Louisville Ironman 2009 Part 4

The Day Before The Race

I got up early and started organizing my race gear. They gave me five plastic bags. Two red ones, two blue ones, and a green one. The blue ones were for the bike gear and bike special needs, the red ones were for the run gear and run special needs, and the green one was to stick my morning gear into before I jump into the river. I laid out the bags, and started sorting my gear as to which bag it would go into. I did this for a while, then I took my bike to the expo to get the free pre-race tune up. I wanted to be there when they opened. When I go there, I was second in line to get in, and the line grew quickly. The doors opened at 9am, and I was first to get my bike in to the mechanics. I dropped my bike off, and wandered around shopping. I bought some reflective tape to stick onto my shirt. There was a lot less stuff in the Ironman store. But I learned that the day after the race there would be new Ironman Finisher stuff. I spun a SUV and won a cheap little Ford Ironman backpack. Lots of free stuff! Then my bike was done. I took it back to the room, and worked on packing my gear. I was double and triple checking everything!
Around 10:30am, I wandered back down to the waterfront for the Underpants Run. It was a run to raise money for the family of a triathlete that had been killed a few months earlier. I donated $10 and ran the two miles easy along with maybe a hundred other people all in their underwear. I wore the Elvis boxer shorts I wore at my wedding. I actually made them along with three more pairs for my groomsmen.
Following the run, I got dressed and walked over a mile to the swim start. I met a girl along the way who was also going to check out the swim start. So we walked together chatting. At the swim start I wanted to check out the current. I saw a stick in the water, and it wasn’t moving at all. Good. I felt the water, and it felt comfortable. I had already learned that wetsuits would not be allowed. The water was like 83 degrees.
We walked back towards the hotel, and parted ways. I had spent a little more time out in the sun than I had planned. And without sunblock. Ack! Fortunately I only got a little pink on the back of my neck.
I called Donna and Shannon, and found they were in town and riding the out and back. We arranged to meet at the expo at the Ceepo booth.
I headed back to my room. I finished packing my gear bags. I took my bike out for a short ride to the McDonalds down the street. I wanted to check it out following the tuneup and before dropping it off. It worked fine, and I got lunch. One of the local guys in the restaurant asked if I was Lance Armstrong. I laughed and said not even close.
I went back to my room, got my gear bags, and walked my bike to transition.
At the entrance of the transition there were lines of volunteers. One peeled of just for me, and took my gear bags. He walked me to where my bike would be racked. I racked my bike. I thought I was done, but no. He walked me to where my gear bags would be located and dropped them off there. Then he walked me through transition showing me where I would come from the swim, and where I would leave with the bike, and where I would come back, and where I would leave for the run. He was there to answer any other questions I had. A lot of one on one attention here!
I walked back to my hotel to rest for a bit. Then I walked to Fourth Street Live to hit the Subway. I bought a foot long sub, part of which would be my breakfast in the morning. Then I went back to my hotel room.
A little before 4pm, I walked back to the expo to meet up with Shannon and Donna. They showed up shortly. They shopped in the Ironman store, and then we went to the Ceepo booth to chat with Oaks. After a bit, things were closing down, and the bunch of us went to find dinner. We stopped at one place, but they were pretty high priced. So we continued on to Fourth Street Live and found a restaurant there. It was cool seeing the finish line set up down there. It was so close, but for me it was 140.6 miles away.
At the restaurant, we sat and relaxed. I would have loved a juicy cheeseburger, but Coach Shannon guilted me into having pasta. So I had some pasta with some steak chunks in it. It was good. We had a lot of fun. Shannon and Donna volunteers to pick up my bike and gear bags following the race. But I needed to get them a little card that would give them access. So after I ate, Coach Shannon was telling me I needed to get to bed. I said I would go up to my room to get the card, and be right back. Then Coach Shannon instructed me not to run. So I walked to my hotel which was only a block away, and up to my room. I got the card and headed back to the give it to Shannon. I got the waiter to get a group picture of us. It was great to spend some time with my friends! I am very grateful to Donna and Shannon for coming down to support me! Thank you guys! Then I headed up to my room. I went to bed, watched TV for a bit. I had two alarm clocks set for 3:45am. Then I tried to sleep. I slept poorly as you can imagine. I did get an hour or two block of sleep in before the alarm clock woke me.