Ironman is now about 4 days and 7 hours away. All the little aches and pains are becoming bigger than they really are. I start to focus on them and create more concern than is needed. But the bottom line is that after almost 35 weeks of training, you can't not come to the start of this race with some kind of pain. My knees, feet, back, hip and neck all suffer or have suffered from pain during my pursuit of a third IM finish. And that's what makes finishing the Ironman special. It's your ability to push through these issues and finish.
I am not looking for a finish like I had in 2007 when I walked a lot of the last 13 miles of the run. I had stomach issues and my legs were shutting down. This year I believe I've worked through those issues and come up with a good plan for eating during the bike. For my own mental state, I need to best my time by 90 minutes in order to feel that I accomplished what I set out to do. If I do then I will feel better about taking time off for the next Ironman. Which won't be for at least 4 years!