Pre-Ironman Arizona 2016
I had planned on giving you a pre - race article prior to the actual race, however, with all that was going on I found that I couldn't think hard enough to verbalize everything that was going on; resulting in never getting around to it. That being said I have decided to break up the Ironman Arizona Race Report into two sections, Pre and Post so as to not bore you to death. I apologize a head of time that I don't have many photos from prior to the race, so there are a lot of words on this post! :)
Packing for Ironman was no joke, in fact it may have been more stressful than training for the race. How in the world do you know what to bring?? I think at one point I had my entire wardrobe sitting on the bed. After some serious arranging, removing things, and adding other things I finally got myself all packed up and decided that if it wasn't there and I needed it, well that's what credit cards are for.
I arrived into Arizona very late on Thursday, meeting my parents there as they came in from Portland. My dad was able to get a big enough car, barely for not only all my stuff but the two bags and two golf clubs my parents had. It was a good thing Brandon and my sister were arriving the next day, there is no way we would have all been able to get everything in there with everyone.
Despite the late arrival to the hotel I woke up pretty rested the next day and ready to go check in. It is amazing the energy that bleeds from an Ironman village. I swear you could feel it a couple miles away as we drove in. The village was really amazing; booths every where, I saw my two idols Rinny and Heather Jackson (to nervous to go up to them but I saw them haha). While I love the Ironman Village I am one of those people that doesn't like to stand around, or spend much time at expos. I like to get in, get my stuff, and get out. The more time I spend the more anxious I get.
My dad and I got there just in time for the athlete briefing so we sat through that for the first little bit until I felt like I had most of what I needed covered then went to check in. Since everyone was that athlete briefing or had checked in the day before it went very quickly. Number 262 was all checked in and ready to rock and roll.
After check in my dad and I walked around to take a look at the swim entrance, bike in and out, and run in/out in order to try to get my bearings for where I needed to be on Sunday. I had planned on doing the swim on Saturday in order to test out which wetsuit I would use, my long sleeve wet suit had a massive hole in it so I was contemplating using my sleeveless. However, the water looked nasty and later I heard from others to stay outta the water as much as possible.
Before leaving the expo I finally connected with my Betty Bestie Anna. Anna and I met via Team Betty and we basically trained together despite being in different states. Seeing her calmed me down and reminded me how fun this is.
After getting checked in my dad and I went back to the condo and began to put my bike back together. I was nervous to put my bike together as I'm not the most bike savvy and putting together something that could make or break your race is a lot of pressure. Luckily it seemed to go together pretty easily and no matter what we knew we could have someone take a look at it on Saturday to ensure we did it correctly.
We had planned to go out to a nice dinner however I was feeling very overwhelmed on Friday. All I could think about was how much I felt like I needed to do, this was all in my head, but the nerves were turning into anxiety for me. Instead my mom suggested we go get something fast, like pizza, and this was such a great idea. I instantly felt less stressed. This gave me time to come back to the condo after eating, relax, and get my bike and run bags packed to take to the drop off the next day.
Packing these bags took a lot of thought. While the weather was saying that I should miss the rain there was rain in the forecast and with Ironman you have to be prepared for anything and everything. I think Anna and I texted back and forth a million times trying to decide what we each should bring. I decided to not use a special needs bag as I train with the same stuff that is on the course and felt that if I really needed it I knew I could get it on the course.
Here is what was in my bike bag: Shoes and socks Helmet Sunglasses Shirt Jacket - just in case Skittles (for fun) Chocolate Milk Extra nutrition to through in my kit (honey stingers, Sports Beans) Transition towel.
Here is what was in my run bag: Running Shoes Hat Gatorade bottle Extra nutrition Skittles Long sleeve shirt - just in case Bib number 5 hour energy
On Saturday my mom and I went back to the Ironman in order to drop off my bags and my bike, while Brandon and my dad went golfing. After dropping off my stuff Anna, my mom and I went and got some coffee so that Anna and I could just talk for a few minutes. It is amazing how having there, knowing that she was going through the same thing helped to keep me calm.
Afterwards I went back, hung out, and got ready for race day. We had a great dinner of salmon, rice, and salad. At this point I'm not exactly how I was feeling. I knew I was nervous but for some reason I still felt pretty calm. I've felt way worse prior to races before and for some reason this time I was doing ok. I think it is because I knew I could do it, I knew that no matter the outcome of the race I had put everything I could into being prepped it. I was ready and I had an amazing support team at my side which made me feel like nothing could go wrong.
Stay tuned for a full Ironman Arizona Race Day Report........