Friday, July 22, 2011

Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Race Report: I DID IT! Part 1

Well I am a little late with my RR but as soon as I finished the race we packed up and headed on vacation, so I was gone for the next 9 days for some fun in California!  This week coming back has been LOOONNNGGG and BUSY to say the least.  Plus it seems I always take longer to write my RR, probably because it takes me a long time to think of witty/funny things to say.  I'm slow :-)

I headed to the Minneapolis convention center downtown to pick up my race packet with my friend, Paul, who also was doing the Tri.  We parked ($10 for parking? really?) across the street and made our way inside and found the LTF Triathlon Expo and packet pickup, the doors were flanked with these pillars:

OWN IT! It also reminds me of Picard, "Make It So..."
 I was expecting a big expo....what I saw was somewhat mediocre.  There were some vendors there selling Tri equipment, etc but not much of anything else.  We listened to a course chat, which was pretty informative, and then went to pick our bibs.  Here's where I nearly had a heart attack: I presented my ID and the volunteer went and returned with my packet, checked the ID again and said "Mr. Wood you are signed up for the international distance, correct?" Me: "Whaaa?" "Oh hell no I ain't!" Volunteer: "Well, you need to go down to the Trouble Table, they will take care of you." Yes that's right I was in T-R-O-U-B-L-E.  So I go down there and theres a younger guy there with some of his buddies, and I overheard he had the same issue!  The staff at the table were flummoxed and were pretty frazzled, but made a switch and put him in the correct short distance wave and gave him a new number.  As I waited for hopefully the same thing done for me, someone else came up to the table with the same problem....and another, and when Paul came by to ask what was going on, I told him, and lo and behold he also was signed up for the wrong distance! (His volunteer wasn't as good as mine I guess and inform him of it).  So there I was with 5 other guys all with the same issue, so at least I felt better.  The woman staffer, however was not pleased.  She started bitching to another staffer and was pretty unprofessional.  Again I was expecting more from Lifetime Fitness....but apparently signing up through Lifetime (one of their locations, not online) was what all 6 of us had in common.  They fixed me up with a new number, and wave time (8:48AM) and I was done.  I waited for Paul and we cruised quickly through the rest of the expo (no good deals unfortunately) and drove home and discussed what to put in our bags for the race.
When I got home I went and got all my stuff ready and went through my checklist. Got the shoes, got the body glide, got the baby powder, nutrition, gatorade, etc...check check check! I got all my tri gear out, got my bike ready, and I was set.  I then stared at my bag and gear and mentally went thru what I had like 10 times!  OCD yes!

Then I began getting all our stuff ready for our California trip!  After the race we were headed down to Iowa to drop the kids off with Grandma and Grandpa, then we were flying to CA on Monday for vacation! It was definitely a win win situation.  Race my first Triathlon, then relax in California!
I managed to go to by by 11 or so, and set my clock for 4:15am...and got some sleep (mostly).

Saturday: Day of race.
I got up at 4:15, showered slathered myself in body glide, dressed, and had a bagel with cream cheese and a banana.  I washed it down with a cup of coffee and some water.  Paul, and his daughter, Courtney, were going to pick me up at 5am, so I went to the garage and got the gear out and the bike ready.  When they arrived we loaded up my bike and we drove to Lake Nokomis.  Since we were early we got a great parking spot right by Fat Lorenzo's.  We unloaded our bikes and loaded up our gear and biked to the transition area. People were slowly tricking in, we joined them and showed our wristbands and entered into transition to find our spots and rack our bikes and then go get marked.  I was very lucky and was 2 racks from the bike out, Paul was in the middle, and our other friend, Teresa, was 5 racks down from me.  After we all got marked we each setup our transition area. One big question was the weather, their were some possibility of rain, and there was a strong wind as well, so it was blessedly cool, but the USAT officials said rain was coming soon.  So I left my shoes and other gear in my bag in case it rained. Once I had everything setup this is what transition looked like:
And that wasn't with everyone there! So many people racing.
I chatted with Teresa and her husband, then with Paul made my way down to the shore to check out the water.  I knew this would be my challenge today, I hadn't really swam ever until I started taking lessons 4 months ago.  The pic below is before they got the buoys setup, but there were some strong waves because of the wind.

Before all the madness...the buoys were being blown by the wind.

I was of course getting some jitters, but there were somewhat alleviated when they announced the water temp was 82.5. Whew! I could still wear my wetsuit! I didn't care if I wasn't able to place in my AG, b/c I knew I wasn't going to win anyway.  The wetsuit would give me some confidence that I at least wouldn't drown (those things are the best! and thanks to Urban Tri for the rental!).  So I gathered up my wetsuit, cap, and goggles, and left transition at 6:45 to see the pros line up.....

Part 2 coming soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Triathlon + My California Vacation= A great 8 days!

OK, first off I didn't expire during the LTF Triathlon on July 9th!  However, I did immediately leave for vacation to California, so I haven't been able to blog or post any of the cool photos that was taken of me during the Tri.  This will be a short recap of my last week:

Lifetime Fitness Triathlon WAS AWESOME!
The swim was my toughest part, mentally and physically can you tell?
Wearing a smile...but inside I was exhausted!

I was very happy to have that swim over!  Needless to say I need more practice! The rest of the race I will go in detail, but my proudest moment was crossing that finish line....with my kids!

I did it, and so happy to have my family there!  Emma looks like a born runner!
 Come back soon for my whole race report....once I get caught up with work and all that other stuff!  Goal is to have it up by Thursday!

CA was fun, and I have some pics of that too, but guess who I ran into on the street?
I am a huge Leno fan!

Full report and more on CA trip on Thursday! AND

Thanks to everyone for all their support and advice for my first Triathlon!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Big Day is less than 24 hours away! Ready or Not Here I Come! UPDATE!!!

UPDATE:  Well I went to the expo (which I thought would be bigger) and picked up my stuff....and was informed that I was signed up for the Olympic distance. Needless to say I said some few choice words and said no way in hell I was!  So I had to go to the trouble table and see if I could get it switched.  Lo and behold, I wasnt the only one, 3 other guys had same problem.  They were able to switch us however.  My buddy Paul who is also doing LTF Tri too was waiting on me and asked me what the holdup was when I finished.  I told him and he asked how did you know that you were signed up for the Olympic.  The check-in guy told me and it was on the outside of my packet.  He looked at his, and also said some choice words, because he had the same problem!  So he had to go get in line again and got switched as well.  Whew...

Im off in a couple of minutes to Nokomis!  Wish me luck! less than 24 hours I will be a Tri-athlete!  No matter my time I will finish tomorrow, I won't give up!   I hope I can wear a wetsuit for the swim, but if I cant I will do my best (if it takes an hour so be it!) once I get past the swim I know I will be good!  I have my stuff for my transition bag ready and will pack that and try to get some sleep tonight and just be ready for an early morning tomorrow.  I am feeling very excited and that is winning over the nerves.  I am prepared mentally and physically for this....I CAN DO IT!

Thanks to everyone for their words of encouragement and advice through my journey, and I am sure I will be doing many more!

Best part is after I am done I will be going on California!!!! What a way to celebrate!  Stay tuned for some posts next week on the 4th and of course, my LTF Triathlon Race Report!