Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm Back!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012  at 11:32 AM

Did you miss reading my blog for the LAST TWO MONTHS???  Think I had given up on everything?  Nope...just hadn't been blogging.  No excuses!

This past weekend, Jennifer and I took a trip up to Louisville, KY for Ironman Louisville.  It was AMAZING!  I'm totally inspired, and the goal is to do this IM next year.  We had so much fun!!!  Here's how the weekend went.

We drove the 7 hours up to Louisville and found our hotel that was actually across the river in Indiana.  It was a really great spot with easy access to everything on the other side because of the straight shot across the bridge that was right in front of the hotel.  As soon as we checked in, we got back in the car and drove over to scope out the transition area and the swim start.  It was pretty cool to stand next to all those thousands of dollars of bikes!

After seeing where everything would start, we went to Fourth Street Live, which is also where it finishes.  We ate at Potbelly Sandwiches, which is one of our favorite places to eat and was right there by the finish line.  It was delicious!
 We even walked around the finish line a little.  It's a really cool place to finish as there are shops everywhere around it, and tons of people can be eating and chilling as they wait for their athlete to cross the line.  Jenn and I totally found some great cheering spots for next year! :)

 Sunday morning, we got up at 6am to drive across the yucky river to the swim start.  After walking about a mile with a bunch of other people, we made it in time to hear the national anthem and watch the pros head out.  They did a treading water start, while the age groupers were all lined up on a dock by the water.  The canon went off at 7am, and everything was going!  Everyone jogged down to the end of the dock and jumped in one at a time.  What a great way to start an Ironman without being beaten to death.  Jenn and I watched for a little while with tears in our eyes.  We laughed at each other, because we were weren't going to be doing anything athletic that day, and we didn't even know anyone doing this race, but we were choked up for some reason.  Ironman seems to do that.  As we walked down the riverwalk, we looked back upstream to see the athletes swimming downstream.  You can see the island on the right hand side of the river.  The swim starts to the right of that; you swim up and around it and then swim downstream to T1.
 We made it to the swim exit just before the pros exited the water.  It really is a pretty venue for an incredible race.
 The pros were so fast!  We saw Nina Kraft, last year's winner, finish the swim and run to T1.  She would end up DNFing because of bike issues.
 There were so many great places to view this race.  There was a large peninsula to view the entire transition area with benches and places to sit.  It was a lot of fun watching all the athletes find their bags and get out on the bike.
 While we were sitting there watching, I had to snap a pic of this guy's shirt that was in front of us.  That will totally be me next year!  :)
 After getting our fill of the swim and T1, we went back to the hotel to shower up, get some breakfast, take a nap, and then go get ready to volunteer.  We were Finish Line Floaters which meant that we would be assigned to help out in any area needed at the finish line.  Check out our cool shirts!  Oh course, I was rocking my Steelhead 70.3 hat!!!
 They assigned us to pass out shirts and hats to the finishers.  Yeah, it wasn't the most glamorous job, but it was a lot of fun at the same time.  We unboxed everything and got ready.  Pretty soon, the winner was going to cross the finish line.
Not my best look!  :)
 The medals were really cool, and HEAVY!  That's what I really want!!!  2013 is coming!

 Here was where my job was.  They had white shirts for the guys, and white or gray shirts for the girls.  I was amazed at how in shock the people were that finished.  Many of them couldn't even figure out what size they were.  They were incredibly exhausted!
 I met this super cool guy, Neil, who lives near Louisville.  He is planning on doing IM Louisville next year, and we'll definitely be training buddies!  He worked the hats/shirt area too.
 One of the highlights of my day was the only time I was a "catcher."  I wasn't expecting to do that, but I got called into it on the spot.  One of the pros, Jackie Arendt, who finished second, had just been interviewed and had been sitting for a few minutes.

She got up and needed someone to make sure she didn't collapse or pass out.  I happened to be there, and so I got to escort her two blocks to the medical area.  Yes, she was pretty awesome with her blazing time of 9:38:14, but more than that, she was super nice.  I got her a space blanket and then she asked where medical was.  Hah!  I hadn't been trained as a catcher and had no idea where it was.  She could have yelled at me for being ignorant, but instead she just hobbled along and we asked someone else.  They told us where to go, and we made it.  Totally made my day!  She's got a great blog, and I bet she'll be posting a race report soon.  You can read it

After our shift was over about 7pm, Jenn and I went back to the hotel to take ANOTHER nap and get some more grub.  At about 10:30, we slipped back over to the finish line to watch the last finishers.  I was already getting hoarse from talking all day, but it was awesome to cheer the last athletes on.  The worst part was the couple of people that didn't quite make it.  :(  Here is a pic of the finish line just about midnight.
So that was my IM Louisville experience.  I've scoped out the race, seen the course, and been motivated by that athletes.  It's time for me to go Iron in 2013.  I'm pretty pumped about it, and although I haven't signed up for it quite yet, that will happen!

Thanks for reading!