Okay, here we go. By the time I wake up in the morning the Cairns Ironman will be underway and I will begin my nervous day of spectating.
As I mentioned the other day, I am confident in the preparation that both of my athletes have had. On paper they should be okay for the day. As always they both could have had more preparation, but what they have done will be enough to get them through, and get them through pretty well.
However, Ironman is a fickle beast and despite the preparation and the fitness, things can go wrong. Flat tyres happen, crashes happen, nasty weather happens. The list of potential pitfalls is a long one. Those hurdles can be mitigated by planning and preparation, making sure everything that can be done before hand is, the bike is mechanically sound, the tyres are good, the nutrition is correct etc. However, the unforeseen is always possible. I have my fingers crossed for my athletes that the unforeseen does not occur to them, but it is always a possibility. We have prepared physically, we have prepared mentally and we have planned accordingly, so I am confident that we have done all that we can to be ready. Ironman is a hard event to get right, but I think we have given ourselves every opportunity to do just that.
Assuming the day goes to plan, what exactly am I hoping for both of my athletes? Well, for both of them this is a first Ironman, so getting to the finish line will be a massive achievement. They have both trained well for this event so I think they have the capacity to surprise themselves and finish well. However, it is hard to explain to somebody what an Ironman is like, to a certain extend it must be experienced, it can be a very hard race to get right on the first attempt, although not impossible. Given the difficulty of the event, reaching the line will be a victory for both of them, anything beyond that will be a sweat bonus.
Beyond reaching the line, I am just hopeful that events go to plan for both of them. In terms of the preparation I have given them my biggest fear is that I have underprepared them and that it bites them on race day. They put faith in me to train them and I don't want to have failed them. As I said at the start of the post, I don't think I have unprepared them, I think they are ready, but I guess I would think that, I just hope I don't find out I am wrong tomorrow. Things will go wrong, no doubt about that, it is an Ironman after all, but hopefully I have given them sufficient training and information to overcome those problems and triumph on the day.
We will find out tomorrow.