Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Final Countdown

Monday, July 8th:
Me vs. The Flea: Final Showdown (before the race).  By now it's obvious how much I despise Fleawaukee Pewaukee Lake.  The water is dark brown, cloudy, and full of weeds that seem to like wrapping themselves around my arms and neck while I'm swimming. After last Saturday's spectacular crash and burn in the water the last thing in the world I wanted to do was get back in that water, but I also knew I owed it to myself to give it another shot before Sunday's race, so I hauled myself out there.  I ran into T on the beach and as we paddled around in the shallow water, we started talking about how anxious we were and how neither of us really wanted to be doing this.  We agreed to swim together at the slowest pace we could manage - and just get through it. There was a lot of side stroke on the back stretch and a really foul mouthful of seaweed, but I had my face in the water more than it was out.  Long story short: we finished the 400 yard course in just under 13 minutes - and felt good enough to do another 50 in the shallow area.  To give you an idea of how gross the water is, my Garmin claimed we only swam 322 yards because it kept losing its satellite connection from all the murk and weeds!  It may not have been pretty, but we. did. it.

The Iron Cheerleader has asked us to share our 'race mantras' on the Newbie Herd's Facebook page, so for the rest of the week, I'll share mine here as well.

Swim Mantra
Tuesday, July 9th:
Rest Day.

Wednesday, July 10th:
Mr. R&R and I loaded up our bikes and hit the rail trail for a few easy miles. I felt really good. Too bad the race course isn't flat like the rail trail!  I ended up resetting my watch due to some technical issues with Mr. R&R's bike, so the 12 miles is broken up into 2 segments.

When we got home, I discovered that the same bolt that caused me so much trouble last Saturday had come loose again.  Looks like I'll be making an emergency trip to Emery's tomorrow.  I don't want to have to worry that my shoe will come apart mid-race!

Thursday, July 11th:
Emergency trip to Emery's (aka The Bike Gurus) to have my cleat looked at.  It took the guy about 5 minutes to screw everything back together - and another 5 minutes to explain some technical stuff about "dry screw threads" seeming tight, but not.  It sounds like I should be good to go on Sunday, but I'm adding an allen wrench to my bike bag just in case - since I won't have the Iron Cheerleader there to rescue me!

Bike Mantra
Friday, July 12th:
The Iron Cheerleader's plan called for an 8 mile bike/.5 mile run brick on Thursday, but since I was dealing with the shoe problem, I had to move it to today.  I wanted to test the bolt on my shoe in a 'safe location', so I set my bike up in the trainer and started spinning.  I made an executive decision to cut the bike portion down to 6 miles so I wouldn't burn out my legs before Sunday.  I think the Garmin data says it all!
I think I've finally overcome my trainer/speed issues!
I hopped off the bike, pulled on my running shoes, and stepped outside for a quick half mile run.  Everything felt good.  Even the jello legs weren't an issue!
My next project for the night was to create a packing list for the race. Triathlon requires an inordinate amount of stuff compared to a simple running race and I'm terrified of forgetting something important.  Making the list made me feel like a little bit like a neurotic pack rat, but at least now I'm less likely to do something really stupid on Sunday - like forgetting my goggles or my bike shoes!

Saturday, July 13th:
Expo/Packet Pick Up Day!  Somehow a race never feels real until packet pick up- then the reality hits you like a ton of bricks.  I picked up my race number (for the run), bike/helmet stickers, and my timing chip - and got my wristband so I can get in and out of transition tomorrow.  I also attended the race director's First Timer's seminar.  It was mostly stuff I already know (transition closes at 6am, drink plenty of water, etc.) but it was nice to hear what the plan is in case of trains (there are 2 sets of train tracks on the bike course) and I had a few shaking-my-head moments when he opened the floor to questions. You'd think most people who are slated to do a triathlon in less than 24 hours would already know some basic things, like:  order of the disciplines  (swim/bike/run), what a transition area is, and that the rules apply to everyone!

When I got home, I took my list and started assembling all my stuff.

Triathlon or the Invasion of Normandy?
Once everything was packed up, I spent the rest of the day chugging water and Gatorade, forcing myself to eat dinner (nerves killed my appetite), and laying on the couch like a lump.

I'm as ready as I'm going to get. It's time to do this thing!


April said...

Trains? Errrrmmmm yeah better have a plan B! And that screw issue seems to be a chronic pain...anyway to prevent or will the advice from the shop take care of that?

Mary said...

There are 2 railroad crossings on the bike course (located in the worst possible spots) and the rail company doesn't publicize their schedules, so a Plan B was definitely required.

The bolt should be okay now. It held through the race and is still looking tight.