Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I'm baaaaaack!

"He's baaaaaaack!"
My original plan was to step away from blogging for the month of January and return in February with a recap of my big 2014 year! During that time, I waffled back and forth about doing a 2014 recap. I felt I really had covered so much of my 2014 journey here, as it was. One thing led to another, life got very busy, and both January and February slipped away! I am sure you have missed me horribly?! LOL!

Well, I am back and there are things I plan to blog about this year. I am sure there will also be plenty of random things that I feel compelled to post about as the year progresses. Yes, there is so much going on in my life that I am sure there will be plenty of fodder for my ramblings.

The Recap:

OK, here is where I shock and amaze you. I am keeping my "2014 Recap" to only a few paragraphs!

2014 was amazing!!! I set personal records in every distance I raced except for the 5K! I missed that by one second. That is right... one &#%!@? second. /sigh. And, in case you missed it (Bwahahahaha!), my biggest accomplishment was completing my first, very challenging IRONMAN, IRONMAN Florida.

The year that was 2014 saw me cover 226,845 yards of swimming, 3,735 miles of biking, 889 miles of running, 1 day and 14 hours of yoga, and 16 hours of strength training. This was a total of 20 days and 10 hours  of training. Wow! Nearly 20.5 days of training! I would not have had it any other way. I truly enjoyed the journey!

The Future (2015 At Least):

I am dialing back the racing and seemingly the race or distance-related goals in 2015. For 2015 I only had one big running challenge, the Gasparilla Distance Classic that we completed just last weekend and that I will be writing about soon, and a few Sprint-distance triathlons on the schedule. That is right, only Sprint-distance triathlons! No half IRONMAN or full IRONMAN this year.

Some of the reasons are:

  • Family. My oldest daughter will be graduating high school next year and we want to spend some quality time this summer, before her life really gets hectic with senior year activities.
  • Financial. This triathlon &#%!@? is expensive, yo! My unofficial IRONMAN 2014 sponsors, Visa/Mastercard/American Express/Etc. must be repaid. LOL!
  • Sanity. IRONMAN training does take a lot of time and effort and taking a little break after my first one seemed like the rational thing to do.
And now for the biggest, competitive reasons... I want to work on my speed and nutrition.

Speed: IRONMAN was a lot of long and seemingly slower-paced efforts. I lost a lot of the speed I had the year before and would like to see if I can not only get that back, but get faster. I remind you that I am only a few years into this sport and learning more and more every day. I think I definitely have a lot of gains to still be made.

Nutrition: Sweet Jimmy do I like to eat and drink. I am so good at it that people will see me doing it, stop, and take my picture. Yeah... that good at it. Well, I need to work on a sustainable lifestyle that will help me be the best that I can be. I have a lot of deeply ingrained habits that I still need to break. I am getting healthier and making better decisions, but it will take time to undo years and years of bad choices and programming. It will be a huge challenge, but I am on the right track and I love a challenge!

I hope you will come along for the ride and always welcome any feedback you might have?! Thanks!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2015 Nuun Hydration Nuunbassador!!!

I am very happy to announce that Nuun Hydration (http://nuun.com) has named me as one of their 2015 Nuunbassadors!

I sweat. A LOT! And all-year-round triathlon training in North Florida will quickly teach you about the importance of proper hydration. Already a HEAVY sweater, the heat and humidity of North Florida summers continue to teach me more and more about hydrating properly. I am anxious to share what I have learned and how I use Nuun to stay on top of my hydration needs!

It's going to be an exciting 2015 and I cannot wait to share the #NuunLove!


Monday, November 17, 2014

OVERWHELMED By What Matters Most!

In my last post, I talked about my big IRONMAN Florida race. One area I purposefully wrote very little about was what happened to me on the run course, when I went by the various encampments of my friends, family, and fellow athletes from my community. I even said that this was something I wanted to write about more in a future installment.

Why? Because those moments became bigger than even the biggest physical challenge I had ever undertaken, my race! I always wanted this "IRONMAN journey" to be about just that... the journey. The friendship, love, and support I felt as I passed by those groups were beyond what I could have ever prepared for. When you are not prepared for something, you have no choice but to be... overwhelmed.

I had the privilege of writing an article, for the local newspaper, The Tallahassee Democrat, about that experience. I want to share that with you here: http://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/2014/11/17/cold-windy-ironman-overwhelms-expected-reasons/19173139/

This will conclude my blog posts specific to IRONMAN Florida, so you will no longer have to put up with me cross-posting links to this blog in the various IRONMAN Florida Facebook groups I am a member of. However, I do plan to continue blogging on whatever triathlon-related topics come to mind and my 2015 season. Please feel free to use the available tools to "follow" this blog if you would like to be notified of new posts.

I look forward to sharing with you and hearing from you in the future. Thank YOU for being a part of my journey!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Essence of an IRONMAN: My 2014 IRONMAN Florida Race!

What, no Sharknados?!
Looking at the forecasts in the days leading up to the 2014 IRONMAN Florida, we knew things were going to be challenging. Still, I cannot put into the words the disappointment I felt when the swim was cancelled. That was not what I trained for and not what I wanted. I was more than prepared for my 2.4-mile swim. However, I knew, even then, that it was the right call.

Swim safety unable to get
into and hold position.

During my warm up swim, about 10 minutes before the pros were set to start, I was pulled off of my feet and pulled further into the Gulf no fewer than four times before I realized what was happening and was able to swim out of the rip I was caught in. I made it back to shore and upon pulling my cap and goggles off, I heard, "Athletes, can I please have your attention?!"... the beginning of the announcement cancelling the IRONMAN Florida swim for the first time ever, due to dangerous rip tides and water conditions (waves). I joined the throng of first-timers, with tears in their eyes, making their way to T1 to prepare for the time-trial start for the bike.

Dave Ragsdale announcing the swim cancellation.
I would end up waiting nearly three hours (Having a high bib-number, I finally started at 9:41 am!), trying to stay warm, before starting a gruelling 112-mile bike ride in 20+ mph sustained winds with 30+ mph gusts. Little did I know then that Mother Nature had a plan for wearing out the muscles in my arms, shoulders, chest, and back more than any measely 2.4-mile swim EVER would have. Just fighting to keep my bike on the road, off of other athletes, and from beneath the vehicles flying by would be the second hardest challenge of the day.

Eating wind. All day. Eating wind.
The hardest challenge was hearing and seeing athletes who did not have the same fortune. There were multiple wrecks involving multiple athletes. The worst was around mile 75. Coming down a hill, I noticed a North-South opening in the trees that made up a cut for power lines. The wind was screaming through this cut and I was hit by the hardest gust I had encountered all day. As I was being pushed out into the road, I turned over my left shoulder to see if I was about to impact another athlete or vehicle. As I did, I heard the scream before I saw the crash. It was a woman's voice and, in that instant, she sounded like my wife and every other female triathlete I have trained with this year. She was in the middle of a pass and another athlete was passing her. She was pushed into the bike passing her and they both collapsed in the other direction, into the athlete she had been passing. Two bikes, behind them, quickly entered into the disaster and I saw one rider go over his handlebars and the entire group, sliding along the pavement. As all of this occurred, in slow-motion, the last image registered was the female triathlete sliding to a stop... motionless. Thankfully, there was no nearby vehicle traffic at that moment!

Tears and some strong language flew for the next half mile. This was truly the only dark spot in my day. I had already spent the day praying HARD for the safety of everyone on such a challenging day, but I turned up the prayers for the rest of the ride and hope everyone was OK?!

Heading out on the run!
I went on to survive the swirling crosswinds, mindless drivers, and pedestrian traffic on Front Beach Road for the last few miles of the bike and was overjoyed to be finished! A huge burst of energy washed over me as I dismounted and changed clothes for the marathon. A quick bathroom stop, the only one of the day (I sweat... a LOT!), and I was out on the run course.

Some of my biggest supporters!
As if I was not pumped up enough by being off of the bike, a *HUGE* gathering of family, friends, co-workers, and community athletes was setup within 1/4 of a mile of the run start. An even larger contingent was at another "camp" about a 1/2 mile from there. I will only briefly say that their friendship, love, and support meant the world to me! It may seem strange for me to spend so little time on what was the most memorable part of my day, but I really want to write about this more in-depth in the future. Suffice to say that I have never felt anything like what I felt running by them! It meant SO much on this very special day!

Nearing halfway on the run!

On to the run, I managed my race to plan. This being my first IRONMAN, I was deathly afraid of hitting the wall, going to that "dark place" and having to walk the last half. While I performed to plan, I know I had a lot more I could have poured into the run. My plan called for me to put a little more out there after the final turn-around, with 10K left to go, and I was able to easily pick up the pace. In hindsight, I could have easily done this at the halfway point and probably negative-split the last half. I know for next time and cannot wait to see what I can really do on a marathon at the end of an IRONMAN!

I must be STRONG, then! I had FUN!
In the end, the real highlight of the day was not making time goals or even in becoming an IRONMAN, it was in successfully making the day an "event". I feel like I did that part very right. I was not in such a hurry that I could not stop to hug friends and family. I thanked as many of the AMAZING volunteers as I could. Even though I was not hungry or particularly cold, I stopped to try the world-famous chicken broth that came out after dark. Yes, it was EVERYTHING they say it is! I encouraged fellow triathletes every chance I could. In fact, I really enjoyed regularly sharing what the only blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, Erik Weihenmayer, calls positive pessimism. On the bike and on the run, I would frequently tell others, "Hey, this wind may be blowing hard, but at least it's cold too!" After a moment of thought, this would usually be rewarded with a big smile. Those smiles gave ME strength!

Crossing the line. My first IRONMAN!
I will not even begin to entertain arguments that what I did, or did not do, in Panama City Beach, Florida on November 1, 2014 prevents me from calling myself an IRONMAN. Paraphrasing something I saw written on one of the Facebook groups I follow, the 2014 IRONMAN Florida was not the IRONMAN I wanted, but it was the IRONMAN I was given. The essence of an IRONMAN includes factors and circumstances that you cannot control, yet you are required to figure out how to work through them.

On that epic day, we worked through a cancelled swim, a delayed bike start, frigid windchill temperatures, sustained winds of 20+ mph, wind gusts of 30+ mph, smoke from wildfires, and a cold, windy run. My body knows I did something amazing. And, most importantly, at the end of it all, Dave Ragsdale, the voice of IRONMAN Florida can be clearly heard saying, "Ronald Harrison, out of Tallahassee, you're an IRONMAN!"

That is all I need...

Monday, October 27, 2014

My IRONMAN Florida Playlist!

OK, so here is my 2014 IRONMAN Florida Playlist.

This started out to be just my "ring walk" playlist. You know what a "ring walk" is, right?! That is what a Mixed Martial Artist (MMA) or boxer does before the big fight. You know how they saunter into the arena, from their dressing room, and into the ring with music blaring, their entourage in tow, and their adoring fans screaming at the top of their lungs?!

Well, my playlist went from just a couple of songs, to pump me up as I walk into the "ring" (a.k.a. - IRONMAN Florida swim start), to music that will pretty much define my entire race. And, while I do not have a really awesome silk robe, with a hood, like a famous MMA star or boxer, I do have my bitchin' swim parka! I will wear that for my "ring walk" this Saturday!

THE "RING WALK" (a.k.a. - Walking from my condo to the swim start.):
OK, it is time to get pumped up! What better songs to do it with than...
  • Bawitdaba - Kid Rock ("Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the boogy", indeed, my friends!)
  • Thunderstruck - AC/DC (Not sure what they are carrying on about at the beginning, but it sure pumps me up!)
  • Lose Yourself - Eminem ("Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, To seize everything you ever wanted. one moment, Would you capture it or just let it slip?")
  • Remember the Name - Fort Minor ("This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, Fifteen percent concentrated power of will, Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain, And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!" Make them remember your name!)
  • Alive - P.O.D. ("I feel so alive for the very first time and I think I can fly!" Or at least swim, bike, and run 140.6 miles!)
  • Panama - Van Halen (Since 1932, this song has launched the IRONMAN Florida swim start*. For no other reason than having a rocking beginning and the word "Panama" in it... with the race being in Panama City Beach, Florida! See a couple of IRONMAN swim starts and ANY song they play at the beginning of one will get you pumped up! * - I might be a little off on the date.)
  • Keep Your Hands To Yourself - Georgia Satellites (Yeah, I know that the song is talking about something totally different, but I would appreciate the other ~3,500 swimmers all entering the water at the same time as me to keep their hands, feet, fists, knees, cudgels, snorkels, etc. to themselves!)
  • Strip - Adam Ant ("We're just following ancient history, If I strip for you will you strip for me?" Gotta get out of that wetsuit and into our bike gear somehow! LOL!)
  • Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen ("Get on your bikes and ride!" Yeah, there will be all kinds of "bottoms" to focus on during that long bike ride. Find one you like and follow it. Just maintain four bike lengths so as to not get a drafting penalty! Or get peed on. Yes, it happens. LOL!)
  • I Live For The Sun - Surf Punks (Still not sure what the morning temperatures or winds are going to be. One, early forecast had a low of 48 and 14 mph winds. That will make for a chilly first hour on the bike until that big, yellow, heat-tab-in-the-sky warms things up a bit. I will be looking forward to finding some sun. But not too much, right?!)
  • 99 Problems - Jay-Z (More like 112 problems, but I know what won't be one! Keep pedaling!)
  • Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts ("Life's like a road that you travel on, When there's one day here and the next day gone. Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand, Sometimes you turn your back to the wind." A good portion of our life, this day, will be a highway. A few of them, actually. Here is to hoping that the wind is ALWAYS at our backs!)
  • The Boys Are Back In Town - Thin Lizzy (And the girls! "Guess who just got back today? Those wild-eyed boys that had been away." Everyone will be happy to get back into "town" after a hundred miles of "not much" scenery. And probably a little "wild-eyed" thinking about that 26.2-mile run ahead!)

  • Changes - David Bowie ("Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes" For many of us, time for another costume change. Me, I'm changing into different duds for every event. I aspire to have more costume changes than a Celine Dion Vegas Show!)

  • Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen ("...tramps like us, baby we were born to run!" One of my all-time favorite running songs and the perfect way to get the run started!)
  • Beautiful Day - U2 (Supposedly this is played at 9:00 pm at every IRONMAN, or so the announcer at last year's IMFL said. I hope to cross the Finish Line before that time, but will definitely be doing all I can to have a "beautiful day" on the run course!)
  • Rainbow in the Dark - Dio ("No sign of the morning coming. There's no sight of the day. You've been left on your own. You are a Rainbow. Rainbow in the Dark." It gets DARK back in that State Park. I hope I have the motivation and energy to "shine bright, like a diamond" or be a "rainbow in the dark"!)
  • Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi (Pretty sure that the second lap, heading into the State Park, this is going to me...)
  • Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie (No, they do not! And I'm going to keep telling myself this on that second lap!
  • My Body - Young The Giant ("My body tells me no. But I won't quit, Cause I want more. Cause I want more!" Can't stop, won't stop! ;) Gotta make that turn in the State Park on that second loop!)
  • One Vision - Queen ("One man, one goal, One mission. One heart, one soul, Just one solution. One flash of light, yeah, One God, one vision." This whole song rocks. After that turn in the State Park, I will have "one vision"... that finish line!)
  • With A Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker ("I get by with a little help from my friends." I will need a LOT of help from my friends, family, team mates, and fellow triathletes to get through those last miles of the marathon! Let me hear it!)
  • Sexy Back - Justin Timberlake (You might not think I am sexy, but I will, when I finally see that Finish Chute!)
  • The Man - Aloe Blacc ("Well you can tell everybody, Yeah you can tell everybody. Go ahead and tell everybody, I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man. Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am. I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man." This is definitely how I am going to feel when I cross that line. There are so many great songs to finish to, but this one would be near the top of the list for me.)
  • Iron Man - Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne (Not sure if I want this playing right after my finish or if I will just scream the opening words a few times... "I AM IRONMAN!!!" I guess it is possible that these lyrics may also apply... "Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? Can he walk at all, Or if he moves will he fall?")
  • Hall of Fame - The Script ("Yeah, you can be the greatest, You can be the best. You can be the King Kong banging on your chest." I hope there will be some well-earned banging on my chest when this thing is done!)
  • Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice (Ice bath, bags of ice, ice-cold beer... ice, ice, baby!)
  • Thrift Shop - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (Look out Official IRONMAN Store... "I'm gonna pop some tags...")

OK, friends, followers, and accidental travelers... this may likely be my last blog post until after the big day, IRONMAN Florida on Saturday, November 1, 2014! I would like to put out another one to really say thanks to all those who have helped me in this journey and to really wish the best of luck to all of those competing. I don't want to put any pressure, with everything I still have to do this week, to crank out another post, though.

So, until I can more adequately say thank you to the countless family, friends, and well-wishers that have helped get me to the point where it is now up to me to make this dream a reality, let me briefly say it now. Thank you!!! Without your support, this would simply remain only a dream.

And to those of you competing, I pray for your safety and your strength as you travel to Panama City Beach and on race day! I hope you have an incredible end to your journey! One that far exceeds your wildest dreams of how you thought it would!

Good luck, IRONMAN!!!


Friday, October 24, 2014


Early in my IRONMAN Florida journey, I remember seeing a post on one of the IRONMAN Florida Facebook pages that simply said, "IRONMAN is..." and invited members to fill in the blanks. There is even an often humorous, "You know you're an IRONMAN when..." Facebook group that I am a member of.

As soon as I saw that first post and read the first few submissions, I knew I had to turn away and start my own list. I did just that and have kept adding to it throughout my journey. Here is what I came up with.


-Laundry. SO much laundry.

-Bike bottles to wash. SO many bike bottles to wash.

-Going through the inconvenience of shaving just before bedtime because you have an important meeting at work, the next morning, and the pool locker room does not have hot water in the sinks for you to do it there.

-Being completely willing to bike X miles and immediately run X miles over the course of an X-hour brick workout, but being TOTALLY UNWILLING to park more than 3 spaces away from the cart-return at the grocery store, later that day.

-Biting down on your shampoo bottle to keep from crying like a little girl when the water in the shower hits your chafed spots immediately after a long bike or run.

-Having the complexion of teenager with a penchant for greasy foods, thanks to all of the sunscreen and sweat.

-In an effort to avoid skin cancer, committing to always use sunscreen and not getting a single sunburn all season! (Pretty proud of myself on this one!)

-Finally locking in your hydration and nutrition so well that your body ALWAYS wants to eat and/or drink every 15 minutes, not just when you are training!

-By the end of IRONMAN training, seeing a 4-hour bike/1-hour run brick as your “long” workout for the weekend and thinking, “Yes! An easy day!”

-With one week to go before your race, your compulsive hand-washing and hyper-sensitive germ-avoidance makes people suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorders look absolutely normal and well-adjusted!

-Doing ALL of the prescribed yardage/mileage in your cool down. Even when nobody is “looking”!

-Knowing more about the week’s weather, just so you can figure out when to fit in all of your workouts, than all of the local meteorologists combined!

-Realizing that tomorrow’s weather is going to keep you from your swim workout… and doing it today instead!

-Waking up before the alarm goes off for that early morning swim/bike/run!

-Hoping the “raccoon eyes”, caused by your goggles during your 5:30 am swim, are gone before your big 9:00 am business meeting!

-Spending more time, the week before the race, thinking about how you want your finish line picture to look than you did in the pool!

-Spending an hour on IRONMANStore.com, the week before your race, trying to decide what Finisher gear you’re going to buy.

-Wondering if you should buy an extra MDot vehicle magnet to have on hand in case you ever need to rent a car.

-Completely nonsensical, race-catastrophe nightmares in the week or two (during taper) before the event.

-Anyone who finishes in less than 17 hours!!!

These are just a few of the humorous or otherwise interesting observations I have made throughout this journey. I hope that your journey has been equally as enlightening and humorous!

The countdown continues! Only eight more days until 2014 IRONMAN Florida!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Please Help Me Live Through This Taper!

While this may be my first IRONMAN, I have tapered before. I tapered before my first marathon and before three half IRONMAN events. There have been other, smaller tapers here and there. I say all of this to establish the fact that I know very well that the taper makes you C-R-A-Z-Y. In fact, a mild bit of taper-related craziness from a "mini-taper" before my "The BIG Day" workout, that I wrote about here: The BIG Day Workout, prompted me to start writing this post.

With each increase in distance I have undertaken in the sports of running and triathlon, the challenges have been commensurate. Therefore, if this holds true-to-form for my IRONMAN taper, I am estimating that the taper-related craziness will be an "11" on the 10-point, Higginbottom Taper Insanity Scale*, as shown here:

1977 Higginbottom Taper Insanity Scale: Triathlons

By definition “tapering” is:
The reduction of the training load for an athlete during a variable period of time in order to reduce the physiological and psychological stress from daily training with the goal of optimizing sports performance on competition day.
That is to say that the taper is meant to help you maintain the intensity of your workouts while reducing the length or volume of the workload, allow the body to rebuild, reduce stress that negatively affects the body, and maximize muscle and liver glycogen stores (energy!).

The following are some of the generally discussed issues/challenges we face during tapering and how to handle them.

1. Everything Hurts! I'm falling apart!! Your body is healing itself. These aches and pains are usually not anything new. While some may be "in your head", more often they are the normal soreness experienced during regular training. The difference is that, during your taper, you actually have time to analyze these things... under the microscope of your taper-addled brain!

If you really want to get on top of the aches and pains and set your body up for success, here is some terrific information from Ben Keyes of the IMFL Sports Massage Team on IRONMAN Race Prep and Recovery, as it relates to massage therapy. Here, you will learn what you can do up to three weeks before your race and immediately after!

2. I Need To Do More! The training is done! The taper is not the time to do more long/hard training to try to make last-minute improvements. As hard as this can be to accept, it is a fact. Quite often, some of your final, longer sessions may be some of your worst. As you approach that tipping point of overtraining and not being able to recover enough, you may start feeling disappointed about the results of some of your sessions.

Do NOT try to squeeze in "one last, long or hard (fill in the blank with swim/bike/run)"! If the siren call to put in more yards or miles gets too loud, simply go back to your training logs or simply think back to all of the workouts you put in to get to this point. Seeing how much you have done to prepare should give you solace!

3. During Training I Have Eaten Like A Starving Hyena and Now I Can't Stop! I am the last person to be giving any kind of nutrition advice. I eat like a starving hyena even when I am not training hard. So... I am simply going to point you to a great read directly from the IRONMAN mothership herself! Taper Nutrition Basics: A 3 Week Plan. While you are doing that, I am going to order myself a pizza...

4. My Confidence Swings More Than My Mood! As discussed in number 2, above, the feeling that you have not done enough is strong. But then, you follow my advice and look at your workouts and you decide you are ready! Heck, maybe you should even drop 15 minutes from your estimated finish time? Wait, your swim has not really felt quite "there" this past week. Maybe you should add 30 minutes to your estimated finish time?! Finish time?! Who said you are going to finish? Who am I kidding? You are going to KILL this IRONMAN thing!

Sound familiar? Remember when I said the training was done?! It is. The taper is not the time to be second-guessing your swim stroke, bike pace, or running form. It is not the place to gain fitness. The taper is where you have to work just as hard at the mental battle as you have to prepare for the physical one! If IRONMAN training is all about preparing you for the physical rigors of an IRONMAN, what you go through during the taper and HOW YOU HANDLE IT is the final preparation for the mental rigors of an IRONMAN!

Again, look back at where you have been. Every stroke in the pool, pedal stroke on the bike, and step on the run have prepared you for this! Rest and relax more. Race day will be here soon enough and you will do great!

5. Stick To Your Plan! Tune out the noise of your training partners and other athletes participating. It can be hard when you hear them talking about how ready they are or how well their training has been going. Remember, this whole journey is as individual a process as the race, itself, will be. The taper is no different. It will vary from person to person. What works for others, may not work for you. Find what works for you to keep you sane and keep you from upsetting all of your hard work.

Again, trust all of the hard work you have done and all of the planning you have put into your journey. If there are any last-minute doubts, talk with your coach or with someone who has done your race before. Go over what you have done and what you plan to do on race day.

Finally, think back to what started you on this journey. Why are you doing this? You will be reminded of what brought you here. That and the study of the hard work you have done will remind you that you ARE prepared for that magical moment when you cross the finish line and hear those ever-important words that we all want to hear so badly, "(Insert Your Name Here)... YOU... are an IRONMAN!"

Follow these tips and you will live through this taper!

* - There is no "Higginbottom Taper Insanity Scale", but it sounds cool and there probably should be one!