Dinner Friday night was on the beach at a Seafood restaurant. No need to feel sorry for the vegetarian. I won't complain about a couple (ok-more like 3) bread baskets and a nice healthy salad. Yummm!
Saturday morning I headed out for a long run of 12 miles around Bradenton. To my surprise, I see Hillary Biscay in a car lacing up her shoe laces. As a top 5 finisher in several Ironman races, I had to take a moment and introduce myself. After briefly chatting with her, Hillary said she would join me for part of my run. Oh my! Of course I wanted to take her up on this and we started running and chatting. I looked at my watch and we had been running together for over 20 minutes. So my HR was a bit higher than usual and I was beginning to get a side stich, I couldn’t help myself from saying out loud “I’m running with Hillary Biscay-a pro triathlete!” This was so cool. So even though I had already run 3.5 miles and she was warming up, the run was a great start of my day. I ran with a Pro Triathlete!
After the 30 minute run with Hillary, I finished up my run and headed back to the hotel. Fuel belt was empty and I was in need for a shower, coffee and more oatmeal. Saturday I was on my feet all day helping out with registration and sat evening was the pre-race dinner. Aside from a 30 minute rest in my room to chat on the phone with Karel, I was on my feet all day. Thank goodness I was rooming with a Pro triathlete who needed her rest, cause I was out at 8:30pm! Sunday morning we awoke at 5:15am and I braided my hair and put on my visor. Ok-so I was totally in the moment and it was habit to be at a race site and start my normal a.m. routine prior to a race. Silly me. I headed down to body marking and stamped the 150+ athletes that were racing in the Tri 101 race. Afterwards, it was off to the swim start to get the athletes together prior to getting in the water. Then I was off to the transition area to make sure people mounted their bikes after the line and have their helmet chin straps buckled. After a mile walk, I was approaching a fuel station on the 6-loop bike course and I found myself handing out water, gels, bananas and holding bikes as athletes used the port-o-potties. After my Ironman experience, I totally understand how important it is to have plenty of fluids on hand for the athletes. And after much practice at Karel’s races, I am getting very trained at water bottle passing on the bike. Being a volunteer is tough I tell ya! My legs started to ache and I took a long walk back to the race venue as I cheered for athletes on the 3-loop run course. Next, I was at the fuel station on the run passing out Gatorade and water. Then, to the finish! My roommate finished first in the Pro Women field and earned a hefty $10,000 pay check!!! How cool is that!!?? And Hillary (my running partner) finished third!!!What an exciting weekend.
Great news on the other side of the U.S. Karel finished the Tour de Gila in 48th place. After 5 days of racing, over 300 miles and a starting place in the 80's (after the TT), I am so proud of Karel. He dug deep and when his mind and body wanted to quit in the extreme wind and brutal climbs, he found the inner strength to keep fighting. What an inspiration he is. I’m so excited for him to come home and congratulate him. I hope he is eating something good right now—I bet it’s a burger (something he NEVER eats) or pizza and possibly a well-deserved beer. Of course he will follow it with Ice Cream..he deserves it all! Maybe I'll eat some ice cream in honor of him.
I am so excited to race at Ironman 70.3 Florida. I’ve had some of the best moments in my short 2 year triathlon career and I have been very blessed to meet such wonderful people. Training is going great and I am looking forward to my taper at the end of next week. Although I love talking with the Elite athletes and picking their brains on tips to help me turn pro, it is the “normal” athletes who I love to meet and talk with. There is nothing like an age-grouper wanting to finish a race and having a great time doing it. I tell ya-I just love being around people and I wake up every morning just loving life! Yes-I have my bad moments like everyone but I really treasure the good ones!