Packet pickup and pasta dinner were last night. I'm #768 (although I don't think there is online tracking... this is a small event. But my husband will call a contact person who can post to my friends when I'm out of the water, off the bike, etc.) We got an awesome bag -- heavy nylon canvas, mesh back, ChesapeakeMan Ultra-Distance Triathlon and a sailboat embroidered on a full-width zipper pocket. 5 gear bags: Swim/Finish; Bike; Bike Special Needs; Run; Run Special Needs. Reflective tape to put on our run shirts. I bought Abbie a little t-shirt that says "Triathlete in Training," with silhouettes of a toddler in the water with arm floaties, then riding a tricycle, then crawling on all fours. Come to think of it, that's about how I did my first tri 5 years ago.
I only ate a few bites of dinner. I've been feeling sick, as I've complained before, the last few days, not nerves-sick but sick-all-over sick. Headache, scratchy throat, stomach pains and nausea, muscle aches. No fever, just all-over ick. It's gone on long enough that it will have to be gone by tomorrow. If not... well, I've run marathons when sick; I don't see why I can't do an Ironman sick, if I've trained, which I have. I feel like I could cure myself if I could soak in a hot bath for an hour, but living in an RV in a campground there's no hot bath to be had. I'll go over to the "bath"house and take a long hot shower. We have a little shower stall in the RV but it doesn't stay hot for long.
I walked out onto the dock in the Choptank River at the starting place and.... sea nettles galore. We got an e-mail bulletin about it a couple days ago. Unusually hot weather and drought (higher-than-usual water salinity) have kept them here past when they would ordinarily be gone. At my table at the dinner it was a main topic of conversation. They were almost panicking. And I, who have worried about the darn things since I registered, having grown up swimming in Chesapeake Bay, told them calmly, "Oh, it's nothing, I swam with them all the time I was growing up... they're not Men 'o War or anything. We got stung all the time, or else smeared Vaseline all over ourselves so we wouldn't. It's no big deal." I did put a little gob of Vaseline on the ankle of my wetsuit last night to see if it dissolves or something. But I don't plan to put it on my wetsuit, just on my arms (sleeveless) and face, and feet (for some reason the venom or whatever it is does not sting the palms of the hands, you can hold the jellyfish right in your hand without harm.) However, I did put a bottle of meat tenderizer (the remedy) in my T-1 bag.
Pre-race meeting and bike-inspection and racking tonight, and then nothing to do but try to sleep. Race start is 7a.m., the we will be swimming WITH the outflowing tide, winds are supposed to be calm. High temp mid-70's, mostly sunny, with winds 7mph during the day... couldn't ask for much more. Except maybe sudden mass migration of the jellyfish.
So by midnight tomorrow, I'll no longer be a "IronVirgin"... I'll be an IronWoman!!