So, S and I headed to Austin Friday night for the big Triathlon relay. Before I go any further, I feel I must make sure you realize that I realize that this triathlon - it would be no big deal for anyone who is really fit and/or into fitness or triathlons. I get that. But, for me - fat, unmotivated me - it was a big deal. Just so you know we're working under the parameters of reality according to Amy on this front, and not reality in general. It's my blog, so my reality wins. Okie dokie? :-)
And, I should say, I prepared my bike to be ready to roll as soon as S got home from work so we could leave in due course. So, as I said, we drove to Austin Friday night, arriving a little before midnight to the hotel. It did make the next morning easier, to go ahead and drive down, as we were to meet Kellie and Meg, my triathlon relay partners, at the check-in at 10am. So, we got up, ate breakfast and headed to the Travis County Expo Center, where the check-in was to occur.
The check in, as you can see, was full of people and vendors as well as demonstrations that outlined what to expect on the course, bike repair tips. The vendors were sponsors of the race - Lance Armstrong's bike shop, Helzberg diamonds (bet you don't get that vendor at the boy triathlon, do you??) some local swim and bike shops, Mass Mutual and of course the Trek bike company. And, of course, sport beans.
Also on hand - inspirational words from Sally Edwards. She was indeed very motivational and inspirational - she has completed something like 126 triathlons. And she loves meeting people trying it for the first time and trying to get them hooked for life.
As far as check in goes...let me just say that we had all read the rules on the triathlon website - they were very specific about a number of items. SO, we came prepared to follow the rules. Apparently, we were the only ones worried about such nonsense. Rule #1 - you must check in the day before the race. OK, good. We went.
Rule #2 - if you are a relay team, you must all be present, with a photo ID and a printed off waiver form that you can sign in the presence of a race volunteer. So, we made plans to show up together to sign in. The first thing - the very FIRST thing - the lady says to us is - you're all together! Like this was a novelty - not a necessity - not a RULE. We were sort of dumbfounded. Um, yeah, like, that's the rule. Duh. We also had our printed off forms. (Kellie actually brought three in case we didn't bring ours.) and lo and behold on the table - forms you could just walk up and sign, apparently without your teammates. Had we known this, we could have a) saved our paper and b) gone at different times during the day when it might have been more convenient for each of us. That said, it was fun checking in together, and I'm sure someone would have enforced the rule had we tried it the other way.
Rule #3 - if you are not a USA Triathlon member, you will have to pay $10 for a one day membership. Friendly triathlon person took one look at Kellie's valid membership and deemed it acceptable for our whole team. So, who were we to say, "oh no - we'd like to cough up another $20." We kept our mouths shut and moved on down the road.
Oh, and of course, for my friend Jessica - the anti-doping agency was there, but they took one look at me and decided to save their pee stick.
After we signed in, we walked around the exhibits, registered to win a Trek bike, picked up the free stuff, and pretty much left. Kellie had someplace to be and we had some serious eating to do at all our favorite old Austin haunts. I'll tell you more about that later in the week.
But, on the way back to the hotel with the bike - we thought we were going to have to rack after check-in - another little rule we read on the website that changed - we ran into this squall line of showers - the bike got a little wet. And so did we.
Before I set out to go to bed early that night, I set out the items I'd need for the next day. Including breakfast. I know. Type A, nerd-o, OCD. I know. It's OK. I'm down with that.
Sunday morning, the alarm went off at 3:45. Actually, it didn't go off, adding to my neurosis on this subject. Whenever I have to get up early to go somewhere, I am convinced the alarm isn't going to go off so I wake up all night checking on it. Good thing I did that this time. I actually slept pretty good from 9pm-2am. But that was about it. Kellie and Meg met us at the hotel at 5:30. We were headed off to the race about 5:45. In the A.M. Early. For this bird, anyway.
Here's a blurry "proof" picture in the pre-dawn dark from S's truck clock, a photo of Kellie's car in front of us on the way to the race, and S unpacking the bike.
portolets, and we were all set for the race. It was cool out. Cold, even, with the wind. Upper 50's, low 60's. BIG change from my trial run the weekend before. Thank God.