Monthly Archives: October 2008

IM FL 2008: Halloween, Dropped Off My Bike, Lunch with Dan and his Bro

One day before Ironman Florida. It’s Halloween and all the triathletes are being silly, including our tour guide Ken:

I don’t know where he got this mask of the grim reaper, but it’s pretty darn cool. There is a clear plastic layer over the skull face which connects to a handheld squeeze bulb which allows you to squirt blood into the mask. The blood then drips down in spectacularly from the top of the skull within the clear layer! Cool! The others are part of our tour group. Good luck to them tomorrow!
I head over to T2 and drop off my bike. I cover up my gels and computer so the sun isn’t bearing down on it all day today:

In T2, I saw the biggest bento box I’ve ever seen:

It was taller and longer than any I’ve seen. You can put a peanut butter sandwich in there!
Then I went to drop off the T1 and T2 bags. Looks like we’ll have to run to find our own bags. Wish they would hand them off to us:

Something to avoid:

After dropping off my stuff, I went over to the Ford message tent and typed a message to myself. Hopefully it will pump me up out there. I wrote to myself, “MOVE YOUR BUTT DSHEN” heh.

I bumped into Dan and his brother Mike and went over to their condo to eat lunch:

I ate while they surfed porn – ha joking – they were working while I was chewing! Nice view out their condo across the beach.

IM FL 2008: Preparing My Bike and Bags

As usual, I gotta hand in my bike and bags the day before the race. Here’s my relatively fully loaded bike, ready to rock and roll:

First, a little surgery on my wetsuit. I cut off a bit of the sleeves and legs. Now it comes off a lot easier! Whoo hoo!

Next, I got everything laid out for my bags. I hope I didn’t forget anything. If I did, at least I can get back into my bags tomorrow morning:

Heading over soon to hand in my bags.

IM FL 2008: The Pasta Party

Tonite is the pasta party where we carb up with pasta of all sorts. We wear an ID bracelet which gets us into the dinner (but also identifies us if we pass out mid-race):

Ken took me out to Radio Shack to get some batteries for my Powertap Disc and hopefully my mobile. We pass a hot tourist spot, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, along the way:

Look at the Titanic sinking there, into Ripley’s museum! Wow, do I believe it…or not?
Unfortunately, I did not find a new mobile battery. My mobile is dead for this trip. I did get some batteries to try for my Powertap though. After Radio Shack I get to the pasta party:

Mike Reilly hosted it, and Paula Newby-Fraser, Ironman legend, spoke.
Mike Reilly is the guy who always shouts, “ You’re an Ironman!!!!” at the finish line. However, I still have not forgiven him for NOT announcing I’m an Ironman at my first Ironman in New Zealand. Grrrr…

These two ladies are amazing. The one on the left is 18 years old and doing her first Ironman. The one on the right raced Kona a few years back at age 61 and set a new world record: 12 hours and 34 minutes. Simply inspirational.

This guy LOST 127 POUNDS training for this Ironman. He is only 5’7″ tall! Geez.

This woman won the Ford Everyday Hero award. She weighed 380 POUNDS before she started training and now is devoted to raising money to fight cancer. Obviously she does not weigh 380 lbs any more.

Big Dan and me at the pasta dinner, both of us getting pumped to race:

I head home and wash up to go the sleep, with the memory of this vision to take me to bed: that of the Slingshot across the street from my condo in bright neon, soaring majestically into the sky:

And to all, a good night…

IM FL 2008: The Fun Never Ends…

I just went out and bought some more dishwashing liquid. Amazingly, there are no 7-11s here but there is this Camper’s Inn which is basically a 7-11 for Panama City Beach. On the walk back, on a whim, I stop into that Oriental Market.

Surprisingly, there were actual Oriental foods in there! Instant noodles, bags of rice…soy sauce! Even jade statues of buddhas and dragons! Wow. The ambiance was complete with country music playing on the speakers. Nice.
Then, while sitting here in my condo, I realize that I scheduled all of my afternoon’s conference calls ONE HOUR WRONG. UGH! Missed one call, but got him back on the phone. Moved all my others to the correct times on my calendar. This little sliver of Florida is NOT in Eastern time, but in Central time. How confusing.
One more hit to my gut: my mobile just died. The battery refuses to charge; I think it’s just too old of a battery, but unfortunately decided to die RIGHT NOW, right as I need it for my conference calls. So many electronic problems: forgot my digital camera, my Powertap hub is generating wrong wattages, and now my mobile dies. Great. It’s not been a positive electronics moment for me. Are there too many sunspots this week?

IM FL 2008: Breakfast, Swim, Beanie

This morning our host Ken Glah showed us his culinary skills by cooking breakfast again:

We all then went for a swim. Definitely warmer today even though I brought all my woolens just in case I would freeze coming out of the water:

After the swim, I went for a short run. Legs felt pretty light and good. First time they felt like that week before Ironman! I hope it’s a good sign.
I also found a mechanic to take apart my ZIPP disc. We took apart as far as we could and then put it back together again. No dice. Still had overly high wattage readings.
A (silly) shot of me with my new Ironman Florida beanie:

I usually never wear these, but it was cool looking and in this near freezing weather, it’s been a godsend to keep my head warm.

IM FL 2008: Got My Bike, My Lance Armstrong Moment

At 1pm I went over to get my bike from TriBike Transport. It was a slow moving line:

TriBike Transort was very impressive. It’s such a great operation to help with transporting bikes and your extra bags of stuff to races all around the US. I picked up my bike and wheel bag and got a free cap to boot!
Rushing back to my condo, I threw on my Ironman Florida kit and got ready to go ride the run course with Ken Glah and some others:

I put on my brand new spankin’ ZIPP Disc with Powertap installed. I was eager to try it out and also ride with my disc and make sure everything was working properly.
Once I got out into the parking lot, I saw my watts readings jumping into the 200-300s at only 10 MPH. I kind of felt fresh and thought maybe I was putting out more power due to the fact that I was tapering and conserving energy. I rode with the group out on the run course and saw my watts jumping to 300-500 watts now! Wow! I can’t believe I was putting out that much watts. We rode around for a while and I sprinted a few times, putting out an amazing peak of 993 watts! Wow! I am doing some serious Lance Armstrong riding now. In fact, I could be easily a CAT 1 racer or even make the Tour De France team! Unbelievable that my training has gotten me this far and only in a year – amazing! My wattage readings make me potentially even better than Lance!
…yeah right…
My wattage readings are IMPOSSIBLE. I was putting out 993 watts and only going about 12 MPH. I should be doing 30+ MPH! Dang. Obviously something wrong with my Powertap ZIPP Disc! Too bad I didn’t bring my Powertap download rig; I could have had a pretty funny power profile to download, showing my superman cycling power…!
I got back to my condo and called Cycleops. We tried a few things, but couldn’t get it fixed! Sucks. I also tried to call who had a booth at the expo. They have ZIPP Disc Powertaps for rent, but didn’t have any available for me. Ugh.
Two last things to try: replace the batteries and/or tighten up the axle per my coach’s last suggestion. I hope we can fix it tomorrow.
I then took a shower and we went to eat at an awesome Brazilian barbecue:

Superbly cooked meats Brazilian style. Nice ending to a day where I almost became a Lance Armstrong clone…

IM FL 2008: Shopping and Registration

Last night I went through my things and found I forgot even more stuff this time! The official scorecard is:
Digital camera
Contact lenses
Fleece pullover
What a pain! At least I’ve got my contacts being fedexed over to me. Hope they get here ok tomorrow.
In the morning off my balcony, the sun is bright and not a cloud in the sky:

I get up and shower, and head up to Ken’s condo where he cooks us some breakfast. I meet another family whose father and mother are doing Ironman for the first time. Lots of Ironman beginners here at this race. Probably owing to the fact that the course is relatively flat, but little do they know that flat does not equal easy…
The transition area has been setup, but very empty of course. There is an ART tent, which I happily go for treatment after registration. Unfortunately they do not possess the kung-fu grip of Dr. Steve!

The shopping tent was huge and well stocked, unlike many international races where everything gets sold out so quickly. Look at those racks of IM FL stuff!

Registration went quickly when the line started moving. I got all my stuff and proceeded home to check it all out.

Ford was in full force, being the largest sponsor. I saw the TriBike Transport guys unloading bikes and equipment, but I could not pick it up then – ugh! I even saw my wheel bag there…gotta go back at 1pm.

Thank god there is an Oriental Market there. I was getting lonely…

A daylight shot of the stupendous Slingshot across the street from my condo complex. You ride in that little blue thing waaaaaayyyy up there between the two cranes and get shot into the sky…for fun.

My condo complex entrance and also the front of the complex.

My condo comes complete with a coffee maker that has retro flames on it. How fast it must be, in making coffee!

As a Community Fund athlete, we got a bag, a T-shirt, and a nice windbreaker and visor. Cool! My shopping loot is in the other shot. Full kit, keychains, coasters, mouse pad, hat, beanie, polo shirt, wool shirt, and awesome arm warmers.

Here’s the bag with all our race stuff. They gave us a license plate frame; were we supposed to be put the frame on my bike?