My energy has been sucked dry, my body aches in a way that is begging for me to stop and overall I’m desperately holding on to the last five weeks of this journey for dear life. I’m struggling to find the words to express my emotions because it’s consuming and constantly changing. There is relief, excitement, fear, sadness, happiness and stress. I never know which one is coming or going, or how long it will last. I’m jumping into everything with both feet and my whole heart, but I never know what to expect. Some moments I’m flying, other moments I’m floundering. In talking with my training partners, it seems that this is all completely normal for the last few weeks of the season leading up to the big race. As one of them said, it’s like going to war. It’s not like you spend all this time making a chocolate cake, then you get to eat it, it’s like you just get dropped into the war zone and you see whether you live or die. It all sounds a bit melodramatic, but this has been one of the hardest mental and physical challenges I’ve ever put myself up against and I’ve worked so hard to get here. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about swimming, biking and running and all the things in life that revolve around it. I dream about it, I write about it, I never stop talking about it, I devote my time, my energy and my emotions into it, and as much as some people think that’s neurotic – I love it. At the end of the day, I might feel a little bit broken and a half way to the grave, yet this is the first thing in my adult life that has made me feel undeniably happy and unquestionably alive. As I descend into the final weeks of preparation for my biggest race this year, I’m focusing on the finish line and the glory of all that I have accomplished. I’m also looking forward to more free time, more cold beers and less time in an ice bath. Here’s to the final weeks of triathlon season 2014 and maybe a few more stories of suffering and triumph along the way.