Saturday, July 16, 2011

4th of July Ironman 70.3 Muncie week

******Pictures to be added eventually.  I am over a month behind on adding pictures, but wanted to at least get the thoughts down before they escape me. Ugh******

This week was crazy, but probably not the way it should have been.  This was the week before the movers came to pack up our stuff, so we should have been crazy busy cleaning and organizing.  What did we do instead?  We had a great 4th of July (which was started on the 3rd), and I skipped out of town all by myself with no kids (a first for me!) to do the Ironman 70.3 Muncie, in Indiana.

Monday was the 4th of July, so we got up and went to Northville for their 4th of July parade.  We got pretty good seats in the shade, except the kids needed to be closer up to get candy.  A really nice family let me and the kids sit in front of them on the curb.  We were pretty excited to see the newly announced Presidential Candidate Thaddeus McCotter walking in the parade.  It was pretty classy how he did not have any campaign hoopla, just his representative banner that he usually has in the parade.  The other major highlight was the unicycle group.  They had the tallest unicycles we had ever seen.  The kids really enjoyed that too, and talked about it for a while.

After the parade, we had lunch at Poole's Tavern, which was right across the street from where we watched the parade.  We also went to Maybury so Ryan could ride and I could run. 

We finished off the day with our final dip in the Olde Orchard swimming pool.

On Tuesday, I got up and hit the gym.  This was my final swim before Muncie, and boy was it horribly slow!  We went back to Maybury for another run/ride session again this evening.

Also, while going through things (which we did on an ongoing basis all week), I came across some washer fluid.  Great, since I was out in my car, I would just use it up!  Ha ha.  What happened next was very unfortunate and frustrating.  I went to pop my hood and pulled on the interior release.  Nothing happened.  I pulled harder, and SNAP went the cable.  Fabulous.  I also needed an oil change, so I called around to see if our usual place would take a look at it, and they couldn't get me in until the next week AND wasn't able to order any Mazda parts (stupid foreign car built in MI).  I got an appt with the Mazda dealership where a friend's husband works.  I have not been thrilled with the service from the one where I got my mazda, so I figured why not try theirs?  It just wasn't super close.

Wednesday morning we get up bright and early to go to the Mazda dealership.  It was such a racket, although I doubt the experience at the other place would have been any better, they probably would have broken something else while they were at it.  The got my hood open, but in doing so, made the vehicle undriveable because they had to remove the "broken" (rusted) hood latch to do it.  Of course they didn't have the parts, so I had to call Ryan and have him come and get me and the kids.  It wasn't like I didn't have a lot to do today either.  I ended up taking Ryan to work so I could drive around and collect forms I had dropped off last week to the Dr and dentist for Keira to attend school in KY.  Thankfully, that went a lot faster than I expected.  I guess only so many things can get messed up in one day, this part had to go well, and the day improved.  I was able to get Ryan picked up from work in time for me to go riding with Valerie, my last ride before Muncie, and my last casual ride at Island Lake, perhaps for a really long time.  I am supposed to do 1 more race there, if things align.   I was also able to get home in time for all of us to head out to Ann Arbor so that Ryan could get his hair cut as well as Keira's bangs.  Soren did not want any part of a haircut this evening, so he didn't really get one.

On Thursday, since I did not have a car today, we spent most of the day trying to sort out the kids room.  We were advised to have everything grouped together that would be going in the same room in the new house.  Since things were going to either Keira's, Soren's, or the playroom, I needed to come up with 3 divisions, as well as figure out which clothes I wanted for the 2 weeks when everything was in storage.  Keira and Soren both dressed up like princesses to keep themselves occupied and out of the toys.  It was as a result of the princess dresses that we lost Soren's keen sandal temporarily.  It drove me crazy because I knew I had seen it in the morning, and we had set out a bunch of items to be donated that I was super stressed that it fell in there, but I don't know how.  It eventually turned up, hanging in the closet by its velcro strap to the Cinderalla dress.  The dress got set down on the shoes, and one stuck.  I hung up the dress and didn't even realize.  I am so glad that turned up before the move!  We also got the car picked up, which was insanely expensive for a stupid hood latch.  This evening, Ryan and I discussed the Muncie tri.  Initially, we thought we would have 2 cars in IN, because Ryan would continue to KY and I would return to MI to pack.  However, he was able to work it out to stay in MI for 2 days while the movers were here to help make sure things got packed properly and get the contents of the storage unit sorted out.  This means we would only really need one car to go to Muncie.  It also would mean we would all need to get up super early and be at the race site for a long long time.  It was decided that it was probably a much better idea to have Ryan stay home with the kids.  This way I could leave in the morning on my own to head to the race site and not worry about having super tired kids in the hot sun all day.  It also allowed Ryan to get a few more things taken care of for the new home.  There were several large items from IKEA that we wanted to purchase here and have the movers move for us, and that needed to be done with the help of Ryan's parents.  It would give Ryan more time for that too.  I usually did not go to Ryan's century rides with his friends, so it made sense that I go by myself to this.  It sort of made me more nervous about the race, since I would have to get there on my own, but it took some of the stress away from the nerves of actually racing.  I spent a lot of time printing out directions to and from everywhere I thought I might need to go this evening to be ready.

Friday was a pretty big day.   Ryan left early to be at IKEA early to buy couches with Kris and Linda to help transport them.  I took the kids out to Brighton to meet up with Cristina to borrow her speed suit for the race.  Temps were too warm for wetsuits, and I had hoped to be able to wear her speed suit for the race to at least reduce the drag of my tri top.  This would be my first non wetsuit ows of the year, and anything I could do to help it I wanted to do.  It was also great to chat with Cristina a bit about traveling for a race because I have actually never done that either, except to go to my parents' house, which isn't really the same because I know where I am going there and don't need a hotel.  After we left there, we headed back to Novi.  We had just enough time to stop into the gym.  Due to the car issues, we had not been in since Tuesday, and didn't really get to say goodbye to Angela.  I stopped in really quickly for a hug and a picture.

Then, we went across the street to Chuck E Cheese for Celine's birthday party.  Keira had fun playing with her classmates from school one more time.  We did leave a little early so I could go home and load up and be on my way!

I got on the road and to Muncie with no issues.  I got my packet picked up, and then headed to the Noodles & Co there for my "usual" pre race/Friday night carbo loading dinner.  I actually almost accidently ordered my pasta with a side of pasta, similar to what Ryan's cycling buddies order on purpose.  The girl taking my order didn't realize at first that I wanted to substitute whole grain pasta for the penne, and was going to order me two pastas.  I got into the hotel just fine, chatted with a few people I encountered.  I met one couple who were both out there for their first tris ever.  The husband was going the 70.3, and the wife was doing the sprint distance.  Her husband was crazy, I think, as he signed up for the Louisville IM without ever doing a tri, and here he was, 7 weeks before it, doing his first!  WOW, and I thought I was nuts for doing this race in the middle of a move.  At least I waited until after R4R to sign up for this one and knew what I was getting myself into.  I went to bed pretty early, and tried to go to sleep.

I woke up super early, as I suspected, and laid in bed for about an hour before finally getting up about 30 minutes before I had planned anyway.  They had advised we get there very early, since parking is just in a huge field and the later you get there, the further you are away.  You could have to walk about a mile with all your stuff if you got there late, plus the sprint tri started first, and you should be there before they started closing roads for that at 6am.  I got there a little after 5, and got set up to go.  While I had no really close friends there, I did have several people that I knew for a while as well as a few people I just met there.  There were lots of people from MI racked near me, and there was even a lady from KY that I had ridden with before right by me.  I guess I am just friends with a lot of people who sign up last minute for things, because we were in order by the order we were signed up.  It turned out to be a great day.  I had a very good feeling swim, although the time didn't really reflect it due to a long run to the timing mat from the water.  I had a great bike, taking over 20 minutes off my R4R time, and my run was OK.  My time was about 7 minutes slower here, but it was super hot, hilly, and we had a headwind on the way back in.  Overall, I was thrilled with my performance.  I didn't quite break 6 hours, finishing in 6:06:50, but I had a huge improvement on a tough course.  It is hard to compare different locations times due to the differences in the terrain over that distance.  I was very impressed by the number of volunteers on the course.  They really helped a ton, especially on the run where there were aid stations every mile with water, ice, sponges, sports drink, and cola, as well as fruit and gels.  I was very impressed with the Ironman experience.  They know what they are doing and I would love to be able to do another one of their events.  I feel very blessed that I could have this day to myself to come out here and race this fabulous race.  The WTC can be very expensive with their fees and everything, but they put on a great event.  I got home safely, and the kids were super happy to see me.

Sunday was a restful day.  We attended church, and then went to Kris and Linda's for dinner.  I was so appreciative of this dinner, since we had been working hard to use up the food we have on hand without buying new things, as well as get some extra time with them before the move.  It will be an exciting next week, since the mover come tomorrow to start to pack! 

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