Monday, July 09, 2007

Pre-Triathlon Tidbits

OK. I did the Danskin Triathlon yesterday and I feel great. I was debating whether to discuss this here or in my weightloss blog, but I figure I can write in both places about different aspects.

Numbers: overall finish rank 1526 of 3939, in 1:46:51. But here's the part I'm proud of: my bike was 41:50, that put me at 487 -- I'm in the top 12% of all the bicyclists.

The Run sort of was my weak spot -- 2157 was my rank, at 35:34. The swim was average: 1842 at a time of 18:16. My transitions were slow. Need to work on that.

My rank in my "class" of 45-49-year olds was 131 of 346.

So Jen and Peggy and I arrived early enough on Saturday to check in, get our materials and then settle into our cheap motel for a good night's sleep. And...
  • Great swag! After check-in, we milled about the exposition area and filled our goodie bags with a really nice quality cap. The T-Shirts were a great quality coolmax, lots of samples of sports drinks, waters, etc. Cute little bracelets with inspirational charms on them (I'm not a bracelet wearer, so Stella just got a bunch!). But we all agree that the winner of the best swag was Trek, who passed out these really nice pocket tools that were basically a philips screwdriver, and various allen wrench sizes that a bicyclist would find useful. Bravo Trek!
  • Breakfast was some peanutbutter provided by Jif in the form of free samples. But get this, they had a warning label on the table for people who are allergic to peanuts. This is litigation gone amuck. I can understand something like potato chips having a "these are made with machines that also process peanuts" warning, or something you wouldn't expect to have anything to do with peanuts like cherry ice cream. But I'm sorry, when you have to warn people that peanut butter contains peanuts maybe it's time for Darwin's law to take over.

  • The marking of the arms wasn't as ritualistic as I would have thought, but it still was this moment when we all became part of this tribe. We went shopping at the outlet mall in Pleasnat Prairie after race check-in but before motel check--in, and we would see other women with numbers on their arms and often would smile at each other knowingly. Of course, there were some women way too hip to do this, but you get those everwhere, even at a women's tri.

  • I'd forgotten how much fun the Outlet mall is. Picked up some snappy new Chuck Taylors at the Converse outlet, and a cute little outfit for Stella at the Oshkosh outlet. I stopped myself before buying some really cute shoes at the 9 West outlet, remembering that with this bum ankle, I'm really not wearing heels for the rest of this year, so I have no business buying them.

  • Lunch at the Chancery. Delicious fajitas (not St. Helen's Polka Fest fajitas, but they'll do), a bartender who served everybody at the bar (all of who were marked-up triathletes) and didn't even question why non of us were having alcohol. Good food, good service. I can deal with chain restaurants like the Chancery, because at least they're local.

  • Our motel was a 1-star motel with a 4-star rating, meaning that it was as basic as basic can get, no amenities, but people who stayed there rated it high. Cheap, clean, close. All we needed was a flop, and we got it.

  • Dinner in Racine at the Olive Garden. Face it, pretty much everybody wanted pasta for dinner, and we scanned menus for local places, and frankly, we knew we could get something not so cheesy at the OG. And for a chain, the OG wasn't bad at all. The service was terrific, we were never without a full glass of water, lots of salad, and admittedly, the seafood alfredo was to die for.

  • One problem with our motel room -- thin walls. We had finally settled to sleep at 9 pm, and right outside our door these women decided to have a loud conversation, the kind that's like titter-tatter-titter EXPLODE with SCREAMING LAUGHTER titter-tatter-titter EXPLODE. Jen and I agreed the next day we were both debating whether to get out of bed to say something, but we a) didn't want to ruin somebody's fun b) didn't want to come off as a bitch, and most importantly, c) didn't want to drag out tired asses out of bed. Eventually, they apparently turned in too.

  • 4:45 am. Wake up call! Oy. Out the door at 5:30, Clif and Luna bars going down, washed down with the first of many jugs of Gatorade. I know there are other brands of sports drinks, but nobody really has improved on Gatorade, have they?

  • Parking at Dairyland Greyhound Park, jump on the shuttle bus to the site, and that's when it kicked in -- we're on this bus with other women, we're psyching up, it's going to happen. We arrive, and we set up our gear by our already racked bikes, and one last trip to the Port-O-Let. We're in our swim gear, which means bare feet, and we're going into a Port-O-Let. I'll never diss Britney Spears again.

  • OK, I'm ready and I have to wait for 6 heats before me to start. (Poor Jen and Peggy were in like the 19th heat -- they're based on reverse age. The Elites go first, then the cancer survivors, then the oldest ladies. At 46, I went early. )Still, it was excruciating waiting that final hour. It's like being in a band that goes on third. I've already tuned my guitar forty times, I've set up my gear, I've sound checked up the waz, heck, I want to play already and I have to sit through two other bands!

  • More later. I'm off to my post Triathlon massage, but I wanted to get this down.

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