Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Race Recap - Traveling and the days before the race

Ironman Coeur d'Alene is nowhere near Arizona.  And for some crazy reason, we had managed to get a group of 13 people (more or less at times) to commit to coming to Idaho for the race.  The only issue was figuring out the most cost efficient way of making that happen.  Not surprising, that option ended up being driving.

Side view
Artwork courtesy of The Wife

And more artwork on the other side

Gotta love the double roof carriers and double bike rack!

Any guess on where we were heading?

A group shot at 8:30 am Arizona time, before we headed out on the 22 hour drive
Because of the timing and logistics, we ended up having The Wife, myself, our daughter, The Music Man (David/The Wife's brother), his girlfriend Auntie Sarah (as my daughter calls her) and Auntie Rachel (The Wife's sister, as my daughter calls her).  We were able to fit all of our luggage in the roof-top carriers, the two bikes on the rear rack, and a cooler in the trunk for the road trip beverages.  Our plan was to drive straight through to Coeur d'Alene, only stopping for gas and food (and of course the bathroom...).

There's not really a whole lot to say about the drive, because we basically just took turns sleeping.  I'm sure it was more eventful than that, but it's a pretty big blur at this point.  All I really remember is leaving Arizona on Tuesday, and arriving in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday.

When we arrived in Coeur d'Alene, it was only 6:30 am local time (which is actually the same as Phoenix right now).  We couldn't get into the house we were renting until 11 am, so we decided to visit the local IHOP and fill up on pancakes, and more importantly, coffee.  Our plan worked, because we had enough energy to come up with the brilliant plan of trying to price match at the local Walmart (I think mix of exhaustion and coffee had us thinking crazy!).  We pulled into a McDonald's to borrow some free Wi-Fi, and searched all the local ads.  Unfortunately, nobody really had any prices that we liked, so we basically ended up at Walmart with 2 items to price match.  Ha!

After loading up on a weeks worth of groceries for 13 people (yikes!), we made our way over to the lake house.  We finally got into the house around 11:30 am, and it was amazing!

The view from the lake (from the backyard)

The front of the house, as you drive up.
The view from the top deck

Some friendly ducks (actually, not so friendly) enjoying the lake behind the house
After unpacking the cars, it was time for me to take a short power nap (which ended up being about 30 minutes of actual sleep).  After that, it was time to get serious!  We needed to check out the water to see how cold it was and whether or not we would become ice cubes.

The Music Man (David) and myself walking down to the lake

I was telling him, "Don't forget to pee in your wetsuit!"

I forgot how tight these things are!

The Music Man (David), Old Wise One (John), and me before we got in the lake

The Music Man and Old Wise One figuring out where to swim to

And me, still getting ready.  I was trying out some new ear plugs.

And now they are filling me in on where we are going.

My plan was to draft off of them.  Ha!

Yeah, it was cold.

The water wasn't very deep, and it looks like someone (The Music Man) was just running on the bottom instead of swimming.  BUSTED!

Ok, he wasn't running on the bottom.

We made it out alive!!!!
The rest of the day was spent eating and relaxing, and maybe enjoying an adult beverage or four.  Later that night, we had our first "IronClan" meeting.  The idea behind this was that there was a total of 6 of us racing, and about 10 supporters or so.  Old Wise One and my mother in law even had shirts and visors made for the entire group!  During our meeting, we discussed a lot of things, and even had an A/V presentation!  Here's that video:

Also during that meeting, The Wife surprised us with some last minute "special needs" bags, including some rain protection (rain was appearing and disappearing from the forecast on an hourly basis), lip balm, hand warmers (the water was quite cold, and it was going to be even colder getting on to a bike right after swimming), and some other snacks.  Thanks Wife!

Our "special needs" bags

Thursday brought a day at registration for us.  But first, another practice swim for The Music Man, Pappy, and myself, followed by a short bike ride for The Music Man and myself.  There was nothing out of the ordinary at registration, but it was a fun experience having The Music Man there, with it being his first Ironman and all (and actually, it was his first triathlon ever!).

Discussing what our plan was

Part of the expo area, though there wasn't really much else other than the Ironman tent

Filling out the good ol' waiver

And another waiver...

And finally, registration.  And who's that registering me?  Why, it's Old Wise One!  And sporting the IronClan team visor!

And now The Music Man gets his turn

Quick family photo (Allison was too tired to join us...)

See.  She was still recovering from the long drive.
If I remember correctly, Friday was pretty uneventful.  During the day, The Music Man and I had a little sample-off of the two competing brands that we represent, with mine being Marathon Bars and his being Cliff Bars.  After that, we headed to the athlete welcome dinner and meeting.  The dinner was decent, with the typical salad and pasta.  As usual, Ironman does a great job of finding life-changing stories to focus on for the event.  This race was no exception, with people losing weight, battling various diseases, and racing in memory of others.  During the dinner, the rain finally came, which made me a bit nervous.  But, I finally just decided that it is what it is, and I'm going to race my butt of regardless of the weather.

Saturday was another easy day.  It was a pretty restful day, with an early pasta dinner so we could carbo-load and be ready for the race.

And that's all for today's recap.  I'm sorry if I forgot anything!  The next portion will be tomorrow...Pre-race and the swim!

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