(I've Had) The Time of My Life

That's right.  Cue Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes - the duet who sang the terrific song (from Dirty Dancing) in the title of this post, which also happens to be on my running playlist (of course).  But my final shot is this one:

instead of this one:

Amy took that picture of me staring into the sunset on our final training weekend, and I think it perfectly encapsulates this point in time: it's the sunset on training.  Time to put away the training log and the workout list and the calendar.  It's time to race.

I hope you'll indulge me what might be a little bit of an emotional post today.  I am a total sap - even in normal life, I cry easily and often.  I cry when I'm happy and sad and when I watch sad movies. I cry when my kids say things that are too sweet to handle.  I cry at weddings and funerals.  I cry a lot.  The past couple of weeks, I've cried a really lot.  I'm not scared or anything - they are just the "joyful weepies" (a phrase coined by my bloggie friend Maria and which I think is completely fitting here).  I get overwhelmed with emotion that this long journey is almost over.  It's been a lot of hard work.  And I have literally poured blood, sweat and tears into this race.  When I think back to the dark morning runs, the runs in the ice and snow, the many hours on the trainer, the countless laps in the pool ... it makes me very emotional.  

A friend of mine who raced IMLP last year sent Amy and me this email on Sunday, when we had one week to go.  It, of course, made me cry.  But it also resonated with me:  

The thought of one week to go invokes a cocktail of emotions, no doubt, but rest assured you ARE ready. The impressive work you put in, and dedication you applied, will carry you to the finish. And apart from the race itself, just take a moment to think of this past year's journey because in the end that was the true adventure.

Beautiful, isn't it?

The journey.  The journey has been an adventure for sure.  Aside from the workouts (and there were many) and the hours and hours of work (and there were a ton), I learned a lot about myself.  I am also so lucky that my two very close friends, Amy and Bill, shared the journey with me.  We were, and are, a true team.  This experience has made us closer, and I can't imagine sharing it with anyone but them.  I may be the one who gets myself to the finish line, but they helped get me to the start.  Here we are a year ago when we first went to Lake Placid to test out the course.  This was after our brick: one loop of the bike course and 4 mile run.  We had no earthly clue what we were in for when we took this picture.  But that's part of the journey: the realization that anything is possible.  And while we may have complained or looked at what we had on tap for workouts and thought there is no way i can do that, we discovered that, actually, yes we can.  And we did.

So, despite some jitters (which I think are natural), I will go into the race in a couple of days celebrating the long-awaited destination of my training journey.  That journey has, indeed, been good, and I truly have had the time of my life.   I'm ready. 

See you swoon,