Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ironman Arizona - Part 1 - The Days Before

Yes! I finally get to write an Ironman race report! But before that, let's talk about the days before the race, as they are part of the experience as well.
Wednesday, Nov 16th. Went for an easy 30 minute swim and did some stretching in the hot tub before packing and embarking on the journey. I loaded up my car and then picked up Kelly Ping. (Kelly is the sports dietitian who helped me get some good data on my metabolic efficiency study.)
my stuff (and we did get another bike and more bags in there)!
Kelly and I had driven to Arizona last year to be spectators, so it was great to be going down together as athletes! We wanted to stop in Las Vegas, but I got impatient when the Subway was farther off the interstate than anticipated. Unfortunately that was pretty much the last stop before Santa Fe. So just imagine two females, hungry, trying to stay hydrated with no bathrooms to be found. Yikes! Then we found a gas station and encountered a sign on the bathroom doors - all bathrooms out of order! Eeeeek! Fortunately we made it to a decent travel stop a few miles down the road with clean bathrooms and a Wendy's and gas station. We emptied one tank, filled up a couple others and continued on to Gallup, NM before calling it a night.

Thursday, Nov 17th. After chowing down on the free continental breakfast (yay for hard boiled eggs!) we were on the road just after 7am. The ride was another nice one and we found a Subway just outside of Phoenix for lunch. (There was an In-N-Out burger, but because we had a bike/run to do, we opted against that!) I checked into the Holiday Inn near the Phoenix Airport, we changed into our bike gear and headed to the race site. We checked in and got our race packets today to miss the lines that would likely be there on Friday. We also had about an hour to ride and 30 minutes to run so we checked out part of the bike course (yay flat course!) and some of the run (yay flat course!). And we felt pretty good with all the oxygen at 1500ft. After the ride we cleaned up at the hotel and then met Shannon and Cade at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant for some good chow.
Shannon is ready to rock her 2nd Ironman!
mmmmmm....gyro platter. An award winning one at that!
Friday, Nov 18th: Sleeeeeep was on the menu so we slept in. Although I was waking up at 5am feeling rested and hungry! Once we got up and ready, we stopped at the Essence Bakery Cafe and got some hearty food. With a Sunday race, Friday is the day to make sure to get in the calories, and for some reason I was starving and waking up with a growling stomach.
French scrambled eggs and toast. (side of fruit not shown)
Then we hit up the expo briefly and met up with Ron on his way to check in.
Punk Rock Racing ready to rock this thang!
Then Kelly and I chilled out on Mill St before our noon massages and then grabbed some lunch at Gordon Biersch. Don't have a photo of that. Back to the hotel for more relaxing and starting to get stuff around. Kelly met up with her Dad and I opted to meet Khem and Tod for some appetizers before heading to the athlete meeting. We caught the end of the dinner and I met Lori (@LJ3000 on twitter) who was there to support her husband. I also met up with Kelley Hess (@KHesser) and Girls Heart Rockets teammate. She was going to dinner with her family and I became famished. Although tired and it was late, I decided to tag along. We got a really great and filling meal at Frank & Lupe's in Scottsdale. Kelley pounded 3 sopapilla's! Back to the hotel it was time for more sleeeeep!

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