Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Big Giant Long Race Report Coming Soon

Maybe tomorrow, depending on how quiet things are with work.  And how fast ASI gets their race photos posted.  For now, a little pre-race report...

Saturday's practice swim was a good indicator of how the lake would feel on race day (not bad, not TOO cold, faster going out than coming back).
 After that I dried off and got in line for bike/bag check-in.  I ran into Jen and Jerome Harrison on their way to swim at that point and then again when they came back from the swim.  You know how some people you never manage to find in a race this big and some people you see over and over and over in a crowd of thousands?  Jen was that someone for me this weekend!

Checking in my bike (nerd in line on time = first bike on the rack!)
 And dropping off gear bags..

 We met up with most of the spectathlete crew (minus my aunt and uncle who were tailgating the ASU-UofA game) for dinner at Nourish in Scottsdale the night before the race.  I know Jeff wasn't really a fan but it was a great place to get a gluten-free dinner the night before the race that fueled me up well.

I stayed up to watch the Sharks game (BIG win over Dallas - woohoo!) and then fell asleep pretty fast, while walking through my race plan (yet again) in my head.  I only woke up about 30 minutes before my 4:00 alarm and dozed till 3:50, then slowly woke up while lying in bed thinking about the day ahead.  After that I hopped out of bed, ate breakfast, coated my entire body in sunblock (which worked well, no sunburn at all!) and got dressed.  A quick walk for the dogs and then Meredith and I were off to transition, with Jeff to join us shortly thereafter with my friend Sara.  Dropped off my special needs bags (ran into Jen and Jerome Harrison on my way there), loaded my bottles on the bike, filled my tires, and I was pretty much done in transition.  Time to get body marked, hit up the portapotty line one last time (and stood in line with who else but...Jen Harrison) and go hang out with the gang!

 I am still amazed at how calm I was that morning.  I just focused on executing my race plan and what I had to do each step of the way and it kept my mind occupied.  When it was time to get going, I gave everyone a hug, dropped my morning clothes bag off (and ran into Jen Harrison AGAIN - Jen, are you stalking me?), and joined the masses waiting at the timing mat in transition.  Thankfully I ran into Lisa and her friends so we could chat for a bit before they let us down to the lake.
 Once the pros were all in the water and warming up, they let the age groupers cross the mat and begin jumping off the dock into the water.  I held back for a couple minutes and then got on with it - put my goggles on, sat on the edge of the dock, and dropped into the water.  Cold, yes, but not nearly as bad as I expected nor as bad as IM AZ 2009.

 I gradually warmed up with a nice easy swim up to the start line and then just floated there...watching the crowd, everyone on the bridge above us, and the beginnings of the sunrise on the horizon, singing the national anthem, woop-wooping loudly for the "you're going to be an Ironman today!" from Mike Reilly.  The bodies around me seemed to back off from the start line all of a sudden (did everyone panic about being near the front?) and it got more crowded at the same time.  I knew from last time there is no countdown to the start so I had a good idea we were close when things got quiet.

 And then...BOOM! went the cannon and we were off!


Freementia said...

I tracked you all day. My wife and I are so proud of you. YOU ROCK MOLLY!!!

Maggs said...

Can't wait to read all the details. Please also post some new Puck pictures.

Aimee said...

Awesome post!! I got body marked by the same guy...ha ha! I loved your swim start pics...I may have to steal them for my post! :)

Caratunk Girl said...

YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!! I can't wait to get the deets!

Meredith said...

Yay! Super proud of you! Thank you for letting me tag along with you all weekend. It's such an amazing experience to watch.

Meera said...

You are so awesome! Its amazing looking at the turbulence line created by the swimmers in comparison to the calm water the kayaks were hanging out in. Bravo!

Jennifer said...

Super cool! Can't wait to read more!