Saturday, August 12, 2017

Here we go again

Here we go again.....
For those following my Ironman path, the above video, taken less than an hour to start of Ironman Florianopolis, should come as no surprise.  Why should things be any different on my pursuit for the 6th Ironman finish as my 1st Sprint Race?   Here we go again.........

I left Colorado with, what I thought, a very solid game plan.....Two-Eight-Seven.  I packed up Bella and off we took for Brasil.
Three planes and over 25 hours later we landed in Florianopolis for the South American Ironman Championships.

I arrived in Brasil the Wednesday before the race.  Just enough time to get the lay of the land, check out parts of the course and handle registration. I spent most of Wednesday organizing myself, unpacking and stressing my body to be in sync with the time zone change.  I attempted to stay awake through my travels and straight through Wednesday night.  This way I could crash hard Wednesday night and wake up Thursday aligned with the local time.  Thursday morning, after breakfast, I left the hotel and walked to the swim start.  My hotel was just off the beach and I wanted to figure out how I would get to the starting line for Sunday.  I got to race starting line and met up with fellow Boulderite Sandi.
Sandi and I after our prerace swims
She had just gotten in from her swim.  My goal was to do a 25 minute easy swim.  Just to, you know wake the body up.  Well, strong currents and my stubbornness to get a feel of the course and water pushed that to 45 minutes.  A bit more exertion then I had wanted.  Oh well......registration was up next.
Traditional Registration Pictures 

#2241 is now registered and in the house.  I walked around the athletes village and checked out the transition area.  It is a 1 transition area race.  This is nice as it makes prerace bag drops easier and also great for spectators.  The weather was iffy, Hazy, Hot and Humid one minutes, chilly and breezy the next.  Friday was the race briefing so another trip to the Athletes Village to do such.  Later in the afternoon, I took Bella out for a spin.  We prerode parts of the course.  Just about an hour or so.  I did a full inspection of her parts and double and triple checked my power meter and Garmin connection.  My last IM in Brazil saw me race with no power meter readings as my Garmin and power tap decided they didn't want to talk with one another.  I didn't want to go through that again.  All was fine!!
Riding through the neighborhood to loosen up the legs

OK so you may have to turn your head sideways for this bike video.

It was a real nice ride to loosen the legs up.  At night, I went to the prerace athletes dinner and then the skies opened up.  Holy cow did the skies open up.  It was a thunder and lightening show for the ages that went through the night.  It didn't appear that the rain would cease anytime soon.  Not only did the rain appear non stop on Friday evening but my old Iron Buddy Hal flew down from Rio to join along in the Ironman festivities over night as well.  Hal got an early morning run in and we met up afterward for breakfast.
A little lunch and a lot of catching up
We spent the day catching up and getting things ready for the race.

Later in the day, the rain had stopped for a bit and we decided to take Bella in for bike drop.  We caught a shuttle to the Athletes Village and waited on a fairly long line.
Bringing Bella to the bike drop
We got up to the front only to find out that we needed to have my bike helmet with me for check in.  So back to the hotel we went to get my bike helmet and the rain began to come down once again.  Turn ourselves around and back to the Athletes Village we go for a second time.
I'm baaaack, this time with my helmet
We get up to the front of the line to find out we are a little over an hour early to my scheduled bike drop time and they wont allow me to check in early.  Now we are waiting outside in the cold pouring rain.  We are not the only ones that this occurred to as race officials pulled anyone that arrived early off to the side and made us stand there and wait.  It might have been a good idea to have someone at the checkpoint of the beginning of the line as people waited well over an hour on line to get up to the front to be told they needed to wait an additional hour outside in the cold rain at 8pm the night before their ironman race.  Needless to say tempers were rising as the crowd grew restless and angry.  Although I wasn't part of that drama, I had my own side story going on.  My back kept tightening up. I spent the better part of the last several hours, the night before an Ironman, standing on lines in the cold rain and my back was not having fun with this.  Typically the day prior to a race, I like to take care of my errands early, get off my feet, hydrate, eat my prerace meal and call it a day.  This was not going to happen this race.  Although I tried to remain in good spirits, inside I was thinking....maybe I'll just stay in bed tomorrow.  I don't know how my back will hold up racing tomorrow if I can barely move right now.
Hal, Bella and I along with thousands of other bikes
A slight break in the rain as I put Bella down for the night.  I was at least grateful that they gave us all plastic bags to cover our bikes so that they weren't exposed to the elements through the evening.  I kissed my girl and whispered to her that tomorrow we ride again.  Ironman starting line #8.  We dropped out together a few months ago on our last attempt at approx mile 60 on the bike due to back pains.  How I wanted to finish IM Florianopolis with her tomorrow.  But at this moment in time, I had serious doubts I would ever get to clip into her peddles after the swim.

One long ass night was over.  The night before a race unlike any I had ever seen before.  My Ironbuddy Hal was right there besides me the entire time.   Cold and wet we finished officially getting me all set for the race and went back to the hotel for my traditional prerace pasta meal.  Unfortunately the waiter stated there was no red wine to be had as I customarily have the night before a race.  Even though I saw glasses being served at other tables by other waiters.  I was too tired and aggravated to argue and just wanted my room and bed.  I still needed to put my nutrition together and get my head into the game if I was going to have any chance of putting another notch  on my IM belt.