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(Read Part 1)

We turned off the light at 6pm. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to bed that early and was wondering how it would work. Turns out, the secret answer to all my sleep issues is a ridiculous early bedtime. I fell asleep quickly and was OUT.

Before we went to bed, we had this conversation:

iWill: I’m setting my alarm for 3.

Sherpa: Rad. I can set my alarm for 3:05, for backup.

iWill: I bet my alarm will be enough.

Sherpa: BUT WHAT IF YOUR PHONE SILENTLY DIES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND WE WAKE UP AND IT’S NEXT TUESDAY AND THE RACE IS LONG OVER AND YOU NEVER FORGIVE ME AND YOU TURN TO A LIFE ON THE STREET AND MAKE US ALL CALL YOU “iALMOST”??

iWill: 3:05 sounds good.

I just knew my alarm would end up being the one that woke us up and then I could spend all of race day feeling smug and self-satisfied.

Instead, I woke up at 3:15 to the sound of Bonnie Tyler belting I Need a Hero. iWill was already showered and starting his race morning rituals. My alarm was on silent, like a chump, and I overslept by 10 minutes. Crap. Still, I could redeem myself. See, iWill had given me Two Very Important Jobs for race day.

1) Toast his English muffins.

2) Look after the big pump.

(Neither of those are euphemisms either, y’all. You know what? It’s probably best to assume that zero things are euphemisms unless otherwise told. It’ll save time.)

Desperately requiring redemption, I jumped out of bed and ran down to the hotel dining room to get on line for the toaster. I didn’t even put on a bra, y’all. That is how seriously I took my responsibilities. There was zero wait for the toaster, so I celebrated by eating a piece of free bacon in iWill’s honor. Then my eyes glazed over and I had to get out of there as fast as possible before I ate the entire pan of free bacon.

Once iWill finished his breakfast and race prep, we loaded up the car and drove into the town. We snagged a sweet parking spot 3 blocks from the finish line and iWill headed off to get body-marked and inflate his tires. (Still no euphemisms. I know I said I’d tell you if there were but I just really needed to make this clear.) Finally, he met me at the overlook of the lake shore, handed me his bike pump (which I held in a death grip for the next 3 hours), and we waited, quietly. Well, one of us was quiet. The other of us was shouty and caps locked and babbling encouragement and also talking about the free bacon.

Game FACE

Goggle FACE

iWill: I guess I’ll head down into the water now.

Sherpa: YOU’VE GOT THIS. YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE THIS RACE COURSE YOUR BITCH. FREE BACON WAS AN OMEN OF THINGS TO COME AND THOSE THINGS ARE GOOD. YOU WILL DO THIS, YO.

iWill: Duh.

And off he went, after a final high five, disappearing into a sea of athletes in wetsuits and body glide. Now it was time for me to defend my turf. I’d staked out a sweet spot on the seawall, giving us a perfect view of the swim finish so we could hopefully see iWill both times he’d come out of the water. iFamily was still making their way to me, so it fell to me to protect our domain. Immediately after iWill took off, the random lady next to us began to eyeball my staked out section. I had to hold the line, y’all. I did so with Southern charm, kindness, lying, and deliberate obtuseness. Please to see:

Random Lady: Do you mind moving this stuff so we can sit down?

Sherpa: I *do* mind! Thank you so much for asking. I appreciate y’all so much. Y’all are so kind, thank you!

Random Lady: So you will not move this stuff?

Sherpa: I wish I could but I’m expecting his family any moment and it’s so important to his parents to see him. Thank you so much!

Random Lady: Aw, that’s sweet. Is he your husband?

Sherpa: Oh, hahahahhaa, no! I mean. Wait. Yes. YES. THAT MAKES SENSE FOR WHY I WOULD BE PROTECTING THIS SECTION SO SERIOUSLY SO YES HE IS. WE’VE BEEN MARRIED FOR 20 YEARS. I AM A WIFE.

Then I just sat on the seawall, spread eagle, wielding a very large bike pump threateningly. iFamily found their way to me, congratulating me on not allowing any enemy to flank my position, and we settled in to watch the chaos that is the swim start of an Ironman. Soon, the canon would fire and iWill’s incredible day would begin.

(Part 3: Swim, Bike, Run, Wait, Be Awkward, Ironman, Bourbon, Donuts — coming soon.)

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