I woke up this morning and it was cool and calm. I headed down to Tempe Town Lake for the “Gatorade Swim”, which I will call a misnomer because you in fact DO NOT swim in either a lake or even endless pool of Gatorade, it’s just plain old water. Anyhow, I survived this minor setback and was able to meet Wendy and her brother Brent, who is also doing IMAZ. Wendy came down from Canada just to cheer me on…well, ok, she probably came to cheer her brother and visit relatives but I’m loitering in the general vicinity so she did at least promise to blow a kazoo or something if I happen to be around. Brent flew in from the Grand Cayman Islands just to race with me…I think…maybe he just wanted to do the race for his own reasons…ANYHOW, it was fun meeting them as it has always been fun meeting tri bloggers.
I also met up with a few Outlaws, also just loitering, and Brent risked doing the swim with us. Of course none of us Outlaws had swim caps so there we were throwing care to the wind swimming without caps while everyone else was sporting the old skull condom. It cause quite a stir let me tell you. The swim felt great and I was able to jump in without pealing the top of my foot off, which I considered quite an accomplishment and now feel like I have conquered most of the race. My new QR wetsuit was awesome, yes Bigun, today was the first time I ever slipped this puppy on…but I didn’t try it new on race day!
After the swim we spent a goodly sum of time registering and then wandering through the expo. I hate to report that this was quite a let down. The registration process at the Soma half-iron was WAY more efficient and the expo…let me see…the GEEKGRL will understand when I say it was about like the one at the Lost Dutchman Marathon, which was fine for a small marathon…rated one of the best small marathons in the U.S. by Runners World in 2005, but this is an Ironman for gods sake. The expo at P.F. Chang’s Rock-n-Roll Arizona Marathon must eat Ironman expos for breakfast…now THAT’S and expo. To add insult to injury, the only item I wanted to purchase was an IMAZ cycling jersey and all they had were mediums, smalls and extra-smalls…they said their larges and extra-larges “didn’t come in yet”…WTF! We all had to pay for this puppy ONE YEAR IN ADVANCE…did that not provide enough time for prior PLANNING?
There was little else of interest unless you wanted coffee mugs, water bottles…that you could not use on the bike or run, towels, caps, t-shirts sweaters etc…I just stalked off thinking “I’ll get my t-shirt and a medal after the race, I’m not buying any of this junk. Who knows, maybe I’ll go buy some junk tomorrow but right now I’m a little peeved.
This afternoon we also went and drove the bike course. It looks pretty smooth but the uphill section is steeper than I had imagined it would be…oh well, it’ll give me something to do. Also, Outlaw Maria “Go Go” Ladd’s husband is with her and has apparently been fiendishly watching the Weather Channel so, unfortunately, he is Johnny on the spot with detailed weather updates. Sunday is supposed to be a high of 77, YEA! with sustained winds of 20 mph with gusts to 34 BOOO! At least it won’t be and windy at the Redman, at least if these forecasts hold. We also went for a very short 8.5 mile ride along a section of the course. That went fine too.
Finally, I attended the pre-race dinner and the mandatory athlete’s meeting and only really have one thing to report because I think it might serve as motivation for Duane. They had what they called “The biggest looser” competition and asked everyone to stand who had lost 30 or more pounds during their IM training and then the kept going up, 40, 50, 60 etc…with fewer and fewer people standing. The last person standing had lost 170 in 13 months! The amazing thing to me is that the guy now weighs 160…he lost more weight than he currently weighs! So they brought him up on stage, talked to him a little and everyone cheered…and then they gave him a giant basket of…COOKIES! I don’t know about you but I would take that as a slap in the face. Maybe that’s my own personal issue because when I was far more overweight than I am now I got SICK of everyone offering me whatever food happened to be left from the meal. “Hey, you look like you could eat some more, do you want some of this, pie, casserole, jello, biscuits and gravy” etc…
Anyhow, they also brought up the two oldest and youngest athletes, 18 yo guy, 20 yo gal, 73 yo guy, 74 yo gal. Pretty cool. They also introduced a guy from Mexico who holds the record as the only person to have done an IM everywhere they are held. He is currently on his 48th IM!
It was a long day and I have to admit I got a pretty bad headache and a little grumbly…I need a good night sleep and a more relaxing day tomorrow.