I have been thinking a lot about Coeur D'Alene lately.
I might be worried.
Disclaimer: I worry about EVERYTHING. I am sure I will be fine. I worry for the sake of worrying. :)
Don't get me wrong, I am excited to race. I'm excited to go to a part of the country that I have never visited. I know that even though I am not running right now, that Mary will have me ready. I will be stronger for this Ironman than I was for Lake Placid because I will have two years worth of base miles in my system instead of one, and I am not going in blind this time!
I am worried about going alone. I registered for this race knowing that I would be going there by myself. It's not like I am being ditched by anyone!
I really like being by myself a lot of the time. I have no qualms about traveling to Idaho on my own. But 5 days is a long time to be somewhere and not know anyone. I'm going to have to find my way around, eat all of my meals, put my bike together, get my stuff organized, have my pre-race meltdown, get to the race start, and most importantly, get myself (and all my gear) back to my room after the race - all on my own.
Who is going to be there to yell encouraging things at me when I have 6 miles of the marathon left? Who is going to write me a message at the Ford motivational mile? Who am I going to hug at the finish line?
Mary knows a bunch of QT2 athletes that are racing CDA so if I need actual help (think: medical tent or worse) then there will probably be someone that can help me. But I highly doubt a member of QT2 is going to take my bike apart for me the night of the race (while I lie on the bed) because I have to leave the next day.
Part of what made Ironman Lake Placid so special was not just the fact that it was my first Ironman, but because I was there surrounded by people that I care about. CDA is going to be the total opposite of that. It's going to be me vs. the Ironman. Actually it's going to be me vs. myself because when it comes down to it, it's going to be a mental game. I won't get passed by half the team on the bike course. I won't get to run with Don at the final turnaround on the race course. I won't see Kim and Travis, or Jeremy and Glenn, and I won't have Mary or my parents to hug at the finish.
I will finish and it will be for myself, because there will be no one else there. Sure, there may be people curious as to how I am doing, but they can track me, they can call me; I can ignore them if I want to. There will be no one to face at the finish line if I do badly, but no one to celebrate with if I PR.
It's a totally different game.
I might be worried that if I die somewhere on the course - nobody will notice when I don't cross the finish line. But I am not worried about crossing that finish line alone. I need absolutely no external motivation to finish a race. It's nice to have and I'm sure it will be missed, but I'll be fine!