Friday, May 20, 2011

Ironman Texas!!

Check out this great blog from NUUN about Patricia, Sonja and I!!

Holy Hotness and Humidity Batman.....we are in Texas!!!  It has been a whirlwind of activity since Sonja and I arrived yesterday afternoon.  And the best part was finally meeting our athlete Patricia yesterday.  It was incredible how we all just fell into a groove with one another and quickly became buddies.  Patricia seems like our long lost sista and is officially PIC3:)

I had no idea what to expect with a blind person/athlete.  I don't know anyone who is blind and wasn't quite sure how this whole thing was going "to work".  But there was no "working", Patricia is so completely self sufficient that at times yesterday it seemed like maybe Sonja and I were blind!!  For example, at the grocery store checking out, Patricia asked me to hand her a bottle of water from the fridge next to me......Son and I looked at each other and then asked her how she knew there was water there.  She simply replied - don't you hear the motor of the fridge?  Yeah, ummmm.  No.

After settling into our hotel room, it was off to the athlete dinner.  I tell you what, these people know how to put on a dinner for 2,000 hungry triathletes:)  Seriously though, it was a great venue and an awesome buffet.  Texas hospitality is at an all-time high here.  This community is embracing the inaugural event and is completely welcoming!  The venue appears to be very spectator friendly on the run as well.

T-1 to Ironman Texas!!

There was some serious business to take care of today.....the tandem bike (BTW, a sweet titanium Seven) did not come together as smoothly as planned last night so it needed some bike mechanic love.  While Sonja and Nigel (another guide) took care of the tandem, Patricia and I headed off to the swim - we needed to get in together with the tether and practice.  The water was kind of cold getting in but as we swam out a bit it just felt kind of nice.  Patricia had warned me that getting started in the swim was the toughest part for her - it's complete sensory deprivation for her.  She panicked just a bit but within a few minutes she worked through it, got her head in the water and started swimming well:)  I practiced pulling the tether to guide her and only ran her into one buoy:)  We worked out our communication and made our way back.  I was very pleased at how well the swim went.  Tomorrow is going to be a bit more difficult though since we start with the pros 10 minutes before the masses.  I admit to being a bit nervous about this part but I will try to keep us wide and as close together as possible.

We met back with Sonja and started the 20 minute walk back to the expo.  Now it was fun time!!  Quintano Roo bikes were in the expo and we had met Mac (and his wife Kristi earlier in the week - thank you!!!) and talked TT bikes (since I am in need of a new bike!).  We learned all about the QRs and  wind tunnel testing and cables, and stack and reach, and brakes, and everything else!  Then it was demo time.....what can I say, the QR is a fantastic ride and felt quite a bit different from what I've been riding for the last 2 years.  And I really liked it!
Pink camo bike.....speedy plus no one will see me passing them!!!
Clearly VERY excited to take pink camo for a ride!
Then a really cool thing happened.  Even though we had the tandem back from the shop, it still needed our pedals and seat adjustments.  This was a little more complicated that I thought but QR's Mac, Brad and Troy (Trey??) were unbelievably helpful.  To say they went above and beyond is, well, an understatement.  They even measured me to make sure the seat height was good and I wouldn't trash my knees!  And as Mac said, they were going for "complete awesomeness" for our tandem fit.  THANK YOU to the guys at QR!!

Me, Mac, and Patricia dialing in the sweet tandem ride!
Then, the next big step in our pre-guiding prep......getting ON the tandem and RIDING the tandem.  I was very anxious about this.  We found an empty parking lot and successfully clipped in and rode the bike....PHEW!  Handling of this bike is much different - the center of gravity is much further back than I'm used to and turns need to be wide and conservative.  I only have one bottle holder so we will be slowing for each aid station to make sure we both stay hydrated and that will probably be the other dicey situation.  But, I'm sure that after say, 40-50 miles, we'll be in the swing of things.

After tomorrow's swimbike, I then hand Patricia off to Sonja for the run.  And I am off to spectate and cheer the remainder of the race!  Track our progress tomorrow at  Patricia's number is 81.

And now, relaxation and feed time.  Good luck to all the Ironman Texas athletes tomorrow!!


Brian Brode said...

Nice post, Michelle!

It was good to see you, Sonja, and Patricia today. You guys are simply AWESOME for being Patricia's guide.

Tear it UP tomorrow and I look forward to hearing all about it.

Stay tuned...

Kristi said...

Sounds like everything came together really well! I'm so glad you got to meet up with Mac. Have a great day tomorrow!

Bret said...

Can't wait to hear about Ironman TX. Wish Patricia luck, but the PIC's as guides, I know that she'll kick some butt.

The QR bike rocks! It is one awesome ride.

Unknown said...

What an amazing opportunity for all 3 of you! I can't wait to hear all about it.