This has been the toughest week of training, just because I thought last week was it. I’d get through that long ride (97 miles, in the rain, with headwinds, wolves and snotty Manhattan Beach teenagers chasing after me), pour myself a fish taco martini, put my feet up and relax until race day. It was time for The Taper, that mythical time when triathletes’ broken bodies magically knit themselves into something stronger, mightier, sexier than before.

But no. I had one more week to go.

This, of course, is where the mental preparation is supposed to come into play. “I think I can” must give way to “You bet your sweet ass I will,” even though every little bit of me wants to sleep thirteen hours a day and spend the other eleven hours on the couch with a stack of comic books at my side. I am tired, man, tired in a way that I’ve never been before. It’s not just the physical exhaustion, either. I am sick and goddamn tired of Powerbars, pre-dawn risings, going to bed at 8.30, the stretching, the icing, the whole enchilada. Tired. Sick And.

But I’m still going to get up early for tomorrow’s 40 miler. And I’m going to do that 22-mile hoof on Saturday. And I’m going to do the swim and the last big ride (115 miles!). And then that is it. Until race day. And then that’s it.

At least, that’s it until the next race.