US Norseman winner...three weeks to go!

It's less than three weeks to go until our US winner of our Norseman competition, Jessica Kelley jumps off the ferry, cycling through the beautiful Norwegian countryside and finishes her marathon on the mountain top to claim the famous black tshirt.

Over to Jessica to talk about her training, preparation and how she's feeling about getting closer to the start line…

Norseman is now less than three weeks away. Bib numbers were assigned on July 3, and with my race number came the sudden jolt of realization: This is actually happening!

Training continues to go well. I’ve been swimming in cold water, biking and hiking up nearby mountains, and running local trails. I count myself very lucky to live in Seattle and have access to terrain that is similar to what I might encounter in Norway, and I’ve been taking full advantage of that fact.

Along with the physical training, I’ve watched all the videos and read all the race reports I can find. I’ve tested race day nutrition and hydration. I’ve worn my race kit during training and confirmed it will be comfortable and practical throughout the entire day. I’ve made countless lists and asked endless questions and be-friended previous participants on Facebook. I’ve practiced transitions with my crew ahead of time so we all know what to expect.

But the truth is, I don’t really know what to expect at all. I know it will be a long hard day and I know it will hurt. But other than that, I don’t know how it will go. I am a planner, an organizer, a classic Type A triathlete. So you’d think this “unknown” would drive me crazy. And it does, a little bit.

However, I think it’s also what I love about long course. You can prepare all you want, but in the end, you never know what the day will throw at you. You simply have to put your head down and keep moving forward.  Planning and being organized certainly help, but ultimately it’s about grit and determination.

As a mother, wife, coach, editor and athlete, I lead a tightly packed life full of paper deadlines, athlete meetings, drop-off times, and workouts. And generally speaking, I love being busy. However, as odd as this might sound, race day will be a reprieve from the hectic schedule. For one day, I set down the phone, the laptop, the car keys, and the lists, and I focus on one thing: the finish line.