Training makes it possible. It doesn't make it shorter.
Here's a pic of Valencia and I before we got into the lake, which I might add is a balmy 71 degrees and still wetsuit legal as of this evening.
A few more athletes getting ready for the swim.
The Gatorade Swim set-up.
I ran into Stu and Rural Girl at the swim (figuratively, not literally) - which was awesome! I was so happy to see them and catch up for a minute since WIBA.
I went into work for a few hours after the swim, then headed back to the Monona Terrace for registration. Ironman registration runs like a well-oiled machine. We progressed from checkpoint to checkpoint with various people giving us instructions, handing us documents, pointing us to the next station, giving us our numbers/packets, etc. It was super smooth. When I got to the weigh in, the man working that station asked me to get on the scale with my shoes on. I did as told, and he read my weight.
Then he said, "Don't worry the scale is not really that accurate."
To which I was thinking, "What is that supposed to mean?"
Before I let vanity creep in, I thought - why are we being weighed then? Will these be the same scales we are asked to step in if we go to a medical tent? If not, aren't we already in trouble with the range of deviation?
Then I thought (and bear with me, my thoughts appear to be coming through in italics in my head) - Do I look upset about the scale reading? I mean, I don't think I'm ready to take up supermodeling anytime soon, but I'm also pretty sure I'm not in need of a dietary intervention. I've trained for Ironman for crying out loud - if there was ever a time in my life when you couldn't pinch an inch, this would be it.
But since the nature of registration put me into kind of a holy cow/this is really happening daze, these thoughts did not live long in my head.
I hit the marketplace and I'm pretty shocked at the sheer assortment of objects and apparel that are worthy of not only displaying the Ironman logo, but that the logo alone can bring in a 30-40% mark-up. I didn't get all Ironman crazy though - I limited it to a shirt, a couple of stickers, a luggage tag and a pint glass. I collect pint glasses, so this treasure seemed most appropriate.
On my way out, here's a finish line view - not quite ready for Sunday.
Then I headed home to tend to the dogs and relax for a few minutes before the athlete carbo-loading dinner at 5:30. I was in the basement unloading the washer full of workout clothes again (of course) when the empty hanger that usually holds my wetsuit caught my eye. Hmmm...I should really go get that and hang it up.
OMG!!! I left my wetsuit at the Gatorade swim on the bleachers!
9 hours ago.
I haven't moved that fast in weeks. I was in the car and speeding through what Madison considers "rush hour traffic" to the Terrace, parked my car in an illegal spot, and sprinted to the bleachers. Only to find...
Wait for it...
MY WETSUIT WAS STILL THERE.
9 hours and 15 minutes later. Plus one heart attack.
If there was ever a sign that Someone is looking out for me, this was it. It also speaks volumes about the tri community. No one touched it.
Which saves me a ton of time on Sunday morning going up to the 650-ish female athletes one-by-one and asking them if they are wearing my wetsuit. I suppose I would only need to ask the ones wearing Quintana Roo, so that would probably be about 500.
Crisis averted. I worked myself up into such a frenzy, I reclined the seat in my car and just laid there for a minute trying to relax. This race is going to be fine. I have my wetsuit. It will all work out.
The athlete dinner was good - lots of pasta, breadsticks, and baked potatoes. No dessert, which was a little disappointing at our table. One guy broke out a PowerBar in a pretty pathetic attempt for a dessert stand-in. The rest of us fantasized about a Culver's banana split.
Mile Reilly came up to the podium and MC'ed the program which included a few words from Paula Newby-Fraser, the announcement of the Everyday Hero award, and other fun audience engagement moments.
Then the officials came up from the Drs to the Race Directors and walked us through the rules of the race. It was informative.
Then the bike course director mentioned there were 2 cut-offs for the bike.
Oh yes, a fun little cut-off point at 1:30 at 56 miles, then the 5:30 you-better-be-across-the-mat-or it's-over time. As if the 5:30 cut-off time wasn't enough to send to me into a panic, now I have to make sure that my typical 8 hour time on the bike course is evenly split between the 2 loops.
I will need years of therapy for this. Do they not understand?
Overall, aside from random additional cut-off time, good evening. I'm glad I participated and it was exciting to be part of such a huge crowd of triathletes. There are over 1,000 people just like me doing this race as their very first Ironman. I have a 50% chance of turning to someone next to me during the day and thinking they are just as scared as I am.
I'm glad to be part of that group.