Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Days Leading up to 2012 Ironman Florida

It's hard to even start to write this post - just 3 days since I completed the longest race of my life.  After a year of planning, over 400 hours of training, more money than I wish to add up and buckets of sweat - I am an Ironman!  This is just the PRE race report, the next post will just focus on race day!

I arrived in Panama City Beach on Wednesday morning and spent the better part of the morning sorting out the accommodations which was more stressful than it needed to be.  Once I got into the condo, the breathtaking view made all that stress disappear!

I registered on Wednesday afternoon, picked up my bike and got my rented race wheels.  Everything went smoothly with no line ups.  The atmostphere at Ironman village was awesome and the volunteers were so supportive!  I was planning on swimming on Wednesday but the surf was huge so I put it off to Thursday.    Mom and dad came on Wednesday and we went out for a nice steak dinner.

Thursday morning I woke with a bit of sore throat and a head full of snot - the makings of a sinus infection.  I tired to cast it aside and go on with my day.  The surf was still rough but I decided to head on down and join the other athletes that were heading out for a practice swim plus a bit of salt water might be the cure to the oncoming cold!

The surf was still very rough!  I made my way out through the breaking waves, practising diving under the waves and swimming.  My heart rate was sky-rocking and the swim was sucking a lot of energy out of me so I decided to only swim for about  10 minutes.  I felt like conserving my energy was more important and at least I got a feel for swimming through the break waves.   Everyone you talked to agreed the surf would lay down by Saturday ... we hoped!

I picked the family up from the airport on Thursday afternoon and Barry, Griffin and Carole joined me at the athletes welcoming dinner and meeting.  I was not impressed with the food or the set up for this dinner but did enjoy the presentation.  

I slept a little better on Thursday night thanks to some night-time advil but I woke with a full blown sinus infection on Friday morning.  This was suboptimal to say the least but it was out of my control.  I decided that taking sinus meds was not a great idea as they can make me a little loopy and effect my balance.  So I decided to use a nasal spray that is not good for you but brings pretty much instant relief.  

Friday was a bit of blur getting ready for race day.  I started the day with another short swim in the ocean.  It was a bit calmer but I still only swam for about 15 minutes.  Then I decided to go ahead and check my bike and gear.  I was under the impression that once I checked my gear bags I wouldn't see them until race day but it turns out you have access to your gears bags whenever transition is open!  Good to know!
nice rack!
Bike Gear Bags

Run Gear Bags
After we got all my gear checked we headed back to the condo and then met up with the family for lunch on the pier at Pinapple Willy's.  The food was ok but the atmosphere was great!
A lesson every true Floridian knows!
I spent the afternoon alone resting in the condo, trying to think of anything BUT the day to come.  However, I think all I did was run through the race in my head over and over and over again.  It was a beautiful sunny day and I would have loved to have been hanging by the pool or at the beach with everyone else but I knew that was not good for racing!

Friday night Mom cooked a nice spaghetti dinner.  So nice to have a good home cooked meal the night before something I always miss when we are at out of town races!
SO nice to have a home cooked meal the night before!
I don't recall being very nervous.  More than anything I felt like I was forgettign something or that I just wasn't prepared right even though I was.  I felt like my special needs bags didn't have much in them and I just kept thinking I had to be forgetting something.  After dinner I said my good nights to the kids and my folks and they retired to their condo and I completed getting ready for the day to come.
preparing my nutrition for the bike
I crawled into bed shortly after 9 for the long sleepless night ahead....

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