Ironman Arizona: Pre Race Report

IMAZ 2009

Pre Race Experience: On Thursday I left beautiful San Diego and headed to Tempe town. I was excited to race in the Ironman but the drive was hard. This was because along the way I passed my favorite riding destinations. Great Western Loop, Mount Laguna, Kitchen Creek Rd. Oh, the temptation was everywhere!!!! Trouble just finds me! Reluctantly I drove on, knowing some of my gang was riding as I drove. If I just exited the freeway I could ride to meet them. Sure, they may have a head start but isn't that what race wheels are really for. I realized it was my turn to put on the show. Yup, I had my fun watching friends and family smoke courses. Now it was my turn to put on the show while they tensed muscles watching the splits come up on Ironman Live. It was time to let them race vicariously through me. I needed to focus on what my goal for the year was not my goal for the moment, but I really did think it would be fun to do just one more ride. What's 2.5 hours and 4500 ft shared amongst friends.

Without event or adventure I arrived or in Tempe and checked in to my hotel. Actually, the gas station in Yuma was a slight bit of an adventure. I headed out for a short run. I found myself running on the course. Memories of 2008 floated through my head. I had a better race there than I dared to hope for. I realize there are pros and cons in repeating a race you have fond memories of. I didn't want to go home from disappointed. I weighed the pros and the cons when I signed up. They were risks I was willing to take. In spite of it all I felt myself smile. Finding myself smiling confirmed that I had made the right choice.

Entering my second Ironman I thought the fun would fizzle and I would be frustrated and fatigued. I was wrong. The opposite story couldn't be more true. I think I am able to enjoy things more now. The nice things about being an eager beaver prior to my first Ironman and cracking before my second is that I became aware of the good and the bad. Things managed to sort things out along the way to number 3. I appreciate more the things I do love are care less about the rest.

Friday I did the usual short swim and ride. After the swim I headed over to check with a couple other TCSD members. We had a long line to wait in but truthfully it was really fun. An opportunity for us to exchange war stories. Not intimidation stories. The fun ones, stories of dumb things we did in passed races and how much better we did in races after that. I love to laugh at myself.

If I didn't have such a strong intention to race the best I could I am sure I would have found myself some adventure Friday or Saturday. However, given I am a freckle face girl I stayed out of the sun and saved my adventuring for another day (although a quick trip to Sedona did cross my mind). My hotel was fine but a bit stuffy and generic. Not a good place to sit around and count the hours down to race time. I settled for a trip to Barnes and Nobles and seated my self in a comfy chair with a few books. It was quite nice actually.

Note my feet are even up. Well sort of. I am even wearing compression tights. I am so proud of myself:) By the way, competition is everywhere. That kid was so trying to out-read me.

Saturday afternoon I picked Tim up from the airport. This is when things perked up, much more fun to have my husband in tow. He kept telling me how it was going to be watching and how he was a little nervous about the timing of his execution, his nutrition, managing his electrolyte and hydration. He had quite a plan, rather than to share it with you myself have made Tim promise to do a guest entry and write a race report himself.

Sunday morning came early. I am not sure how much I slept that night but that's normal. I didn't stress about it much. I still need work here but I did a better job getting to bed on time throughout the year to support my training. I figured I had reserve in the bank. I wasn't very hungry at 4:00 am but I knew my goal could and would not be met without adequate and appropriate nutrition so down the calories went. Off to the race we headed. I turned in my special needs bags, aired my tires and loaded my nutrition on to my bike. Then I did something different than ever before. I left the transition that only athletes are allowed to be in and avoided the frenzied area. I grabbed Tim and headed to a quiet area about 1/4 mile away. I put on my wetsuit and stayed relaxed. Of the scenarios that could go wrong I had prepared for them. What I didn't need now was some random person asking me if I was swimming with an extra pair of goggles inside my swim cap just in case…. I read blogs of the best, have coaches and friends I trust for advise. What I didn't need was a head trip.

Soon it was time to warm up in the water. I kissed Tim good bye and prepared to put the finishing touches on 2009.


Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

YEA - GREAT report! I think you are so smart for going out on your own. You are spot on about the pre-race head cases...seriously and extra pair of goggles?? Oh my...

Can't wait for the next installment - yea!!!

Bruce and Cindy said...

Don't leave us hanging...
I have done many clean, freshwater races without goggles...depends on where the sun will be. At CdA a few years ago, a guy asked me where my goggles were. Goggles are part of the pool culture to keep the chlorine out and to keep the swim cap on.

Brian Maiorano said...

You can never be too careful about the goggles. Sometimes I run with an extra shoe tucked in my shirt. But I can never decide between right or left, so now I usually just bring both to avoid the anguish of having brought the wrong one.