So Much To Say!

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Having not posted since Friday, I have a lot to talk about! So here's what I've been up to for the last 3 days:

Saturday I got up at 6 AM (!) so that I could go running. I ran an easy 3 miles around my parents' neighborhood and then ventured onto Rt. 45 for a brief bit and ran around a new neighborhood. I didn't realize that some of the houses in there were not only finished, but had people living in them. Their garbage service was delayed because of the 4th, so there were a bunch of garbage trucks around. As I ran in the new neighborhood, I ended up following one. Let me tell you, running behind a garbage truck is not something I recommend. It was pretty nasty. I was running on the right side of the road like my doctor said, and there was a spot where I was going to catch up to the truck. He stopped to let me around, which I thought was pretty nice.

After running, I hurried to get dressed because my mom and I had to be in Kenosha around 8. She was doing the Danskin Triathlon with Team Survivor, and they were having a breakfast before the expo. The national director of TS was there, as well as some of TPTB from Danskin. After the breakfast, we headed over to the expo. Ok, so my race expo experience has been limited to Chicago, which it is extremely well organized. But even so, I have to say that the organization at the Danskin expo was in dire need of work. There were lines for everything - lines to get your packet, lines to check your chip, lines to get your swim cap, etc. We were there for awhile looking at stuff, and we stayed for two talks (the course review and the first-timers talk).

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We did stop at the Nike Outlet on the way home, but it once again sucked. They had some sportsbras that looked promising, but they didn't have anything in my size. I was tempted by some running shorts, but I don't technically need running shorts, so I left empty handed.

Sunday morning I got up at 5 AM (!!!) so that we could leave for the race before 6. There was no on-site parking, so we had to park at a remote lot and take a shuttle in. As we pulled up to the remote lot a little after 6 we saw a huge line for the shuttle. JR and I decided that we would walk the ~1 mile to the site so as not to take room on the bus from an athlete (technically athletes were to be given first priority on the bus, and we worried if we waited until they were all loaded that we might not get to the start in time). The walk over wasn't too bad, and there were a lot of other people that had the same idea. We got to the swim area, and didn't see Mom so we decided to walk over to the transition area to find her.

It turns out that the race organizers did a pretty bad job with the buses. The transition area was supposed to close at 6:45, and my mom got off her shuttle at about 6:40. So she had to basically just throw her stuff on the ground, and hurry over to the swim start. She told me that one of her fellow TS members didn't get on the bus (no room), and my mom was really worried because they were in the second wave (with a 7:01 race start). She also said that friends and family were being allowed to board the shuttles, even though there were athletes waiting. On our way back over to the swim start, they did announce that because of the bus snafus there would be a delayed start.

We waited with Mom until they had her wave gathered before the start, and then headed off to take some pictures of the start. Once they got going, we started making our way over to the swim end. We missed the first elite woman, but got there in time to see the others come out of the lake. We had a good spot, with a clear shot of people coming out of the water. It was pretty hard to tell where Mom was though, since everyone from her wave had the same cap (bright pink) and they all looked the same from far away. Once she got closer we were able to identify her and it was exciting to see her come out of the water.

We then followed her over to the transition area. TS had a pretty good rack location, and we were able to stand on the outside of the transition area and see/talk to her. Once she left the rack, we ran over to the actual bike start to get a picture of her on her bike. Then JR and I sat down (I was smart and had grabbed a towel from the car to sit on) and waited until people started coming in. JR was fascinated by the tires the elite women had, and a nice guy in a biking outfit explained to us that they were for aerodynamics. I didn't want him to think we were total morons, so I explained that this was our first tri and that we'd also never seen a bike race before. He then told us we should go to Madison on September 12 to see the Ironman. That would be a pretty awesome thing to see. He said if we went, to not miss the mass swim start.

Shortly after my mom left, JR and I were amused by a lady wearing a witch hat over her helmet (I think) and a cape. When she came back from biking, we could see she also had a little basket on the front of her bike with a stuffed dog inside. I noticed that after hearing her yell something like "I'll get you my pretties." Another thing that amused JR was a guy across the course from us who was cheering everyone on: "It's all about the bike." He also told them to "crunch it." One woman started riding and then shouted out "Yay bike!" It just cracked me up; it was the perfect mix of sarcasm and excitment.

My dad called to see where we were, and as I was talking to him my mom rode by. 2/3 done! JR and I ran back over to the transition area, dodging people. I helped my mom fix her race belt, and she took off for the 5k. We weren't able to meet her at the actual start (for photo purposes) because we had to cross over the exit from the swim (there were still waves going off) and there was a lot of congestion there.

JR and I then went back across the swim exit, and headed over towards the race finish line. We tried to find a good spot near the end, and then decided to walk out a ways on the course. We figured we could meet Mom and come in with her. We ended up walking out about a 1/2 mile, to a spot where there were probably less than 5 spectators. I haven't done the cheering thing in so long that I feel cheesy, but I felt we should do something other than stand there watching the women come by. So we clapped. I felt kind of silly, but a couple women did give us a thumbs up and/or thanked us for being out there, so hopefully it helped some people out somehow.

We saw Mom coming and took some pictures and then started walking towards the finish with her. (She hasn't been cleared by her doctor to run, and her orthotic was being funky). JR and I tried to stay off the course as much as possible, to avoid being Those People. We caught up with some TS members towards the end, and we left her with them as I ran off towards the finish line area to try to get some pictures of them near the end.

Once she finished, I insisted that she get some food even though she said she wasn't hungry. In the picture I took of her with her medal, she's holding the food I made her grab and she captioned it "everyone insisted I need to eat." Of course I promptly forgot the reason why. TS took some pictures, and we found my dad around that point. He had gotten stuck with the shuttles, and when he called to find out where we were JR gave some not very clear directions.

After all that, the nightmare of trying to leave began. They weren't allowed to remove bikes from the transition area until the last biker was off the course. Once that person/those people came in, bikes could be removed. The only thing is that you couldn't take them on the shuttles and the roads were closed so you couldn't come pick them up - you were supposed to ride your bike to the parking lot. That didn't sound like a very good idea - who wants to ride their bike even more after finishing a triathlon?? We decided that JR would ride the bike to the car, and Mom and I would take the shuttle. We could've walked, but I was feeling really tired from the heat (plus, I figure I probably walked about 3 miles and ran at least a 1/2 mile total that day).

We got in a long line for the buses. After waiting maybe 10-15 minutes we found out that we needed to be in the other line. That made us mad, along with the other people around us that were in the wrong line. We continued to get annoyed that the other line kept moving and our line didn't. There were 2 remote lots, and I kid you not 5 buses in a row showed up for the other lot. So we kept standing in line, in the hot sun. Finally the volunteer at the front of the line asked one of the other lot buses to take us to our lot. There wasn't room for us, but the volunteer did the same thing with the next bus and we finally got to head to the car.

I'm really proud of my mom; I think finishing a triathlon is a pretty amazing accomplishment. It sounds like she's been bit by the bug as she's already making plans for next year. I look forward to seeing her do it next year, although next time I'll know to wear my running clothes so as not to get so sweaty from being in the sun.

Now we're up to today. I was pretty tired yesterday, as I didn't get enough sleep and got up so early. Unfortunately, I didn't get much more sleep last night, as I didn't fall asleep until after 11:30 and had to get up a little after 7 today. I had to work at 10:30, and wanted to have time to run and hopefully weight lift before going to work. I really need to get faster at getting out the door. I don't think I dawdled that much today, but I didn't start running until 8:00. It felt pretty warm, so I think I need to either start wearing my sleeveless shirts or run around shirtless. I got a decent run in, and had time for a quick weight lifting session. I watched Friday's coverage of the track trials while lifting. I was pretty impressed that they showed more than just a lap of the women's 5000m. I didn't finish that showing, and I still have all the days since then to watch; maybe I'll catch up tomorrow.

That's it for this monster post!

62 degrees | wind 7 MPH | 90% humidity
1.0 | 8:59
2.0 | 9:02 | 18:01
3.0 | 8:41 | 26:43

3.04 miles | 27:03 | 8:54/mi.

walking | est. 3 miles
running | est. 0.5 miles

65 degrees | wind 5 MPH | 93% humidity
1.0 | 9:03
2.0 | 9:03 | 18:06
3.0 | 8:45 | 26:51
3.07 miles | 27:27 | 8:56/mi.

weight lifting | upper body | 28:00

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Tue 7/13/2004 5:23 AM

Congratulations to your mom! It's amazing how disorganized the race seemed to be...I guess they are all different. Anyway, she should feel great.

Tue 7/13/2004 8:37 AM

Your mom is awesome, Marisa! I'm so proud of her and she's not even my mom! Have you thought about training for the event next year along with her? I would think that would be a great bonding experience! I wish my my mom were more athletically inclined, but alas, that will never be...

But again, congrats to your mom!