I'm actually feeling pretty good, despite eating my entire body weight in Halloween candy the last few days.
Success for me at Ironman Florida is easy for me to define. Cross the finish line by midnight, and hopefully do it upright with a smile on my face.
What would failure be for me?
If I don't finish by midnight, I'll be disappointed not to get the medal, but I won't consider that a huge failure. I had a great year, and that can't possibly be a failure. Maybe I didn't train as much as I could have to prepare my body to handle the distance, or I didn't execute my race plan well on race day, or I had an accident or unexpected injury. Any of those can lead to DNFs, and there's no shame in that. It's a high-risk high-investment venture, and putting all the emphasis on one day leads to a certain concrete probability of non-completion.
For me, I would count an extended visit to the medical tent as a failure - that would mean that I pushed my body past its limits and put my health in jeopardy, and that's not a line that I wish to cross. I have two little fairy princesses at home that are counting on me to come home in fine shape. Those two are much higher priorities than any silly old race!!
The outcome is binary in one way - finish by midnight or don't. But there's a vast array of other possibilities in store for the actual day.
I guess it would be a failure to me if I didn't HAVE FUN. And if I failed to thank the volunteers and encourage the other triathletes along the way. I'd count that as a failure in spirit.
I'm just amazed that I'm actually looking forward to it. I was expecting to dread it. But now, it's just a really long swim in the Gulf, followed by a longer bike ride in the Florida sunshine - and hey, how about a run too?