Five days, 18 hours. . .

That javascript countdown timer used to worry me. I remember feeling as though I had all the time in the world last fall after signing up for Wisconsin, then some seasoned coaches told me to take my off season as a off season, so I did. Started training in February? March? in earnest, and I remember thinking that as long as there were no leaves on the trees, summer was still pretty far away and I had tons of time to train.

But when the countdown timer said that I had less than 200 days to go, I got worried. Didn't even see it the day that it went to 99 days left.

But with five days and a few hours left before my start in Lake Monona, I'm just happy to look at that timer. I have trained hard (could I have trained harder?) and I have wrestled with a shoulder issue and an ankle issue - and I have a flippin' hernia - but here I am, ready to pack my gear and go to the airport three days from now.

I just got back from an easy one-hour run with my dog Seyore. Kind of wish I had gone sooner as toward the end it was warmer than I like for it to be when I'm out with him - but we saw four people from Altitude Multisport Club and tons of other people enjoying Labor Day.

It's gorgeous out. Sunny and upper 70's right now with no wind. If I didn't have an Ironman to do this weekend I'd make a long ride out of this day, but to be honest I'm glad to be tapering. My last long training run was on Sunday, August 18th in Tulsa, on the weekend when I was dropping my teenager off at college. The day before, I rode 100 miles (maybe a bit more; watch died) - some with a bunch of people from Tulsa's Young Life group - nice, long ride in the heat but for #IMMOO training it was pretty flat. My run on Sunday was all the way around the Riverfront park area, and then a little more - three hours and something like 17 miles. Was a great run. Finished right in front of the Blue Rose Cafe and celebrated the beginning of my taper with a Newcastle Brown Ale and a huge glass of cold water.

Went straight to my teenager's first team meeting for the University of Tulsa Rowing Team, where I was proud to tell Coach Kevin Harris that I had just finished a 17 mile run. "I hope your daughter works as hard as you do," he said.

And since then I have been tapering, drinking lots of water (including coconut water) and some margaritas. Have been sleeping pretty well, though last week I had some late nights with work.

I shipped my bike using TriBike Transport; have never used a service like that before. Felt really odd to walk away from that beautiful bike, leaving it in someone else's hands - but it'll be nice to see it in Madison and to simply give it back to them when I'm done.

My hernia makes its presence known to me from time to time, but thank God so far it's not painful. Surgeon said that it'll let me know with certainty if I have to abandon my race and deal with it. No reason to think that that'll happen before my finish line, so I'm moving forward.

So now I just need to get three projects done before Wednesday night (shouldn't be hard) - pack my stuff - eat, hydrate and sleep well. Then off I go to Madison to be among my people and prove to myself that I am an Ironman!