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I'm actually not totally freaking out

So I've made it to race day eve. The past few weeks haven't been easy -- I had a meltdown on the trainer two weeks ago (everything hurt and suddenly I was crying uncontrollably -- the kind of crying where you know you really have nothing to cry about but you are just so damn tired you can't control your emotions anymore) and then took a day off of training to sit on the couch and do nothing. (Although I did leave the house to buy this amazing painting at a flea market and then I put it in Big Ginger's home office while he was out of town and then he came home and saw it and yelled: "What the fuck is that?!" and it was so funny and so worth it and this was basically the best $25 I've ever spent in my life.)

Anyway, after that hiccup, I went back to it. Had some nice wins, like my very first sub-2:00 100 without any pool toys. (And I didn't feel like I was going to have a heart attack afterward.)

And on my last big(-ish) training ride, I found a teddy bear on a picnic bench at Pine Point Park, and I felt bad for him, so I stuffed him in my jersey and decided to take him with me. (In case you're wondering, it's totally possible to ride in aero with a bear in your shirt.)

I named him Barlow Bear.

And now I'm here in Madison. The bike is checked in, the gear bags are dropped off, and Layla and I are currently sitting in lounge chairs on the back deck of our hotel, watching people kayak through a bunch of algae.

I feel pretty calm. I'm happy to be reunited with my friends (Arvan and Andrew are here too, along with a good group of Coeur teammates, and Big Ginger is on his way -- he's currently on the bus from Minneapolis and we're all hoping he doesn't sleep through his stop and end up in Chicago on accident).

So we'll see what tomorrow brings. The work is done now, and it's time to have some fun out there.