Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ironman California 70.3: The Other Adventures

The California 70.3 Race story actually began Thursday night, when I went to the supermarket to buy supplies: Gatorade and a specific dinner roll to make a mini-ham sandwich for the bike. Well they were out of rolls, but they had a clearance sale on frosted novelty St. Patrick's Day cookies. $1 each. Of course I bought one. It was stale, but a cookie's a cookie, right? Wrong. Around midnight I suddenly got sick to my stomach. I like to purge before a race as much as the next guy but this was not in a good way. On Friday I didn't have much of an appetite which worried me because I wanted to get some calories in me. I had a very small lunch and left for Oceanside around 3. After 2.5 hours on the road I suddenly was starving and pulled over to the only place I could find, a Carl's Jr. and bought a chicken salad. Well THAT started making me feel sick so I threw out most of it.

I made it to packet-pick-up around 6:00, and then found a small pizza place nearby and got an order of spaghetti. Wolfed down maybe 1/3 plate of it and it made me feel better. Robert (the World's Greatest Triathlete) was a last-minute guest in my room. He wanted to come down to cheer us on but wanted to avoid leaving L.A. at 4:00 Saturday morning. The nice motel people switched me to a two-bed room for the same rate. We went out to find me a roll to make my ham sandwich, and wound up in some sort of hispanic supermarket where everything kind of looks normal, but isn't quite the same. Long story short, all the food looked too exotic for me so we had to find a Ralph's instead and got everything we needed.

Robert, who had a big day ahead of him standing around, fell asleep around 11:00 while I stayed up stressing until midnight. I woke up around 1:00, and 2:15, and 3:00. I woke up for good at 4:00, an hour before my alarm and just said "screw it" and got out of bed at 4:30. I had to ride my bike about 2 miles from the motel to the transition area in total darkness at times. Kind of creepy.

There was a girl wearing a moose hat doing body-marking, so of course I wanted to go to her. Until she asked me "is this your first race?" Ouch. Did I not look like a triathlete, or was it simply a matter that I didn't look like I knew what I was doing?

There were about 10 of us from my Tri Team doing the race and we were all in the same general area. I was stressing about putting the numbers on my jersey, because they gave us two bibs and said we needed it on the back for the bike and the front for the run. But I also had my own sign I wanted to wear on my back. Ben told me just to use my race belt. I looked at him like he was nuts. How could that POSSIBLY help? He explained: "put it on your back for the bike then just spin it around to the front for the run and everyone will still be able to see your CDA sign." You mean we don't need to have BOTH numbers on front and back at all times? NOOO!!!! Oh. Well that made things a whole lot easier.

I started to walk over to the swim start, made it about 10 feet when I realized I didn't have my goggles. I went back to my transition area and, much to the delight of Steve who was parked next to me, I couldn't find them. Total panic. I dug through my transition bag, looking in my sneakers, under towels, nothing. I was trying to think if it would be possible to do the swim without goggles. No. No way. Just when all hope was lost, I found them sitting in my bike helmet. Apparently Steve found watching me freak out to be quite entertaining. Oddly enough, at some point coming out of the water and running into T1 I dropped my goggles and I really did lose them.

As I headed out on the bike course, there was a big crowd along the road. In the distance I saw a giant inflatable fish. Kind of cool. As I got closer, I saw it was actually an inflatable killer whale. As I got even closer, I saw it was being carried by Ironmannie, Robert and Tri Team Tammy! Ironmannie bought a giant inflatable killer whale to match the squeaky horn I have on my bike and taped on it "Honk if you (heart) Wedgie".

How awesome is it that the 3 of them were there cheering us on, and how awesome is it that I had the coolest sign of the entire race? Ironmannie also had a tres chic jacket:

It's OK to be jealous.

I came into T2 after the bike, and who do I see INSIDE the transition area but none other than Ironmannie and Robert, wearing race shirts. Whaaaat?! Turns out, they went scoping for some food and came across a pizza table, They were told "this food is for volunteers only, but if you volunteer you can have some." Knowing a good deal when they saw one, they grabbed the shirts, grabbed some food, and badda-bing they had an all-access pass to the Transition area. (and yes, they did do their duties while there.) So that was pretty awesome.

I had quite a few people notice my "Next stop: Coeur d'Alene" shirt along the run. I had lots of "see you there!" and "you'll love it!" comments as people ran by me. We didn't know who we were at the time, but of them was Fe Lady! Very cool seeing other bloggers out there. At one point during the run (and I think I was still running at this point) I heard a spectator yell out "how's your knee?!" I was half delirious to begin with and couldn't really tell who was asking it, and I couldn't figure out how anybody would know I was having knee problems. But I yelled out something about "doing fine!". I ran into the same person around mile 11 or so, it was Monica! At this point I was doing a little bit of walking and she walked with me for a minute or two. Very cool. (By the way, she did a crazy 120 mile bike ride the next day to practice for IM Brazil.) On top of all that, Rocketpants was volunteering at one of the water stops. Tri Bloggers are everywhere!

Finished the race, went back to the motel. I had booked the room for 2 nights, but on Friday Robert and I agreed there really was no reason to stay in Oceanside Saturday night, since it was only a 90-mile ride home. I was still glad that I had the room so I could go back and shower, but I planned on driving back after dinner. We went to a restaurant, and sitting at the table it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks: "wow, I'm REALLY tired." Funny how a 70-mile race will do that to you. Robert went back to L.A. and I stayed behind, dreading the thought of sitting in traffic for 2-3 hours.

My legs were in a lot of pain Saturday night, but not really from the race itself. I was very good about putting sunscreen on my face and neck, but forgot to do my legs and they were turning bright red. I had to run out and buy some Aloe for them which helped a little bit, but it was still painful trying to get into bed.

I left at 9:00 Sunday morning, made it home in 1 hour 15 minutes. Perfect.


Blogger monica said...

i had so much fun spotting all you bloggers out there. so great to see you. and i'm TOTALLY JEALOUS of your fan sweatshirts!!!!

7:47 PM  

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