I packed up work stuff on Thursday Oct 24 and was ready to go! I had all day Friday to pack and get things in order. I had my list and checked things off 3x. I should have just packed them in clear bags as I felt the need to open each back 3 more times to make sure I had everything.
Friday AM I headed out to get my nails done, I knew I had to step it up this time so this is what I ended up with : Ironman Florida, plus zebra to represent my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome!
In the days leading up to our departure I had several medical issues, from bones, ligaments, out of whack to a sinus and ear infection! YIPPIEE!! I also could not run the last 2 weeks because my last half marathon just killed my hip. I was indeed worried about the race, but I figured I'd stress about that on Race day.
First non-physical stress of the week was the RV turn signal would not work.. I think we need that. Luckily banging on the light fixed it.
We spent 3 days taking our time on the 1400 mile drive from MA to FL. I spent half the time (probably more) on Facebook, posting to Fatgirl and chatting with my virtual BAZINGA team! What an amazing group of folks, it was so nice to have everyone!
I was very excited to make it to the beach. Warm sunshine YIPPIE! - Although in my haste to pack, I did not pack any "non-race" bike shirts, so I wore my one for race day. IMPROVISE..you have to improvise to do an IM, nothing EVER goes exactly as planned!
I posted a note to the Bazinga group as I needed to do an easy hour ride, Matt agreed to meet me and we headed into the State park. This is where I had my first REAL race panic. I was looking for my Garmin, could not find it. I ripped apart EVERY bag I had packed. I had them in their respective race bags too! The funny thing was I had TWO Garmin's with me TWO and could not find either! 10 min later they appeared.. WHEW!
There was some wind, but totally doable. It was a nice relaxing ride and even included some deer and a baby that were NOT afraid of us!
Tuesday was our first swim. I met a few of the Bazinga team. See, I REALLY AM SHORT! These guys were awesome. I was the slowest of the bunch and they waited for me on the turns :) thanks guys!
Wednesday was the start of Ironman Village. It was also the day we checked into the Hotel. We had 2 places to stay, our RV across the street and a room in the SWIM OUT. That was rather convenient! NO port-o-potty for me, or my crew! This is the view from our back door. Those are the showers for the swim out.
I had an interesting encounter as I was checking into the Hotel. Some random guy was there, getting his 'balcony room' so he could watch the swim. I said "no watching for me, I'm doing it." He looked me up and down and said "REALLY?"-- I know so many of the bigger triathletes get this all the time, seriously folks, you are spectating, get over yourself and stop judging.
In Ironman Village, they had the clock ticking down. 72 hours. Note behind the sign, secret service types (men in suits in the 80 degree Florida weather). They were 'guarding' 2 Middle Eastern Princes. I do have to say that these guys were quite annoying, their posse was everywhere, and even bothered several folks on the course with their 'chase vehicles.' They had so much special attention it was sick. They even kicked several folks out of their hotel who had reservations from the year before! (and caused them an additional $150 at the NEXT hotel). Not cool Ironman!
So my next stress was when I was about to pick up my packet. I got a call and text from my cleaning lady. Frantic. Apparently our electric stove top was ON, heat coming from it, but everything was in the 'off' position. She was smart enough to go cut the breaker to the kitchen and shut if off. Everything cooled down. Insanity! Panic, seriously did I need to have my HOUSE burn down as a stress? 30 min later my neighbor went over and everything was fine once the power was cut. What an insane thing, and thank God she came that day!
So, as I tried to lower my heart rate, I went and stood in line to get my packet. It was uneventful.
The swag was kind of cheap, my Eagleman bag is SO much nicer! *the finisher tshirt and hat were also pretty lame*- but I shall use them them pride anyway!. Although I doubt that plastic licence plate holder will last one winter here in New England.
Apollo and Athena made the trip with us. Athena is named for a category in triathlon, and mr Apollo is one irondog! He is going on 13 years old in a breed that lives 6-8 years. I swear he needed to see me through this!
Kellie and I (Tri NewEngland peeps) hung for a bit, attended the pre-race briefing and just enjoyed the day.
I am happy to stalk Rinny again, but am also super upset at Ironman for running out of medals and making the pros not stick around till Midnight. I KNOW she would have given me my medal!
I had asked around to see if there was a chiropractor around and I got an early Christmas present, there was an ENTIRE TENT full of them! A.R.T. practitioners, doing FREE, yes FREE work! My sacrum and hip were out of place. JOE hooked me up and told me to come back on Friday. I eventually figured out that the sacrum issue was from the HOTEL TOILET, yes toilet. EDS is a strange disorder! The height and angle of the toilet just pulled apart my sacrum! nice, eh? The toilet hurt me more than an Ironman! - I'm so glad Joe was there to hook me up!
Thursday we had another group swim, with team Bazinga- what an awesome group.
Thursday evening was the athlete banquet. We paid $30 for John and in my opinion, was quite overpriced for what it was. I was, however, impressed with how they can serve 2000+ people that quickly though. We were PACKED in. There is no way to actually capture the number of folks in this room.
We listened to the program, heard Joe Stone speak and ventured home to rest. Thursday is supposed to be a 'feet up' day, YEA RIGHT!
Race week FLEW by, I was surrounded by awesome people, new teammates and great family and friends!
Click here for Part 2
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