Good morning Fitfam 🙂
Wow what a whirlwind my life has been the last month or so.
The days and weeks leading up to IMLOU seemed to inch along at the time, however now looking back it seems like it just flew by.
Here is the start of a race recap.
I want to do the experience the justice it deserves so these posts may be long….
Prepping for an Ironman is no easy task. I spent weeks developing a race plan, packing lists, dialing in my nutrition..
I was very fortunate to have had a tremendous amount of support from my family, friends, and some from complete strangers.
For example, I received an email from an IG connection on what to pack into my race bags, her suggestion for 6 small emergency kits into each race bag was a LIFE SAVER! I’ll get into the details of how I packed my bags later and link it back here.
I am also grateful for some new online TRI friends that really helped me prep mentally. One in particular was a GOD send and listened to all my incessant nervous freak outs, offered a ton of advice. I will be eternally grateful for that support. He even hooked me up with his coach when I was having a major fuel catastrophe (okay maybe not catastrophe but when it comes to your first full everything is epic)!!!
I spent the weekend before the race, laying everything out and packing up all my bags.
Gretchen made a last minute visit to a LBS in Kenora for a quick tune up.
She was packed up nice and safe into my bike case.
Baggies of white powder (infinite) were measured and packed for race day. Every item checked, doubled checked and crossed of the list.
I was an emotional mess all week, I cried at everything. I cried braiding my hair for my last brick, I cried at my desk, I cried going to the pool on Thursday morning before we left. I cried tears of FEAR, tears of joy and pride ( for I had survived Ironman training!) I simply just cried!
I woke up early and headed to the pool for ONE LAST swim. Of all the training for this race, I truly have LOVED the swimming. I wanted one last swim under my belt and to keep my body moving as much as possible. Of course I cried on the way to the pool just thinking about all that I had accomplished in the past year.
I wish I could say it was a perfect swim, but I had packed my favourite goggles and struggled with ill fitting and leaking goggles. But I did get an easy 30 mins in the pool. Showered quickly and returned home.
In the van in my driveway I sat for a moment and watched the Ironman Anything is Possible Video for again for the millionth time. That video had inspired me to give this 140.6 a try and in a few short days I too would do the impossible!
By 7:30 am we were off to the Red Lake Airport. As we were checking in the ticket agent and ramp attendant informed us that we were over our weight allotment (as expected) and that I might not get all my gear on the plane! This of course created a tremendous amount of stress. I tried not to panic, but couldn’t sit for the life of me. I paced up and down for what seemed like an hour until the rampy told me I was good to go, Gretchen was making the flight!
We arrived In Winnipeg around 9 am after a bumping flight – the winds were really high, but I must say the pilot landed like a total pro!
Our connecting flight to Toronto didn’t depart until almost 3 pm that afternoon. We checked in with Air Canada dropped some more coin for baggage fees ( I think I paid about $400 in total for baggage – ridiculous! West Jet doesn’t charge the additional $50.00 each way bike fees. I’ll be choosing them next time I race!)
We took Gretchen to the over sized baggage drop off and went to my favourite Winnipeg Restaurant – Stella’s for a bite to eat!
Now, I was very nervous about packing my race gear into my suitcase so I put it ALL into a back pack, including all those aforementioned baggies of infinite. Tim decided to test the waters and not say anything to the airport security or customs officers and let it scan through.
Nothing, Nada, zip. Not even a – Can you open your bag sir. It was kind of a let down …
We sat around the airport, me reading a new book, Tim watching The Walking Dead. Indulging slightly on Starbucks Chai Latte and peanut butter cups!
Finally we boarded the aircraft and headed to Toronto. On the plane Tim and I were discussing needing to pick up bike tubes and Gu at the race expo. The guy to my left pipes up – “Are you doing an Ironman”?? And I said “I sure am – Louisville on Sunday!”
Turns out he was a two time IM finisher himself. We chatted for almost an hour. He was super friendly and reluctantly – I pulled it out of him as he didn’t want to mess with my race plan – some great advice. What stuck with me was to not sit and doddle in transition, keep moving, eat, put on gloves etc as you are moving, DON’T WASTE TIME. I used that advice and probably saved myself several minutes!
A few hours later we were in Toronto, made our way through customs, and found a place for a bite to eat, Fish Tacos and a rye, I know not the best food choice, it was so good!
Our flight into Nashville was delayed to start – due to Hurricane Mathew perhaps, then there were mechanical issues which could not be resolved and finally they decided to swap out planes. Tim and I have a belief that its ok to be delayed vs get on a questionable aircraft! We wandered the airport- taking turns so we could keep a “home base”.
After an extra 1.5 hours we boarded the plan to Nashville. I am pretty sure I slept the entire way. It was pretty late 11 pm when we arrived we picked up the SUV, loaded up and headed out to find our hotel.
To be continued!