Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ironman: the Swim

Race morning.
the weather was fabulous. the lake was calmer than we had seen it all week. the sun was up already at 4am. Something we are not used to. It made setting up in transition great -- no need to wear a head lamp to see what you are doing. Susie Q gave us a ride to transition which was super nice. We immediately found IronGreg's parents who were ready to cheer on all the Richmonders.

Lynnie Lou and I walked to the swim start together. We found Tyler along the way. this was a major cluster. The walkway to the water is narrow and it's filled with over 2,400 racers and their supporters. And one random idiot on a bike.
the calm before the storm
the pros started 25 minutes ahead. this way they would be on the second lap before the age groupers began. This makes total sense, right?! Keeps us out of their way since this is their income after all. However, because of this you were not allowed in the water  to warm up. you could walk in up to your knees, but that's it. boo. So no warm up. We were all shaking a bit. It was a little chilly and nerves were high. I stood on the beach where i seemed to be right in the middle. not to one side, not to the front or back. Right in the middle. sure I may get hit more, but time wise this was where I needed to be.
the pros are off! 
The gun went off and everyone rushed the water! I had practiced dolphin diving but with people all up in my biz, I couldn't do that, so I just ran until i couldn't run and dove right on in. Whew - that'll wake you up! the water was a balmy 55 degrees. Luckily, I was so focused on getting my rhythm I didn't have time to be concerned about the temperature...or lack thereof. I had told myself that IMAZ was 62 and I survived that and this wasn't that much colder, right?! anyways, I swam along thinking about Dory and Nemo, my trusty swimming imaginary friends. I got hit a few times. And I had to elbow one chick b/c she was she plain annoying. the first loop wasn't so bad. I could hear the volunteer yelling times - 42:30. That works for me! Ya know, thinking back - that may have been my fastest 1.2 time! score! 
The second loop wasn't as good. Sure things thinned out, but the waves picked up some. People wore booties on their feet. I hated finding those people. If you hit their foot your hand went right across the grippies on their booties - owie. I figured when I got out of the swim my knuckles would be nice and exfoliated! As we rounded the buoys they were just as congested as the first. Almost more so. there was no swimming - you waded around and the group would pull you around. the second turn buoy was the PITS! A good size wave came as were wading around it knocking us all over the place. One man yelled out "Tsunami!!!!" we all got a good laugh and kept on swimming. 
I did not negative split the swim, but from what I hear, no one did so that makes me feel better. 
Goal Time - 1:30
Swim time - 1:28

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ironman: Pre-Race

I read a fair amount of blogs. there are some really talented writers out there. I read about peoples' journeys through life and I am amazed at the talent of the writing that just sucks you in...and some posts can be rather lengthy. Made me think about my attempt at blogging. Why can't I write long posts? Probably because I don't take the time to write; I just regurgitate some quick thoughts onto my keyboard. I am always thinking of things to blog about...but then I never do it.

So here goes my attempt at an Ironman recap. I may or may not make it all the way through in one post. 

Pre- Race 
We arrived in Idaho on Wednesday, June 22nd. and it was h-o-t. If it weren't for the lack of humidity in the air I would have thought I was still in Virginia! We were beyond ready for lunch so we hit the town for some sammies. I had travelled in my FAVorite Skirt sports pants and my compression socks. I was so hot, that I had to roll up the pants into shorts and thus showing off my knee-high glory. At this point, Coeur d'Alene had not been taken over by athletes. It was filled with teenagers wearing bikini tops and cut off shorts...unbuttoned. and most of them should not have been wearing those outfits. Not only because of their age and sending the wrong message, but because they were not exactly petite. But I digress. As we strolled through town it was almost humorous getting looks and hearing the whispers over my outfit. 

Anyways, we made it to our house. "Copper Top Lodge" It was fabulous. The decor was not exactly on par with the quality of the home. but it was beyond perfect for our week-long Ironman retreat. It was about a mile from Ironman Village and was at mile 2 of the run course. So roughly miles 2 and 11 on the first loop and miles 15 and 24 on the second loop. 

IronGreg and I were assigned to the pull out sofa in the basement. I was a little concerned about the basement  (and by the end of the week my back was over that sofa bed), but it was great. We were tucked away in the downstairs TV room, connected to the gym, and we had to pass the wine cellar/tasting room to get to our own bathroom complete with a urinal. I named this space the "insert last name Lair" 

So Ironman. Yes, the days drew near. 

Wednesday I drove the bike course with "mi amigas", IronGreg and his coach. We passed one house that had a training tiki bar of sorts. complete with flat changing kit, bars, gus, and a port--o-jon. I mean this town really suports this race. It was so cool! the owner was out and he said they keep the goodies out in May and june for everyone to train with. 

I swam on Thursday and Friday mornings. I prefer to do this swim at the race site and at race time. so at 7am there I was freezing in my wetsuit as the wind swirled around us looking at the white caps thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?" (That wednesday heat previously mentioned was a fluke...back to the cold for this southern belle). the first swim was tough. Having been sick all week and jumping into 55 degree water really takes your breath away. Especially when you have a hard time taking a breath in the first place. I figured out that although I breath every 3-5 stokes, I needed to breach every other stroke in order to catch my breath. I was able to swim for about 30 minutes. And Friday's swim was even better since I figured this breath thing out. We practiced running in and out of the water. That sand hurt my cold feet! 

Thursday we picked up our bikes from Tri Bike Transport. In fact there were so many bikes coming from richmond, that we had our own VIP line. that's how we roll. (haha get it)
I got my rented race wheels and IronGreg put them on Diamond. Man she looked pretty. 
Diamond posed with IronGreg's bike for a pre-race photo shoot. 

The Richmond crew, well part of it, met at our house for a little ride along the run course to get our legs moving and get any kinks out of our bikes. 

Friday, after a much better swim, we picked up our race packets and hit the store for some pre-race shopping. We spent the afternoon putting together our gear bags. People enjoyed my spreadsheets and lists of what to put in what bag. What can I say? I was a Girl Scout. I like to be prepared. 

Saturday was re-lax-a-tion. We finished packing our t-bags up and rode our bikes to transition to drop them and our t-bags off for the night. 

Two Richmond sherpas that volunteered for 
the gear bag drop off. they are awesome. 

Well, like previously stated. It might take me a few posts to get through this one. but hey I elaborated more and I even added pictures. self-high-five! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I am an IRONMAN...again

I have returned from my 12 day excursion to the Pacific Northwest where I participated in Ironman Coeur d'Alene. It was a GREAT day.
I finished in 13:52. Not a PR but I was pleased with my time.
IronGreg finished in 10:08. A PR for him, although not his goal time. and thus missing qualifying for Kona. Bummer.
Details to come. Trying to catch my bearings after being gone for 2 weeks.
I look forward to catching up with my blogger friends!