Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ironman Wisconsin 2007 – Part 2

The Swim
…or should I say the Splash. What do you get when you throw 2,200 people into the water all at once? Lots of water splashing all over the place. Chaos is the best way to try to describe the swim during an Ironman. Both Bob and I tried to avoid the majority of the action by staying towards the back. The good thing is that you avoided some of the people swimming over you and things like that, but no one is totally immune. At the start I took a very easy pace and actually swam behind Bob for the firsts ¼ or so. I was in no rush and just wanted to get through the swim. I got kicked a few times, but nothing major. My two issues with the swim were just related to the environment. The first was that it seemed everyone was zig-zagging all over the place. It seemed that whenever I started to get into a groove someone would come cross right in front of me. The other issue I had was that the majority of the people had white swim caps. Now this doesn’t help you when you are trying to sight and all you see is water splashing around because the white caps just blend in. Now this could easily be changed with different colored caps. An added bonus would be to make the course buoys a LOT bigger so that if you are a ways from the markers you could actually see them.

Anyway the swim ended up being pretty uneventful. I saw Bob a few times during the first lap when we would both stop to get our bearings. We’d yell HEY and then it was back to “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” About ¾ through the swim the boredom factor started to come into play. I wasn’t feeling tired or anything which was good, but I was a ready to be done. I tried to stay focused and pushed toward the end. Finally after 8 straight-aways and 7 turns covering 2.4 miles I reached the swim exit. I climbed out of to a roaring crowd and smiled. It felt great to get out of the water and I was happy to have finished the swim without any major events. I spotted the strippers and within 7 millie-seconds my wetsuit was off and I was jogging toward the helix. With the crowd cheering as I went, I slowly made it up the helix to transition.

I made my way into the Terrace and easily found my swim to bike bag. Maybe it was because the majority of the bags were already gone, but it probably was just the fact that the volunteer was there right away. At least that’s a better story. hehe My transition wasn’t fast by any means, but I needed to slow things down to make sure that I had everything and that my body was settled enough after the long swim. Again the volunteers were great and a quick rest stop I was running towards my bike. Half way there I heard the IronCrew cheer which was great to hear. I was at the far end of the Terrance so it was only a hop, skip, and a jump to the helix. Right at the top was my family who screamed, a little too loud, and I tried to get on my bike. Now it’s one thing to be enthusiastic and cheering, but I don’t they understood the concept of getting onto a bike and then trying to ride down a circular parking ramp. Or at least that they person need to be concentrating on that task and it’s better if you are not screaming from three feet away like you some teeny-bopper at a Justin Timberlake concert. I love that my family came to support me, but they almost caused a bike crash before I even got on the course. :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Back In The U.S.S.A

I’ve been back for over a week, but so much has happened since then. First Ms. R and I had a great week in Mazatlan. For the majority of week we did nothing and it was great. Well I suppose sitting on the beach, reading, ordering drinks, and splashing around in the water is a little more then nothing, but you get the idea. Ms. R noticed that this was the first time she’s seen me relaxed and I mean totally relaxed. I’m a bit of a busy but I slapped my ass in those lounge chairs for hours on end without a care in the world. Other highlights included a city tour and a sailing trip on our last full day in Mazatlan.

It was the trip that we both needed after a long triathlon season and all the craziness surrounding Ironman. We just needed to get away and not have to care about real life for awhile. I think the trip suited us both well and accomplished the goal of getting some real R&R.

Upon our return we had to dive headfirst into an all out pack fest. Back in July I took the big plunge into lifelong dept and bought my first house. Totally crazy and nerve racking experience to say the least. I don’t want to buy another house for a long time. In the end we ended up with a great place, knock on wood, and last week we finally closed. This meant that we spent every free minute packing to get ready for the move. On Sunday a great group of friends and family came over to help us move our stuff, which was at three different locations, into our new home. Even with the rainy weather we managed to get almost all our stuff to the house in about six hours. The and beer!. If you offer people plenty of food and beverages they are fairly happy to help with such a big task. The move went really well and at the end of the day all our stuff was in the house in some box in some room. The task of unpacking everything has started. It’s kind of strange to all of a sudden have tons of room, but you are not sure where to put things. It will take some time, but I’m sure that we’ll figure it out eventually. In the meantime there will be many trips to places like target and home depot for the tons of stuff a new homeowner needs. Everyday the lists keep growing and I think the trend will continue for awhile.

A couple of other happens currently going on. The word is that TriSaraTops is now a mother for the first time. There has been no official post yet, but major congrats to the new family.

Last night I did my first workout since Madison. I’ve joined a swim class to get some extra pool time this fall. It never hurts to get some extra instruction. Plus it’s a little cheaper then seeing my regular swim coach. It’s actually kind of nice not to be the one coaching, but I did have to remind myself that I was there to swim and learn and I’m not the coach during that time. hehe

Finally another person has given into the draw of blogland. Drum roll please…….The newest blogger is Ms. R herself. You can find her at

Now back to your regularly scheduled and very late Ironman Race Report…