice for long term lesson and only time will tell that. However, so far, it looks like my kids have gotten the message during these impressionable years that 1) they can do anything with enough will and focus 2) you have to have the support and help of others to accomplish worthwhile things 3) Nerves are your mind's way of preparing for a challenge.
That is all for the mushy stuff and thanks for allowing my message in this semi public forum.
The time to get serious us upon me.... It is gametime!