Thursday, August 02, 2007

We are back from Wisconsin and I have some catching up to do on this blog. However, I'm not going to go back and tell you everything. I will tell you that we feel a lot more ready for the Ironman now after our extended weekend trip. Besides getting to play in the very fun golf tournament that Jeff and Kendra throw with all of their friends, we got in some good training.

We got there on Thursday afternoon and our bikes had been shipped already. We got right to putting them together in case we had problems. All was going well at first (until I got frustrated that I'm just not meant to be a mechanic). So, basically Dustin did everything while I cleaned the bikes! Jen, Kendra, Jeff, Dustin and I ate a good spaghetti dinner and Jeff and his neighbor tried to diagnose my bike. After no success trying to figure out the gears, we decided to head to the bike shop. Problem was they closed at 8, not 9 and didn't open until 10 the next morning. So, we hung our heads as we entered at 7:55 while batting our eyelids to see if they could help me with my gears and Dustin with his brakes. They quickly took care of the problems and didn't even charge us! I bought some leg warmers from them (cause ya never know how cold Wisconsin may be in September and I want to be prepared!). We owe them big time!

On Saturday morning, we packed up the car with all our stuff and headed to Madison. We didn't get on the bikes until after 10, but it's not as big of a deal there, because it's not as hot or humid! It was awesome to see the course and Kendra showed us where to turn, plus we had directions taped to our handlebars. There are definitely a lot of hills and one big, long one (where they decided to put pea gravel all up and down it so we spun out a couple times). We did the two loops that we will be doing on September 9th and it was 85 miles. We took some breaks to refuel at gas stations and back at the car once. When we were riding, we averaged 14.5 mph, but that doesn't include our stops! So, we will need to step it up the day of the race! Making the bike cut off is going to be tough for all three of us, so in the next month, we are going to work on getting faster and stronger! After the ride, we ran 3 miles on the trails just to make sure our legs and stomachs were working okay. We all digested pretty well and did great overall.

We drove back to Madison and ate some good pizza and then went to our hotel (University Inn)on State Street. We met some of the rest of the golf crew at the Terrace and drank a few beers and hung out for awhile. I'm suprised we weren't more tired than we were!

Saturday morning, Kendra, Dustin and I woke up and headed down to Lake Minona (where we will be swimming our 2.4 miles on Sept. 9th). We wanted to try out our wetsuits in water temperatures where we wouldn't suffocate ourselves. We both had wetsuits with arms and figured out that we wanted them without arms for better movement, because the water really wasn't too cold at all and it can't get much colder by September, right? We didn't get to swim too much, because we just went off this random boat launch area down from where we will actually swim. Apparently, they don't clear that area out too much, because there was all kinds of grass/seaweed hitting my arms and feet the whole time! Now, if you know me, you know that I don't like things touching me in the water. I like to pretend that I'm the only thing in the water, even though I know that's not true. If I was hitting grass, living things like that grass and it was frankly freaking me out. I actually started to not be able to catch my breath, but Dustin and Kendra were able to calm me down. Thank God I had a wetsuit on though! We were able to test our wetsuits and the water though, so it was still productive! Plus, we got to see the terrace where the transition area will be and the helix things we have to run up and bike down and bike up!

Then, we went to the infamous Farmers Market at the Capital and it was awesome just like last year. We got cheese curds and beef jerkey and Kendra showed us where the finish line will be and we got really pumped! We couldn't stay long though because we had a golf outing to get to! Now, that's a "sport" that I am not good at-golf! I don't have the patience, but I got a little better after the 10th hole. I golfed with Jeff, Dustin, and Kendra, all good golfers, so I felt like I should have done better! Oh well, we had an awesome time so that's all that matters!

And of course, we attended the picnic afterwards and then went out after the golf outing and Amber (our neighbor across the street) and her friends suprised Dustin at the bar (one last bday suprise). So, fun was had by all!

Sunday, it was a bit harder to wake up and we barely made it out of the room by checkout at 12. We went to the Nitty Gritty and got some more cheese curds (got them on the golf course twice too). Then, we drove part of the run course and familiarized ourselves a bit with that and there are a good few hills in that too! I'm glad we saw it though so we will be prepared. There's only so much you can get from the elevation charts and maps on the website.

When we got back to Jeff and Kendra's, we had to break down our bikes and pack them back in the boxes because we were checking them as luggage on the plane. I am SOOOOO glad that we are doing Tri Bike Transport for the Ironman. That means that they will pick our bikes up in one piece at a local bike shop the week before and then, put them on a truck in one piece and drive them to Madison and we pick them up in Ironman Village on Friday or Saturday. Then, after the race, we drop them off in one piece and they arrive back in Jacksonville the next week. No breaking down, no putting back together, no nothing but convenience. Of course, we had to pay $225 for each bike though. Speaking of paying, we were supposed to be charged $65 for each bike on the plane ride, but we didn't get charged (I think because Dustin is in the military).

Ok, gotta go to spin class, but wanted to also say that we got to read a long blog about the course and the event last year that was scary, yet inspiring, so that also helped with our preparation. And, on Monday before we flew out, we ran about 5 miles with Jen and Kendra in the trails around Wauwautosa. Then, Tuesday, I swam 1.75 miles and Dustin swam 2 miles in 1 hour 8 minutes in the pool (the most we have swam so far).

Also, wanted to mention that my brother's wife, Melina's father, Dale has been suffering with a brain tumor for awhile now. He is in his late sixties and they don't expect him to make it much longer at all, so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I know we will be thinking about him and the rest of the family, hoping they will be okay.

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