Friday, October 19, 2012

3:5:3 Race, Team USA Meeting, the Roo arrives

It's been a busy day here!!

3:5:3 Solo Race
Donna and I were up at transition at 6:00 am for the 3:5:3 race - 300m swim: 5k bike: 3k run. I alerted the officials that I would only be swimming and running and they were fine with it; it would just mean a DNF (did not finish), but I got the swim start practice which was my main goal. It was funny to only see my run stuff in transition.

We had self-selected our wave starts prior and I opted for the last wave since it sounded like the most fun. The "Stoners" are described as "‘I swim like a stone and I’m bringing my flippers’ And yes we will allow flippers in this wave start."  It was a mixed bag of us including first-time triathletes and some huge guys with flippers. I'm quite sure we had the most fun waiting in line. My feet got pretty cold queuing up on the concrete but race day we have to do the same.

This morning was the warmest and least windy it has been. The water was 58 degrees but at least it was nicely still (picture above). I'm still not used to the salt water 'taste' but the swim itself was fine. I dawdled in transition a bit to stay out of the way of my rackmates who had to remove their bikes. Then I took off on the run feeling awesome but per instructions (sigh!) did not race. I threw in a few pickups, had fun, and thanked all the volunteers on the course! I liked running up the finish chute where the pro women would run just hours later.

Team USA Meeting
Jeff and Tim of USAT and Coach Kris Swarthout led a meeting with a packed house of Team USA'ers. We went over rules, attire, procedure, strategy, and schedule. The tricky thing is the bike - we are riding on the right side of the road for part and the left side for part but whatever lane we are in, we are to stay left, and pass right, which is opposite of what we are used to.

The winds, combined with rain and steep descents and sharp turns on the course, have made for some treacherous riding. We have been hearing stories of lots of wipe outs. One person was blown over on their bike at a stop and the bike slid under a car and was run over.

There are a lot LOT of details to keep track of and remember about race logistics and race details. Everything from what can/can't be worn, to when it can/can't be removed, when and where to check in, report, queue up, etc. This is my first race that uses penalty boxes. If we get a yellow card on the course (for drafting, blocking) we have to report to the next penalty box and serve our two minutes.

The whole Team USA thing hit me at this meeting. That's all I can say really. This is such a neat opportunity and I am SO SO SO glad to be a part of it all, and grateful and thinking of all who have encouraged and supported me.

The Roo Arrived!
We got word this morning that the 16 "missing" bikes were safely in Auckland. Mine arrived around noon at the hotel. I put it together myself, sort of, then gently wheeled it off to the race mechanic at the Cloud who fixed, tightened, adjusted, and redid.

While I was waiting, the pro women were finishing their race. I watched on the big screen TV, knowing they were finishing just a few hundred feet from me.

Coach Kris is taking the group of us late-bike-getters out on the course at 5:30 and the team mechanics are working extra to get everyone taken care of.

I threw this picture in too. Two triathletes, two bikes, two bike boxes, and all their stuff wedged into one room! 

Tomorrow is bike check in, uniform checks, and body marking at 4 pm for Team USA. The rest of the day is pretty open, but we are expecting rain and yuck. Coach Jim's instructions are to relax, stay off my feet, and do some race visualization (but not after 5 pm). I'm definitely going to be ready to GO come Monday at 9:55 am!!!