Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Welcome to Ironman!

What a day! The place is just crawling, oozing, buzzing with triathletes! Alii Drive is just one sponsors sign after another and hot fit bodies everywhere!

This morning started around 7 am. I headed down by the pier for a swim with my coach, Jennifer, her husband Jerome, Ashley, and Connie. I looked at the ocean for a few minutes and noticed lots of swimmers already in the water and buoys rocking everywhere. I didn't know those white weighted buoys could move so much! Jennifer told me that she had never seen it so choppy. Since I have never swam in the ocean, I expected a swirling vortex of topsy turvy, wavy gray waves. I had been building myself up for something so uncontrollably wavy and wild that I was relieved to find that once I got in it wasn't that bad! After a few minutes, part of me wanted to stop and shout HEY, I'M SWIMMING IN THE OCEAN! I was really doing it! I think the key will be to do what Karyn Austin said - RELAX in the chop - and to do what Mira says - just keep swimming! I was actually having fun just letting the waves and current move me along. It was interesting every once in awhile to look up to sight and see nothing but another wave! I even swallowed some salt water - not so bad! And it didn't seem to make my stomach sick. I was grateful that Ashley was there because we swam side by side which relaxed me. On the way back, I tried hopping on Jennifer's feet and found it made a HUGE difference in speed without too much more effort. Then I got swum over and lost her feet. Jerome got swum over and swatted at too. Hey guys - save it for RACE DAY!

The only fear that I wasn't able to face was seeing to the bottom. Heavy rains on Monday stirred everything up and the water is very cloudy. It was just like swimming in a midwestern lake. But I know the critters are down there and I will see them come Saturday. I am going to swim again tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to work through that one!

Afterwards, we walked to breakfast. And to our surprise, Michellie Jones, Heather Fuhr and Lori Bowden were right behind us. I never realized Lori was so teeny tiny!

Jerome was getting squirrely without coffee - he reminded us that it was 1:15 pm at home and he still hadn't had coffee! Wow, when he put it that way I almost screamed. So we walked over to Lava Java for some superb coffee. And we noticed that even Lava Java got in on the IM action - their coffee sleeves were sponsored by Inside Triathlon. And Desiree Ficker was on it too! So I told Jen that was my new goal - for her to coach me to make it on to a coffee sleeve! Can you imagine anything better?

We enjoyed a nice breakfast and Jerome must have ordered the big boy because he had about 3 breakfasts. Wait unti Chris shows up, they can have a breakfast buffet showdown.

Aftewards I went to a Timex focus group, got a FREE watch (Thanks, Timex!) and actually sat next to the beautiful and multi-time world champion Laura Sopheia. I asked her loads of questions (which helmet? which racing suit?) and she gave me great advice and assured me I would have a great race especially if I can run like usual (nice to hear from a champ!).

Upon leaving, I drove away without remembering to take my shorts and top off of the roof which were drying, which was a fabulous idea, until I got 2 miles down Alii Drive and then remembered. I found my shorts stuck on the roof rack but my bra top was 2 miles back in a parking lot. THANK goodness I found it because I had just decided I would race in it!

I went running after that around 11 am. I figured I would get a feel for the heat. I ran down Alii Drive and it was blazing hot, especially with a tailwind at my back and all the traffic. Hawaii needs to plant more Banyan trees because they provide excellent shade! Coming back into the headwind it wasn't so bad. I felt like a Ragbrai hot but I knew that I wasn't even running in the hottest part of the day.

After running, I decided to say hi to my sports chiropractor, Larry Svhilik, (he is on the IM A.R.T - active release thearpy - team) and while I stood there talking with him I started dripping with sweat which is when I realized that I must NOT walk on the marathon - even a slow shuffle would probably be better because when you stop it gets unbearably hot.

I'm about to head down to registration and maybe have some more coffee. After all, I am in the land of coffee and it would be ashame to ignore coffee on it's home grounds!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck, Elizabeth! The Schallers of Elmhurst are rooting for you!