Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ironman: Calm before the storm

I do a lot of neurotic things before races, but some of them are actually practical. One of my rituals is that I like to eat dinner early the night before a race. I want to make sure everything has plenty of time to make it through my system by the next morning. I eat at 5:00 sharp. Stephanie graciously offered to cook dinner for us Saturday night, and although I told her about my time request I was still a little nervous. Typically, a 5:00 dinner means that 5:00 you hear "OK, the pasta is boiling and the chicken is just about ready to go in the oven."

Before dinner, Rich and I wanted to drive the bike course. His father offered to drive us, and that was great because it meant I didn't have to worry about steering the car while looking out the windows, taking pictures, and checking the course elevation map. Annie joined us so she could nap in the back seat.

Rich and I did a good job of hydrating on Saturday, which meant that when we saw a pair of Port-a-Potties on the side of the road we pulled over to make use of them. They had just been set up, and we got to christen them ourselves. Have you ever used a brand-spanking-new Port-a-Potty? Let me tell you, it is quite a treat. Everything just looks and smells so fresh. I highly recommend it.

I confess, my heartrate was starting to rise during the drive. Oh, it had nothing to do with the hills. You see, Rich's dad drove his car to Idaho from Western Washington and gas was much cheaper in Coeur d'Alene. He wanted to make sure he drained the tank as much as possible so he could fill up with as much cheap gas as possible. Normally I would be a huge supporter of this kind of behavior, but most of the bike ride was in the middle of nowhere. We were riding on Empty, tens of miles from any gas station, with questionable cel phone coverage. And I wanted to be back by 5 for dinner. I had visions of being stranded out there for hours.

My fears were unjustified, as we made it back to civilization and filled up. We got back to the house right at 5:00, and dinner was waiting for us. I don't mean "coming out of the open", I mean sitting there, ready to be eaten. Chicken, pasta, bread. It may sound like a small thing, but I can't tell you how much of a relief it was and how much it meant to me that Stephanie indulged my compulsive behavior and had dinner ready. And to top it all off, it was delicious. Thank you Stephanie!
I went back to the hotel with the plan of getting to bed at 11:00. It was probably closer to midnight. And I twisted and turned all night. I probably got about 2 hours of sleep total.

I accidently put my Tri Shorts in my transition bag which was laid out in a field overnight. Unfortunately, it rained and the shorts got pretty wet. It wasn't a good feeling having to put on cold wet tri shorts, but what could I do. The bigger problem was with my bike; I taped a printout of the elevation to the handlebars so I could know when to hold back and when I could be more aggressive, but most of the lines and numbers smeared off. Ooops.

On Monday, I told people that I felt surprisingly relaxed before the Race. Annie said "Really? Because we saw the photos we took and in every one of them you look really freaked out." OK, so maybe my brain is just blocking that part out.


Blogger rocketpants said...

Bummer to hear that the bike profile got all smudgy the night before. I'm to see someone else will do that too. I did that before Wildflower as everyone had freaked me out about the hills so I wanted to 'know'.

1:34 PM  

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