Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Timberman 70.3 Part I

Day One of my amazing Timberman 70.3 weekend started on Thursday.

My BFF Dawn came over and we had a bike cleaning session together as she was heading off to compete at the Age Group Nationals in Burlington! I spent plenty of time getting Tiger ready, checking each gear and riding for a bit to make sure all was running smooth. I packed my tools, CO2's, tubes, patches, dollar bills and anything else I needed in case.
Tiger was looking sweet and she ready to race and eat all those hills for breakfast!!

Friday was the day to pack-meaning: obsess about each and every detail of what I needed to pack then lay it all out and stare at it until my eyes got blurry. Go thru my checklist 14,000 times and then go through it again.

I reviewed my race plan, nutrition needs, back up plans to "what ifs" and tried to rest. It was also time to start drinking! water that is...my kitchen became the Hydration Station.

Tough Chik all the way!

I continually checked the weather reports as they were changing on a daily basis. The early reports were cool temps (78*) and partly cloudy but as the days ticked by there were reports of thunderstorms, high humidity and heat rolling in.

Athlete check-in and bike drop off was to take place on Saturday along with several seminars and the mandatory pre-race meeting. The plan was to depart Maine early Saturday morning with my bike and Marc (my good friend and training partner). I wanted to sleep in on Friday and Saturday morning to take advantage of as much rest as I could sneak in leading up to race day. Friday night I did not sleep well and I was up more than I slept most of the night. I did try to sleep but by 3:45 am I was up and ready to go. Since Marc is an early bird too we decided to leave a bit earlier than planned and were on the road by 6:30 am.

The plate says EMZBENZ! Of couse I thought of the ONE and Only EMZ!!

About 2.5 hours later we arrived in Lake Winnipesauke and I could feel the excitement building within. We found Gunstock Mountain-where the check-in, Expo & meetings would be-and then decided it was time to eat. We ventured back into town and had breakfast at this little hole-in-the-wall place and I played one of my favorite games: Guess who is a TRIATHLETE. Although, on this day, my little game was far too easy. Most patrons were wearing some sort of compression garment, Ironman shirts/hats/visors etc. or their zip laces gave them away. After eating, it was back to Gunstock Mountain.

Hills, hills and more hills
The lines to Athlete check-in were pretty long but once you got thru the first check-in point, it was smooth sailing!

And we were there EARLY!

signing my life away to IRONMAN & WTC

The first seminar I attended was a Q&A with Rasmus Henning, Caitlin Snow and THE Chrissie Wellington.

Caitlin Snow, Chrissie Wellington & Rasmus Henning
I have listened to many interviews with Chrissie on my iPod over the last year and I find her quite charming and funny. She did not disappoint at this panel discussion either and had the audience laughing several times.
I even got to ask THEM a question-
"Do you have any race day rituals or superstitions?"
All three said that they don't really have any superstitions or rituals-that they stick with their normal race nutrition and let their training take them where they need to go come race day.
Rasmus had a good point in saying that he does not have anything set in stone since he has to travel so much, certain foods may not be available or time may not allow for a particular "ritual". He did not want to have the thought that something did not go right for him before going into a race.

When the Q&A was done, Rasmus and Caitlin stayed around for a few minutes to chat with us while Chrissie was whisked away and out of the building.

While I still love Chris Lieto, he now has some stiff competition. I will gladly sub in Rasmus as Boyfriend #2 any day of the week. He was SO nice
was a freaking rock*star on the bike at Timberman!!
2:07:11 for a avg pace of  26.42 mph over 56 miles

Aren't we a darling couple??

 After meeting Rasmus and Caitlin, my friend Marc spotted Chrissie out on the grounds and so we decided to take a walk to check it out.

Chrissie was giving a presentation and awards to the Make-A-Wish racers so we watched from a bit of a distance. That is when one of her photographers told me that he loved my I PEE ON THE BIKE shirt from Triathlon Rocks and he had taken some pictures of it. He then said it was ok for us to hang out at the Make-A-Wish event!!  So we got a little closer and got to cheer on all the racers who raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire.

The Make-A-Wish racers celebrating their fundraising with Chrissie

After that, I talked to my friend the photographer and asked if I could go talk to Chrissie and he brought me right up to her, introduced us and showed her my shirt!

SHE LOVED IT and laughed. We then had a very charming discussion about the art of peeing on your bike!

Chrissie laughed & laughed...

...and I could not stop SMILING ear to ear!!
 I could not believe it-- I got to meet my idol!! And she was just as sweet as anything. The woman is so kind, warm and funny. A class act all the way.

One of my big goals for this race was go to get my finishers medal from Chrissie-now if that did not happen, I would be ok since I got to meet her.

Then it was time to head back to more seminars and the mandatory pre-race meeting. After that was done, we had to drive back to Ellacoya State Park to check in my bike.
We got into transition (oh my tight quarters!!) and then walked around a bit checking things out.

I decided since I was NOT going to be getting any red/yellow cards on my race, I could enjoy a moment in the PENALTY BOX!

Then all of a sudden it became so real to me.
It was FINALLY here. The day I had been training for all summer was here and I was ready. I was excited. And I was sooooo happy.
Now it was time to drive home, get some sleep and get up for 1:00 am...


Jason said...

Is it me or is THE Chrissie giving you or really the camera the upside down finger?

I can't wait to read the rest as I am bubbling with anticipation.

Finallyfit2011 said...


Tricia said...

super awesome!

A Prelude To... said...

What great pictures with Chrissie!!! I cannot wait to hear your race report!

Unknown said...

Why yes, Jason, that IS an upside down middle finger.
It's the Brit way of saying YOU ARE #1 when you go #1 on the bike :)

Katie said...

awesome! can't wait to hear part 2!


Middle finger it is.... not even hidden.... hmmmmmm
Leito.....4:15 for 112 at IMTX..
although Rasmus does look better...

Big Daddy Diesel said...

TEASE!!! I was expecting "something funny" about the run

LMAO with Chrissie flipping the bird

What podcast have Chrissie interviews? I know of The Age Groupers one

Congrats on the race

HD said...

Awesome!!!! How exciting :) Cannot wait to read the rest!

jamie@sweatyhugs said...

Awesome! Can't wait to read part 2!

justme said...

way cool. so very way cool

Unknown said...

Ah... the power of the pee shirt! I love it! Can't wait to hear about the rest (and by the way, you are too cute! Do you ever no smile???)

Agnese said...

Haha!! I love the story! And yes, Jen, you and Chrissy smile all the time...it is the best thing ever! And thank you so much for the beautiful PR for our I PEE Shirt!!

Molly said...

You know, you and Chrissie look alike : )

Unknown said...

Awesome first report can't wait to read the rest right now!

I love it.

And I love how you're just hugging and hugging Chrissie with that great smile!