Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ironman North Carolina 70.3

Well this has been an odd season for me.  Several of my favorite races that also coincided with my training as marker races to see how I was progressing were cancelled.  This threw me in all sorts of a tailwind.  In addition to all that, I started to loose my focus and passion for this sport towards the last two months leading up to Ironman (IM) North Carolina (NC).

It could have been the copious amounts of travel I was doing for work, roughly 22 days a month.  After all, it was insanely frustrating to not have the equipment I needed.  When you needed a bike and all the hotel has in a recumbent bike, and there is not a gym for miles, well...it sucks.  I got in plenty of runs on hotel treadmills but I seriously probably missed 70-80% of my swim and bike training sessions the last two months.

I decided I was out way too much money for IMNC 70.3 that I was not going to back out.  I also knew that my drive to not quit anything was strong and that I could make my mind get through my first Ironman 70.3.  Despite the fact that a devastating hurricane just came thru the state a few days before.  I thought to myself, I'm mentally rock solid, now my body may not be but mentally I can do this.  I've always heard that this journey is as much mental as it was physical.  Well I was about to put that to the test.  All I could imagine was that I was going to be that guy crawling across the finish line and everyone was cheering me on, only for me to stand up and they realize it was only a half-ironman and then be booed out of Wilmington!

Anywho, the journey has started and I decided to go down a day earlier than the rest of the family, as they didn't want to miss school and frankly I wanted to time to freak out privately and through a hissy fit about doing this for the first time.

So off I went for the roughly 5 hour drive to Wilmington, NC to get checked in to our hotel and the event itself.  The drive took way longer than expected and my legs were hurting from the constant braking  and pressing the gas.  Maybe an omen to what would occur two days from now.  I finally got to the hotel, a little too late to make the registration on Thursday, by like two minutes....I was bummed.

I woke up Friday morning first thing and headed over to get registered.  Plenty of time I thought as I still needed to prep my bike get stuff to transition areas and all that fun stuff.  Well I walk in and a line is out the door.  All in all, a two hour wait just to register.  Well there went the plans for the day, walking the expo without kids asking a million questions or knocking things over, that's out the window.  What was now in session was a sprint distance triathlon for the day to get everything set up.  Oh, I didn't mention the two different transition areas a mere 10-15 miles apart from each other.  That was a first for me.

Then I headed over to rack the old bike and the volunteers were absolutely fantastic.  One of the reasons I chose IMNC was that I knew the volunteers would be great and showing true southern hospitality.

Then I drove back over to T2 to drop off the bags for the run course.  Did I mention all the IM bags?  Geez, there were a lot!  Makes me really appreciate the ones with just one transition area.  Okay, now back to the room to rest from my mini sprint triathlon of setting everything up.  More to follow later on the actual race and my experience there.  Its been a month and I'm still trying to process all of this.