It has been a whirlwind since I arrived in Madison on Thursday. Between registering for the race, spending a small fortune on Ironman merchandise, eating, driving the bike course, packing my transition bags for the race, reevaluating what I put in my transition bags, eating, getting in a few short quick workouts, eating and getting my bike and transition bags checking in this morning, there hasn't been a lot of free time.
After a slight delay in my flight from Chicago to Madison, I made it to Madison where my friend Carolyn picked me up at the airport. She had made it here safely, with my bike and some of my gear on Wednesday. We stopped by my hotel to check in, and then headed to The Great Dane, a local favorite restaurant for a meal. We were both starving! Then, we made our way over to the Expo to check out the Ironman merchandise. My plan to not buy anything failed miserably when I saw this year's jersey and shorts. They were too cool to pass up!
Friday morning, I met up with some of the KC gang for a quick swim in Lake Mendota and a short run. The water was super choppy, so I had no interest in staying out there very long. I was told by several people that there was a front passing through, and as soon as it passed the water would be like glass. I hoped they were telling me the truth. After our workout we went to register. We had to sign our lives away, get weighed and they provided us with our race numbers, transition and special needs bags along with a cool Ironman backpack, a license plate holder and the commemorative poster. That afternoon, we piled in a car and drove the bike course. It was a good refresher. I remembered quite a bit of the course, but there were a few spots I was glad I saw again. Now I just need to remember where they fall during the race so I make sure I have my gears in the right position. Friday night, we went to the all you can eat pasta.
Today was the really busy day. We got up for a short bike ride to make sure the race wheels were working properly. I was really proud of myself for being able to get the back wheel off and on all by myself in less than 10 minutes. I wasn't able to get the gears adjusted properly though so that meant a trip to the mechanic at the bike check in. After the ride, I walked over to Einstein Brothers Bagels to grab some breakfast and to pick up a bagel for race morning. While I waited for my parents to arrive, I finished packing my transition bags, trying to mentally go through everything I need for the race tomorrow. Hopefully, I didn't forget anything. Mom and Dad made it to the hotel just as I was finishing up, so we made the walk to check in my bike.
After waiting in line for 45 minutes to get my gears adjusted, the rest of the check in went quickly. We grabbed lunch, and then headed to Jefferson, Wisc. to check out the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival (It can't all be about triathlon, right?). There were lots of fun things to look at and be inspired by for my post-Ironman life.
We just got back from dinner with the gang from Tulsa. I'll be doing one last run through of all of my gear and getting ready for bed soon. The alarm will be going off at 4 a.m. Ugh. It's the start of a long, long day.
So, why Almost Perfect? The weather here in Madison is amazing. Today was a high of 76 and at 6:30, it was just amazing. It feels like the beginning of fall. The lake was like glass. Gorgeous! More of the same is predicted for tomorrow. Perfection! I love racing in this type of weather. Everything else has come together without a hitch, except for me. I've been fighting a cold since the beginning of this week, and the last couple of days I've felt really lethargic and congested. My short run on Thursday should have been easy, but I was really short of breath. And I haven't had a decent night of sleep since I've been here because I wake myself up with coughing fits. I've been taking some decongestants, which have helped a bit, but I'm not back to full speed yet. I'm not so concerned about the swim and the bike, but I have a feeling the run is going to hurt more than I expect. Basically, I'm hoping for a miraculous overnight recovery.
So, that's it. Time to do the last minute check of everything so I can get to bed. Hopefully, my next post will be written by an Ironman times 2.