Wednesday, September 06, 2006

IMC 2006 Race Report (continued)

Just for Carole (she knows who she is)

I drove up to Penticton on Wednesday. Seems I always feel like I'm in a hurry, even when I'm not. There was plenty of time to get to Penticton, but I felt the need to get there lickety-split which means I was speeding most of my way there. When I finally arrived, I figured I'd averaged about 65 mph the whole way there. Considering some of the roads I was on, that was pretty fast. Darned lead foot.

Once I arrived, I checked into my hotel, put some of my things away, and decided to walk down to the Ironman village to see what was up. Not too many athletes had arrived yet, so the hustle and bustle activity was at a minimum. I snooped around the merchandise tents, and bought a polar bottle and some CO2 cartridges.

Then I walked back to my room, taking a picture of the infamous "peach" along the way. When in Penticton and someone says they'll meet you at the peach, this is what they are talking about. It's right on the beach and you simply cannot miss it.

Wednesday evening was spent just relaxing and reading a book. Reading is something I enjoy tremendously, but finding the time to read while working full time and training for an Ironman is next to impossible. However, one of my co-workers had suggested I might enjoy reading Ken Follet's, "Pillars of the Earth," and loaned me his copy. I read the first paragraph while at work and knew I would be completely and totally engaged in the story. I vowed to use my spare time pre- and post-race to read the book and I'm not sorry I did.

I spoke to my coach, briefly. We concentrated our conversation on my nutrition (which is something I'm still working on dialing in) and hydration plan for the bike and run. She told me to figure out how many more calories I was going to need for the bike (what I'd told her previously hadn't satisfied her) and we talked about how I could carry that many. So that night I also spent trying to figure out my calorie and electrolyte needs.

Thursday, I got up early and met Lori and Darin "at the peach" for an early morning swim. Lori is both a friend and training partner and has also competed in two Ironman's, but it was her husband, Darin, that would be doing his first Ironman. He had only just learned to swim within the last year, so getting through an Ironman swim was going to be a challenge. I'm very pleased to say he did really well.

After our swim, I headed back to my hotel room where I changed and prepared for a short bike. I went out on the IMC run course for about 8 or 9 miles then turned around and went back. On the way out, I felt good and was encouraged by how fast I was going. I figured since I was lakeside that I must be on a slight, albeit imperceptible, downhill. Then, again, the thought occurred to me that my taper was doing wonders for my bike speed. HA! I should have known better. The answer to my speedy ride was answered when I turned around. I'd failed to notice how choppy the lake was, but I can assure you, I took notice when I turned around as I had a rather brisk wind in my face.

Later that day I went back to pick up my packet. I got weighed. That was fun for a change as I weighed considerably less at this race than I did at last year's race. I would love to have seen what the scale said immediately after my race. I'm sure we all drop a lot of weight (mostly water).

Friday was a short run day and I did a few strides along the Okanagen River. During the summer, thousands of people float down the Okanagen River (more like a slough) from Okanagen Lake to Skaha Lake. It's not a white water ride or anything. In fact, it's quite leisurely. There is a business at the start of the river that rents out floats. At the other end, is a bus that takes everyone back to the start. One of these days I'm actually going to float that river!

Friday night was the carbo dinner. My hotel was close enough to the Penticton Trade and Convention center that I could walk to it. I got in line with thousands of other athletes. I felt a little lonely as there was no one else there that I knew, or if I did, I didn't know where they were. I did my best to strike up a conversation with the other athletes in the line. All night, I found myself explaining that, "no this isn't my first ironman...I DNF'd last year...I came back to take my revenge on the course." By the time the awards banquet came around, I was at least able to say, "no this isn't my first Ironman, but it's the first one I finished" with a very large smile on my face.

I'm always touched and inspired by all the athletes at the carbo dinner. I saw a man with pink hair. Funny, I saw the same man at the Super JocknJill Half Marathon two weeks later. That pink hair and wild tights are a little hard to miss. I have no idea who he is. Anyway, at least one of the athletes at the dinner had done over 20 Ironman Canada's. That's impressive.

Saturday was a very lazy day for me. I only had a 15 minute swim and a 15 minute bike. After I did my bike ride, I had to check my gear bags and bike into the transition area. Later that day, Darcy met up with me and I nuked my pre-race dinner. We chatted while my dinner cooked and she hung around while I ate. She left early in the evening as she also need to get something to eat and I wanted my quiet time. I was eerily calm this year. Last year, I had been so fraught with nerves I was unable to sleep or eat in the days leading up to the race. I think it's because I knew deep down in my heart of hearts that I wasn't really ready last year. This year was different. I'd done the training. I had put an extra thousand miles on my bike. This year, I was ready.

Sure, I still had doubts, but Pat didn't. Neither did my coach. They both tried to reassure me by telling me that I'd put in the training this year. Last year I hadn't done everthing that I needed to do. This year, I had.

Finally, it was 9:00 on Saturday night and I'm really enjoying the story I'm reading. Then it dawns on me. Hey, have a race in the morning! Like, hello? You need to turn out the lights and get some sleep. Before I do, I go to the door and look out at all the rooms around me (I had a pool view and all the doors opened onto the pool, so I could see them). Not a one of them still had a light shining. They were all dark. Everyone had gone to bed. So did I.


At 6:51 PM, Blogger carolj uttered...

Thanks for the teaser start, Puddy! Looking forward to the rest!

At 6:55 AM, Blogger Ironayla uttered...

Me too! I keep checking every day :)

At 5:11 AM, Blogger Tinkerbell uttered...

me tooooo

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Cliff uttered...

Puddyrat, I look forward to th enext few posts.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger KLN uttered...

Keep it coming, PR!

At 6:44 PM, Blogger carolj uttered...

Aw, c'mon Puddy, just a little bit more? Pretty please?? :-)

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Al-Anon Lifer uttered...

Hello - Just created my blog this last week and reaching out to make friends with those with similar interests - we have two that are published (although I wish I was an iron woman!!) - our 12-step program and the movie Braveheart. Hope to hear from you...

At 10:06 AM, Blogger JonesTriathlete uttered...

Give us more...Great swim Pud!


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