It’s been a (mostly) incredible 3 days here in Cozumel, Mexico. The trip started off with a flight to Cancun where I was surrounded by 4 other Ironman triathletes. We shared stories, got to know each other, and exchanged info to keep in touch. It was an amazing way to start the trip!
Ferry Ride from Hell
After the flight I took a taxi to the ferry boat which would take us to the island of Cozumel. The problem was that it was an extraordinarily windy and choppy day with 8+ ft swells in the ocean. I boarded the boat and was a little nervous but took a seat with a couple of my new buddies, Cara and Chris. It’s a good thing Cara suggested I take a barf bag because, well, let’s just say I went through 3 of them. It was the most miserable 45 minutes in recent memory. I was sweating, my eyes were watering, my face was pale, and it took every ounce of energy to keep looking straight ahead (apparently that helps with seasickness). I wouldn’t wish that ferry ride on my worst enemy.
So… hopefully that will be the last time I throw up on this trip. Fingers crossed. And hopefully the return trip will be more calm.
After the ferry ride I went straight to my parent’s hotel, took a nausea pill (with tap water, oops!) and chilled out for a minute before heading to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The restaurant at the hotel was amazing to provide a buffet of mashed potatoes, veggies, and everything you would find on the Thanksgiving table. Mexican Thanksgiving success!!
I was happy when a guy in our Ironman Cozumel Facebook group asked about vegan options on the island. We had a thread going and it was unanimous that a cafe called La Cuisine was not to be missed. They were right!! I was in heaven! They had vegan wraps, smoothies, juices, soups, but also plenty of meat and fish options for the carnivores. I was one happy girl!
It’s All About the People
I’m so lucky to be surrounded by amazing and supportive people here in Cozumel. I’m staying with ~10 friends from my very first triathlon season with Team in Training. Most of us signed up for Cozumel after Tahoe was cancelled, so we’re all on this same journey together. There are even a few people here who came just to spectate! Wow! Can’t thank you guys enough.
There are also a few Golden Gate Tri Club friends that are here and it’s been fun to train with them this Fall. I just feel so blessed to have such a great community of tri friends. It’s really one of the main reasons I love this sport and continue to do it — it’s all about the people!
My family was there when Tahoe was cancelled, and now they’re here in Cozumel for Round 2! It’s pretty cool to do something completely different and think outside the typical annual holiday traditions. Awesome that they decided to make the trek, ferry ride and all. My family is truly an IronFamily!
Logistics and Practice
So what have I been up to on Friday and Saturday? A combination of logistics and doing some final swim/bike/run sessions to shake out the legs a bit. Prepping for Ironman requires 2 full days. You have to register, pick up your 5 gear bags, go to the 1 hour athlete meeting, swim/bike/run, pick up your bike from TriBikeTransport, fill your bags with everything you could possibly need on the course, go drop those bags off at the transition areas, and be sure to eat healthy food and hydrate. It’s quite the challenge and there’s always second-guessing: “is this enough nutrition? is this going to melt? how many salt tabs do I need? if it rains should I put a jacket somewhere?” and on and on. I’m excited to get this Ironman under my belt so next time it’s a little less stressful.
Luckily I didn’t have any mechanical issues on my bike, I didn’t forget anything major, and everything has been running pretty smoothly. The only thing I had to do was find a way to make my water bottle stop rattling… I devised a system of sponges and electrical tape that did the trick.
Luckily I’m staying in Mexico a few extra days to relax and truly enjoy a vacation and a margarita!
It’s 12 hours to “go time” and I’m feeling really excited, confident, a just a little nervous.
The cross-winds will be strong tomorrow, but not too horrible. It will be hot and humid, but nothing that I haven’t endured before in prior races. I keep reminding myself that once I hit the water my body will know exactly what to do. I’ve put in the hard training and I know that I’ve worked really hard all year for this day. My goal is to smile as much as possible and keep a positive attitude along the way. There will be challenging moments, and probably unexpected events, but I just have to keep going — “relentless forward progress” as they say.
This race is all about finishing what we all started when we signed up for Ironman Lake Tahoe in late 2013. This has been a big goal for me (and all of us) for the last year so this day is really a culmination of not just a 16-week training plan, but an entire year of dedication and hard work.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that there is almost NOTHING that can get between me and that finish line. In 24 hours I will be an Ironman!