Monday, November 12, 2007

Friday--The day before the BIG race

On Friday morning, Mitch, David, and I got up early and had some breakfast before heading out the door to do an open water swim. We left Geoff still sleeping, back at the casa. It was a little chilly at 8 am and we had some warm clothes on. It was not a lot of fun to stand on the cold sidewalk in bare feet. David showed me a nifty trick of putting a plastic grocery sack over my foot as I got into my wetsuit. It just slid on! How had I missed out on that tid-bit of information? We turned in our gear to the Gatorade tent and tracked through the cold sand down to the edge of the water.

COLD!!! That was a shock to the system! I kept my head up for a few strokes and then started putting my face down in the water. Ah, that lovely taste of salt water. It does not bother me so bad as others. I just always think of salt water taffy or having a big bucket of popcorn with my brine water treat. I could hardly see a thing in the water. I did see my hand with the sunlight streaming into the gulf, but that was about it. They had the course already put out, but they only let us swim a quarter of a mile out and then we swam north about 100 yds. and came back in. I was doing great and only took in one gulp of the gulf. When we got out of the water, David was right there, but we did not see Mitch back in yet. We had worked up enough body heat that we felt good being wet and out of the top of the wetsuit. It was the rinse showers that cooled us off. We were able to dry off and get into our warm clothes when we saw Geoff. He was asking us how the water was. We did not want to give too much away about the waves, so we told him to suit up and get out there. David caught a glimpse of Mitch, but then he found his Austin buddies Maurice and the rest of the crew and we chatted with them for a bit. There were tons more people there now then when we showed up.

Back at the casa, Mitch was waiting for us so he could head out to get his bike worked on at the Repair Tent. As soon as Geoff got back, we loaded up the van and headed out to the Athlete's Race Meeting. This was back at Sand Key Park where we had the banquet the night before. The sun was out now and it was nice, unlike the chilly evening before. After the race meeting, we booked it back to the casa so I could get ready for my interview with the Ironman PR team. Johnny Tri had gotten back from his overnight stay with Bigun and Di and was waiting for us.
I grabbed a quick salad, got changed, washed the salt water out of my hair and JT and I headed over to Pier 60 for the interview. Geoff and David said they would meet us over there.

My interview went smoothly and I answered all of their questions and really plugged Team in Training. I had my TNT gear on and a huge smile on my face. Geoff and David pedaled up on their bikes just as I was finishing up. We headed back to the Expo tents and JT bought himself a hat. Now I needed to get on my bike and make sure that my speed sensor was working, get the race number on it, get my transition bags ready and get them over to the transition area.

Before we headed over, I saved Geoff from making a huge blunder on race day. He had his swim to bike gear in the bike to run transition bag. After a quick bag change, we all headed over to drop off our stuff. It was a good thing we got there when we did because there was no line and we had great volunteers walking us all through the area to show us around and get our stuff in the correct place.
I had a great volunteer who was a triathlete himself and we got stopped many times by other athletes with their questions. This guy was the answer man. JT took lots of pictures! Geoff and I headed back in to take pictures of the bag racks and to look for some of the Pro's bags. After a few more pictures, we now noticed that there was a huge line to get into the bag drop-off in the transition area. We lucked out on timing.

Once the bikes and our gear was out of our hand, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders. We went back to the casa and watched Gladiator and chilled out. JT gave me a pre-race adjustment and got me in tip-top shape We headed out for diner at 5, but got there a little too early. We found out the Italian bistro we were encouraged to go to did not open until 5:30, so we drove down the coast and did some sight seeing. Our meal at the bistro was yummy! Geoff and I had the Salmon, David had the Pene, Mitch had Fetuchini Alfredo, and JT had the stuffed Manacoti. We all shared some Bruchetta and a Creme Brule desert as well. Now that is was dark, it felt really late even though it was only 7. We made one last stop at Walgreen's for last minute breakfast stuff and then it was back to the casa to get our stuff ready for the next morning. The lights were out and everyone was in bed by 10pm.

Stay tuned for RACE DAY!!!

Coach Liz


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