November 22, 2011

Ironman Arizona - Pre-Race

Pre-Race:
The day before:
I seriously waited until the day of mandatory bike/gear check in to get my things together.  It was less stressful for me that way.  Getting everything ready and checking off the items on my list as I went was just a crazy process.  It is just amazing what goes in to getting it all ready!

These are all of my bags and gear layed out in my room.  My mom and sister came in while I was getting everything organized and went "Oh my God!  It really is a huge process isn't it?"  They really had NO IDEA what was involved in getting ready for my IM.  I don't think anyone truly understands the extent of preparation until you've either gone through it yourself or spectated at an IM.  I know I sure didn't!!!


My awesome bike ready and waiting!



We headed down to the race site and I was surprised that I didn't have to wait in line at all!  I guess we picked a good time to go!  I racked my bike, said a little goodbye to it, then headed to gear drop off.


 







 This is a picture of the bike gear bags.  I put a strip of bright blue tape on all of my bags so it would be easier to find on race day.  Lots of people had the same idea, and those bags definitely stood out!

I have to say that the people that put on these IM races really have it down to a science!  It's a good thing too because basically, you don't have to think.  You just go where they tell you and do what they say.  Everything was just so organized and because I tend to be an organizational freak, it really helped keep my stress level down! 

Before we left, I took one last look around knowing that Sunday morning things would look a whole lot different!



Run Gear Bags lined up so neatly

Race Morning:
   My husband and I stayed at a hotel close to the race site the night before to alleviate some of the stress of race morning.  It was awesome.  We got up at 4:15A, I ate my pre-race breakfast of overnight oats (recipe coming soon!), checked my gear bags one last time, and headed out.  As we went through the lobby, we saw a group of athletes waiting for the shuttle to take them to the start.  We all wished each other good luck, then we got in our car and headed out.

   I was kind of nervous at this point, but it hadn't hit me yet that I was doing my IM today!  I was just going through the motions and trying to stay calm and relaxed.  We got to the transition area and I had to enter the "athlete" only gated area while my husband waited outside.  I put my last minute stuff in my gear bags, checked in my special needs bags, and headed towards my bike.

   The line to use the pump was sooo long and I was grateful that I brought my own pump with me.  The only problem though was that my husband had it and I didn't know where he was.  I ended up borrowing someone's phone to call him and eventually we found each other!!  I pumped up my tires, shared it with some other athletes around me, then went back to find my husband.  I was soo happy that he was there with me.  I was a little scatter brained and he was my "rock" that morning, keeping me calm and on top of things.  I don't know what I would have done without him there!  I left him briefly to visit the port-a-potties, which took FOREVER! You would think that with 2800 nervous athletes they would have tons and tons of port-a-potties, but I guess there are only so many you can fit in a certain area.
    Before I knew it, it was time to get into my wetsuit.  It was at this point that all of this was becoming REAL!  I got my wetsuit on, grabbed my goggles, swim cap, and ear plugs, and put all my morning stuff in a bag, which I handed to my husband.  Over the fence he wished me good luck, gave me a kiss, and then I JUST LOST IT!!  I just started crying.  I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn't stop.  All of the training, time, and sacrifices had finally come down to this moment and it was just so overwhelming.  I was SCARED, anxious, nervous, and excited all at the same time.   All of those emotions mixed together just made me a HUGE MESS!  I was scared of the swim, scared of the cold water, scared of the kicks/punches/grabs that I knew I would experience during the swim, and just scared of the unknown.  BUT, I was excited to finally get it going!  I didn't know what lay ahead of me, but I DID know that I WAS going to be an Ironman at the end of the day...no matter what!  

30 comments:

SSB said...

Oh y gosh! Reading this it sounds just like me at IMAZ in 2008. My sister was shocked at all the bags and I stood on the wall crying until a friend pulled me into the water. I can't wait to read the rest of your report.

Alisa said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, I figured this would be a 3-4 part blog posting session. I cannot wait to hear all about it and the awesomeness.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

THis was an awesome post, I can feel your emotion through your words

I cant wait for the rest of it

Congrats, Ironman

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Great post! Can't wait for the rest! SO cool reading this b/c I know exactly what you were thinking and feeling.

Deb said...

So exciting! I can't wait to hear the rest.

Emz said...

and
I'mmmmmmmmmmm
crying
already.

Holy. crap. you. amaze. me.
I'll bring tissues to the computer tomorrow.

Jill said...

YAY!! I can't even tell you how proud I am of you! So glad your husband was there to help you, that had to be comforting! Looking forward to the rest :). Hope you're enjoying your downtime!!

Beth said...

YAY!!!! I am at the edge of my seat with anticipation to read how the rest of your race went!!!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Just wanted to congratulate you. You did AMAZING! I tracked you and felt so happy about your performance.

Christi said...

Great post! I can't wait to read the rest!

Erika said...

I can not wait to read more! I am signed up for IMAZ 2012 and am already nervously excited for it! Thanks for sharing your story!!

Colleen said...

I love this already!!!!

You are totally right... until you experience all the bags and stuff laid out and the lists upon lists, you just can't fully wrap your head around it! :)

I totally am with you when you said you bawled after kissing the hubs. EVERY.SINGLE.IRONMAN.FOR.ME! It never changes. There are just so many emotions!!!! Can't wait to read the rest!

trifitmom said...

can't wait to hear it all !!!! i was almost crying when you said you lost it !!!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

congrats Ironman! Cannot wait for the rest ..get typin' hehe

Dawn said...

Like a book you want to keep reading...hope you're writing now:)
(I lost it at my little Oly distance, I can't imagine an IM!)

Whitney said...

Ooh, the suspense! I can't wait to read the rest of your report. I thought of you on Sunday as I was checking on times of other athletes.

J. L. said...

So exciting! I was quite happy to see Emz posting where she said she saw you. Miss Ironman! Looking forward to the rest of the story.

Kathy said...

I am right now in your last paragraph land. Scared to death and actually in denial. I think we'll just go for a little ferry ride on Friday and see what's happening over on la isla. Course the radio has been blasting ironman stuff all week, so that's no help.

Hope you had a great race!

Anne-Marie said...

I remember feeling the same way at Louisville!

I signed up for IM AZ 2012, so I'm really looking forward to the rest of your race report!! :)

Julie said...

And then?!?!?!?!?!?! :)

I can't believe it was right up until the last minute before it became real.

Can't wait for the rest! Oh and I love overnight oats! What a great pre race breakfast, especially when you are not at home!

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

I am going to have to try that waiting until day of to pack..
I always load it up, check it twice, check it thrice... break the strings, panic, check it a fourth time... and that's in the first two hours....
Can't wait for the rest!!

Missy said...

I saw you out there on the run, right by the transition. I cheered and yelled your name. You looked strong and confident I hope it was a great race for you. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Caratunk Girl said...

Oh man. I can't wait for the rest!!!!

Teamarcia said...

Oh man, so exciting. I was a crying mess at the start of my first marathon. I'd probably need sedation if I ever did an IM.
Cannot wait to read the rest!

Kristin said...

Great post! So true when the realization hits you right before the swim!! I was a crying mess too!! Cant wait to read the rest!

Kevin @ HalfTRIing said...

Great post. I hope to be doing one one day. Can't wait for the rest of the story.

Kevin
HalfTRIing.blogspot.com

Jason said...

This was awesome. I could feel as if I were there with you. I felt all your emotions and your organizational skills to just get to the start.

Can't wait for the rest.

mamoose124 said...

Very impressive! I can't even imagine the willpower required to train for an Ironman,much less competing in one. I can't get myself to exercise daily on my mountain bike. So, how did you perform in the competition?

Jon said...

Wow! It really hit you at the last possible moment! This brings back memories. I am shaking just thinking about it!

All of those people is SO overwhelming!

Ironman By Thirty said...

I'm just getting caught up on my blog reading now. Wow, this is bringing back so many good memories!

It is amazing how much needs to be done and how well it comes together.