After I presented my thesis at a conference on Thursday, Dan and I spent the night at my parents' house, and the two of us along with my mom got up super early Friday morning to fly out to Tempe. None of us were able to sleep on the flight, figured it was going to be a looong day...
Checked into the hotel, got some lunch (excellent actually...the Hilton on University has great food and service!!), went to the expo around 1PM? Immediately enjoyed the warm sunny weather, as we left 29degree weather back in Bloomington (Thanks Heather for that update!).
Since Dan and I are old pros at this, we efficiently made our way through the check-in process and merchandise tents and bought some sweet stuff. I also had made a list of essentials I needed to pick up for race day and purchased those as well. My new stuff: aerobar elbow pads, 2-sided tubular tape, socks, IMAZ swimsuit, IMAZ coffee mug, IMAZ bento box, bunch of gels and Baker's breakfast cookies....
I saw my friend Koren (from Clermont!) who works for Blue Seventy. She rocks! I do miss Florida =)
I also saw another friend from Clermont, Tom Z, coolest Ironman guy around. He's such a great guy and does so much for the sport! He's the Gatorade swim guy, and he's also the race director some awesome races- The Great Escape (Florida), Florida 70.3, Kansas 70.3, Steelhead 70.3 (among others)....check them out!!!
We got back to the hotel and went for a 20-min run...at which time I got the idea to use my mom's Garmin Forerunner 305 for the bike and run portions of the race. She taught me how to use it (Yes, 2 days before the race), and Dan and I "practiced" using it on our run. Pretty easy to use actually!
Shower, then the athlete meeting. We met up with Stephanie, Dean, and Julie. Great food as always (haha). The reality of race time set in...it's finally here!
We didn't find everything we needed to at the expo, so my mom carted us off to CVS in our amazing yellow PT cruiser (rental, thank god). I found my fav hydration in some delicious flavors: Pedialyte!! Mmmm Mmmm pineapple and tropical berry....along with a razor blade to use in case of a tubular flat, and band-aids- my "comfy" shoes dug into the back of my ankle... not so comfy anymore!
Saturday morning Dan's family took his bike to a local shop to buy some needed parts while my mom took us to the race site for the morning swim and her volunteer meeting. On the way over, she saw a cute PUPPY....(NEW POST ON THIS TO COME!!! =) =)
I had heard the water was chilly, so I brought my thermal cap that I used at IM CDA this year... The morning swim went ok, but I was a little worried...my wetsuit seemed too tight...I was choking! I would be okay if I was just swimming, but the other elements of an Ironman swim, especially the boxing match of a mass start...would freak me out and I would really hyperventilate and choke and die...well maybe not, but I was worried! Shoooooulda skipped that pizza last week lol. I decided to not freak out about it, it is what it is, the race is tomorrow!
Dan calming my nerves...as usual!
The rest of the afternoon was spent checking bikes and bags in, and getting Dan's bike put together!!! The bike shop supplied some parts, but he had to go to the race expo to get the rest because the shop's mechanics were working there! Dan, my mom, and I spent about 2 hours total in line throughout the day...
Me checking out the bazillion dollars worth of bikes
My mom and I drove the bike and run course...to help me visualize and know what to expect, and for my mom to find a sweet spot to spectate! This was followed by yet another visit from that cute little puppy...=)
Food on Saturday: Hotel waffle in the morning...Monty's for lunch (the BREAD is amazing! Highly recommended!!) and for dinner Dan went with his family and my mom and I went back to the Hilton. Only bar food was available, so I ended up with 2 glasses of wine, a chicken sandwich, and an extra french roll, and some appetizers. Yummy.
I didn't bother checking for weather updates and such...The last 3 days were crazy and nonstop...THU: wake up, finish packing, drive home, drive to St. Charles, present, party with KNR faculty, go home, finish packing. Fri: travel, race stuff Sat: race stuff, race stuff, I need to relax!!! Before I went to bed, here's what I was thinking:
- I am going to choke to death.
- If I can just get on the bike, life will be great, wind is supposed to be 2-3 mi/hr!!
- Bike: hmmmm....I really didn't do jack squat the last few weeks (sooo busy finishing up thesis and papers!!)
- Run- beware of heat...otherwise I should be fine.
Swim: 1:30-1:33. I didn't swim more than usual, I didn't expect faster times.
Bike: 5:59. I really wanted to break 6:00. I biked more and harder this year.
Run: 3:59. I really wanted to break 4:00! I ran longer and faster this year!
Overall: 11:59. Sub-12.
And off to bed...in my new swimsuit... =)