2008 Ironman Arizona Pre Race

The few days before Ironman were busy. Here's the jist of things.

Packed and fretted about how how three girls, three bikes, three sets of triathlon gear, and everything else needed for a weekend away would fit into one car . Of greater concern....how we would have room to bring back are finisher gear.

Thursday morning:
I met Tina and Elaine.
Miracle 1 of Ironman weekend:
All gear fit in Tina's CRV 
(thumbs up to Honda for that one)

Miracle 2 of Ironman weekend:

I was no longer nervous. Elaine was making me laugh. She had obtained the Hanna Montana version of Clif Shot Blocks. This quote "Get your mind out of the gutter, it's Hanna Montana...don't you know a guitar when you see one" I will never forget. Elaine promised one for each of us girls to carry in our Bento box. At this point nerves were out the window. I knew that in the darkest of dark moments out there I would be reminded to have a good laugh and not take things too seriously.

Of note: I did not have a Hanna Montana guitar in my Bento Box on race day. Over the course of the weekend they became so popular Elaine decided not to share them. She decided to sell them on e-bay. There were no hard feelings about this. Ironman is expensive so we thought it smart to recoup the expenses.

Thursday afternoon:
We checked into host hotel. We met Mike Riley, the voice of Ironman. I vaguely remembering promising to come back to the finish line and cheer on those still finishing after our races ended. I stifled a sarcastic snort....I just hoped I would finish. The thought of partying at the finish after my race was too much to ask for. We walked to RA and had happy hour sushi prices. Yummy. Shocked the waitresses with quantity of food consumed:)

Friday morning:
Met with Jess, Tina, Elaine, and Mary for swim practice swim in the Tempe Town lake. I insisted on swimming with my squid lid on. I'm superstitious and insecure regarding my Ironman swim experience. The water at CDA was beautiful but cold and full of chaotic kicks to the head. I didn't care that the water was a warm 63 degrees. I wanted my squid lid anyway. It was murky water and I swam over Tina a time or two. I swam crooked. There was a lot of current. I hoped there would be no current on race day. I braced myself for chaos and current but hoped for the best. After our 20 minute swim we did a whopping two mile run. That was fun. Tail wind out, head wind back. I figured that was how things would be on race day. I just wished I had my gals to be silly with during the race. My ankles were doing something very weird.....stopped to roll them out a few times. I remembered they always do that when I run right after swimming. Good thing I would have a 112 mile ride between the bike and swim Sunday. We went back to the hotel, showered and changed. Thanks to Mrs. Moytl for being group Mom and Sherpa extraordinaire. She watched our stuff while we played. I mean practiced.

We headed to registration/weigh in. Ugh. Who wants to weigh in after two weeks of tapering? Please. We picked up our race packets and headed to the Saks 5th Avenue for triathletes. The Ironman Store. I tried not to spend too much money. This time I would be around when they rolled out the "FINISHER" gear. I picked up a coffee mug to match my CDA one. Now everyone knows why my wedding registry didn't include dishes.

We joined Mer and Joanne for lunch. Minus Mary the girls were together. I must say I had so, so, so much fun with these ladies. As catty as this may sound, I didn't know what it would do to my jittery pre race nerves to be in a big group. These girls were, are, and forever will be awesome. There was nothing but love....none of that head tripping psyche stuff. The kind that makes you feel like a student about to take a test wanting to cry "I didn't study that". No not with these girls. The dynamics are not like that. We were in this together.

Friday evening :
We went to RA again for dinner. Then met up with the rest of TCSD for the mandatory meeting. Found that drafting was 4 bike lengths....for some reason I thought it was two. I consulted with Jess and Tina regarding the math. Was it even possible for 2200 bikes to be four bike lengths apart on a 37 mile loop?

That evening we watched TCSD member Don Lopez presented with the Ford Everyday hero award. We cheered very loud.

Saturday morning:
Elaine, Tina, Jess and I met with our coach for a swim strategy meeting then we were off for a 30 minute bike ride to test our race rigs.

Memorable moments: Riding with arrow helmet and disk through Tempe Town and a cup of Starbucks. Seeing Tina ride with a coffee carrier containing two coffees and an oatmeal.

We discussed swim strategy. The plan was to swim near the wall until the stadium. Then I was to "let the wall drift away from me" as it followed the perimeter of the lake. I was advised to hold on to the side of the wall from 6:50 -7:00 am so I wouldn't get warn out before the swim started.
I felt a few wind gusts. I asked out loud if a 5'3 female would blow off her bike in a wind gust while rolling a disk. "Hope not" was the consensus. I was warned to watch out on the bridges. I felt great riding and wasn't blown around. I began thinking that the men who say things like "You'll blow off that bike" are afraid I'll drop them. I think they would like to see all women riding 100 pound Huffy's. Reality was I didn't have much else in the way of choices. I needed to check my bike in by 3:00 p.m. and the stress of dealing with the wind seemed far less that a wheel change, derailleur adjustment, and brake pad change.

Text from Tim: Plane fogged in. I'm bringing you a rear wheel in case it's too windy for the disk we can change it out.

Crap. Crappy Crapola. No Tim around and another decision . I hate decisions. I'll would deal with the wind. That is that. I readied my bike and gear bags to turn in. I was hoping for Tim to take a last minute inspection of my bike but he was still on the ground in SD. I turned in the bike and hoped for the best.

4:00 P.M.:
Finally Tim has arrived. Yeah! We get to hang out. He offers me the head Tri spoke. He says we can change out the disk. It might be windy. I can handle the wind I say. I can deal. I actually believe I can deal with whatever comes my way tomorrow.
6:00 p.m:
RA for sushi the night before the race. Since I already know this agrees with me what could be better than fish, rice, and Miso soup ( sodium) the night before a race. Oh and how about some cinnamon ice cream.
9:00 p.m:
Lights out. Tim tells us all to be very quiet in the morning and not awaken him. He'll see us on the course around 9:00 am. We all laugh.

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