Friday, August 29, 2014

Ironman Louisville...Pre-race...

I finally feel like I have caught up on life enough for a race report.  Let's start with the pre-race events!

Ken and I left for Louisville on Thursday around noon.  We decided to make the entire eight hour drive in one day so that we could enjoy all day on Friday in Louisville.  It was a pretty easy drive and Ken and I enjoyed talking and singing in the car.

Fern was locked and loaded for the drive!

We arrived in Louisville around 9:15 pm local time and made our way to our apartment.  I did a little bit of homework and we went out for some dinner.  We were both pretty tired and ended up calling it an early night.

We slept in on Friday and then I went for a quick three mile run.  It was one of the first times in quite a while that I had gone running without Kya and I really missed her on my run!  I felt naked without her.

The ducks I saw on my run

We took our timing getting ready and decided to make our way to Jim Beam before going to the expo for me to check in. 

We didn't do the organize tour, but we did do a little bourbon tasting and walked around the property.  It was very pretty out there. 

Shout to my friend Erinn!  I had to text her to let her know we were at Jim Beam.

We really tried to like straight bourbon, but we just couldn't get into it!

After hydrating with Bourbon, we made our way to downtown to check in for the race.

I ended up buying a coffee mug, visor, and water bottle at the expo.  I only bought these items since I had already completed this race once before.  I did not buy anything that stated 2014, because I did not want to jinx myself!

Obligatory race bib photo

We had a late lunch at Doc Crows and went back to the apartment to rest for a while.  We ended up both falling asleep and woke up to a complete down pour happening outside.  The thunder was so loud!  It was kind of relaxing.  We ended up going to Buffalo Wild Wings for a late dinner.  I was not that hungry, but I forced myself to eat since I did not want to skip a meal this close to the race.  I know, such problems.

We called it an early night and were excited for the next day since we would be picking up our friends, Abby and Scott, from the airport in the morning!

I had debated and debated about doing the practice swim.  Ken told me that he thought I should, so I ended up driving downtown to the river.  The Ohio River, I swore I would never set foot in that thing again, but here I was about ready to head into it for a practice swim.  Yeah. 

I always feel like the Ohio River is mocking me.

I am happy to say I did not panic, but at the same time, I had no intentions on swimming up river 600 meters to the turn around buoy and back 600 meters as well.  Call me chicken, but I wanted to save my swim toughness for the next day. 

I hopped in the water and paddled around a bit.  I had a difficult time getting my goggles to seal and it further proved why I should not swim out that far.  I swam near the concrete bank of the river a bit and decided to climb back out.  I am not going to lie, I was a little worried about the swim the next day.  I kept reminding myself that I had conquered the Ohio before and I could do it again.

After I got my stuff, I saw a lady standing there wearing a UMKC shirt. I started talking to her and learned she was from Minnesota.  We talked for quite awhile and she told me that the swim makes her nervous.  I also found out that she was there alone, so we made plans to meet up the next morning so we could be in line for the swim together to calm our nerves.  I was so grateful to have met Deb!

Before I left the river, I wanted to get some water samples to take back to microbiology for testing.  I saw a spot where the water kept breaking over the concrete bank, and figured that was as good as any.  I set my bag with my cell phone, swim cap, and goggles down as if I knew what was about to happen. 

Yep, I slipped on the algae that was on the concrete bank and slid into the river.  Thank goodness I caught myself before I went entirely in, but I was soaked for the waste down.  The worst part was when a little boy in a small boat said, "look mommy, that girl fell into the river, ha, ha!"  Yeah, ha, ha you little bastard. 

I was unhurt, except for my ego.  I got my samples and went back to the car, noticing I had brown algae all over my pants.  Lovely. 

We picked up Scott and Abby and dropped off my gear and bike at the transition area.  It was pretty hot and I kind of felt like I was going to melt.  We stopped at an Irish pub for lunch and our waiter kept wishing Ken luck and told him to carb up for the race.  I responded with something like, yeah, he needs to carb up for spectating.  When we left, I am pretty sure he thought it was Ken participating in the race.  Oh to have those long legs.  I guess I should also mention that a lady at Walgreens wished Ken good luck and told him that she hopes he wins.  Seriously.  He did not even correct her!  Ha, ha!

We made our way to the Louisville Slugger Factory since neither Abby or Scott had been there before.  I was very happy to see that my boy Derek Jeter was still hanging out in the lobby.  I kind of considered him to be my good luck charm and insisted on a little time with him.

2012 and now in 2014.  Clearly Derek Jeter brings me good luck in Louisville!

After my time with Derek, I made my way over to Ken Griffey Jr, and Ken may have caught us in a very compromising position. 

Yes, that happened.

Abby and the Babe

We finished the tour and made it back to the car just in time for it to start pouring down rain.  The forecast for the race had been for rain and I was torn about it.  I did not want it to downpour while I was on the bike, but I kind of wanted it to rain on the run, hopefully sparing us of the high temperatures that were predicted.

We had pizza for dinner and then it was early to bed for me for a 4:30 am wake up call!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

20 MPH, Open Water Swimming, and Flats...Oh My!

I wish I could say that the 20 mph was my biking speed, but alas it was just the speed of the wind I dealt with during the Cider Mill Century ride a few weeks ago. 

Do you know what is more difficult than riding a bike up hill and into a 20 mph wind?  Being 4'10 and riding a bike up hill and into a 20 mph wind.  There was one moment where I really, really wanted to cry and call someone to come pick me up.  There is this little voice in the back of my head that would not let me and was calling me a big baby and a quitter, so I stuck it out.

I felt better when several of the male riders told me how much they were struggling in the wind too.  I guess misery truly does love company.

The best part was when I finally said screw this, and stopped to turn on my music from my phone (no headphones).  The first song that came on is one of the nastiest songs I have on my phone, Shake That, by Eminem.  I had the music on pretty loud and a group went by me just when I got on my bike again.  I am sure they were quite surprised by the super sweet girl in pink with vulgar lyrics blazing!

Needless to say, I was quite glad when the ride was finished.  :)

Now on to open water swimming.  Open water swimming has always been difficult for me, not so much physically but mentally.  I always start worrying about not being able to touch the bottom or see, when in reallity, I can swim so I do not need to touch the bottom! 

My last two open water swims I give all the credit to Snoop Dogg.  Apparently I still know all the words to a few of Snoop's songs from the 90's and they are quite easy to sing in my head while I swim.  Who knew? 

My last open water swim was last night, and I truly had no fear hopping right in and swimming away.  I swam 3000 meters and could have kept going.  I was brutally attacked by seaweed a few times, but kept  my composure!  KJ for the win!

Last OWS at Kill Creek, thank goodness!

Last time when I was training I did not have to change a flat tire.  Actually, I did not even have a clue how to change a flat tire.  I should really count my lucky stars every day that I did not get a flat during the actual Ironman.  I got my first flat tire at home and went to You Tube to learn how to change it.  Laugh all you want, it worked.

On Saturday Jennie and I were out riding and got 1.5 miles from our cars when she got a flat tire.  I told her I would take care of it.  And guess what, I totally did!  I was able to change a flat tire without even looking at the video! 

Less than two weeks to go!