Today I took a quick ride out onto the bike course. It is incredibly flat. According to my buddy Keish, the max elevation change is 50 ft! Foothill Expressway is a tougher ride than this course, and it ain’t tough at all! Also, apparently out here at sunrise and sunset, kangaroos come out and hang out by the roadside foraging for food.
After getting back to the room, we got all our T1 and T2 equipment together into our bags and set out to check in our bikes and that equipment.
Parking our bikes in transition was nice. They had a labeled spot for me that had my name on it! This race has almost 1000 people in it; it’s probably the smallest race I’ve been to (most of the other Ironmans are well over 2000 these days). It’s funny to see only this many bikes in transition. Very unusual for me.
Yet more waiting in line to check in our T1 and T2 bags. I think I must change my last name because every time I reach a line, it’s the slowest moving line that has the most people in it! What a drag!
Here is Greg our rep from Endurance Sports Travel. He’s a pro-triathlete from Brooklyn who just made Team USA, and hopefully will be an Olympic contender someday. He’s also our mechanic and chauffeur for our race.
It’s 5am and I’ve been up since 3am. Couldn’t sleep anymore so I got up and read some, and had breakfast.
Yesterday, the wind had picked up enormously. Not an expert at predicting wind speed, I thought that it must have been well over 30 MPH. As I fell asleep, the howls of the wind were blowing outside my windows.
Today, at 5am, when supposedly the winds are supposed to be dying down towards race day, I hear them howling still outside the windows. It’s an omimous sound, and I can only hope that the wind does not appear tomorrow on race morning. I shudder to think about cycling in that kind of wind, not to mention braving the white caps which I am sure are out on the ocean right now.
I think this was the first time I’ve ever been to their parade of nations:
Carbo dinner party wasn’t bad though; food was varied and I am more used to piles of spaghetti or ziti.
Here is the SCROUGE of western Australia:
These flies are EVERYWHERE. They’re not like house flies that you find over here in the U.S. House flies just fly around and eat rotting stuff. These flies LOVE to come over and land on you. They basically need protein to lay eggs, so they would rather lick your sweat, your tears, saliva, nose mucus, or even your blood. They are so freakin’ annoying because you can’t make them go away. They are everywhere. They don’t bite you – they land on you and tickle you and….LICK you to get all your nice bodily secretions so that they can lay eggs and make more of their annoying selves.
When we’re walking around here trying to do our Ironman thing, these little flies never stop pestering you!
Find out more about these annoying flies here: Australian Bush Fly.
Getting down to the expo to register, we see the partially constructed area:
Standing in line was weird. The N-R line had nobody in it. Doesn’t anyone have a last name that begins with a letter from N through R? On the other hand, the last names were all piled in D-H, I-M, and S-Z. Geez. We waited forever for our race packets.
Yes I shopped. Not much to buy this time, but I did get some hats, a cool shirt and jacket. Socks are always key, especially when they have the race name. I dumped the Ironman bag and look at all this promotional stuff. I need to be careful not to throw away something important!
This morning a bunch of us went for a swim and it was truly a rough experience.
The rain started coming down and the wind whipped up the water. What’s up with the rain!?!?! Isn’t there a drought in Australia?!?!? We went out but it was hard negotiating the 2-3′ waves. I think I swallowed quite a bit of water! In the pictures, you can see the mile long jetty along which we swim. We didn’t make it all the way around as it was rough enough just getting out about half way.
After we got out, it got even worse and I felt for the other triathletes coming in to take a dip; there were white caps by the time we left. Supposedly the rain will stop later today. We should be having great weather and can only hope the wind will also die down too.
So far, there seem to be many Bay area folks here at the race, some in the group photo above. Nice to have fellow Californians around!
Today we head for registration and, of course, shopping at the expo!
The flight over from LAX was uneventful. I’m glad I had a whole row to myself and curled up lying down thankfully, instead of sleeping sitting up. As we pulled into Sydney, the clouds were puffy and inviting.
Customs was very strict. They made sure there wasn’t any dirt on anything. I thought they would make me unpack my bike totally but thankfully they just peaked in at my tires and made sure they’re pretty clean. Of course they’re clean! I washed down my whole bike before coming here, including the tires! But looks like I got all my racing nutrition into the country, so that’s one headache gone.
Now I sit in the Sydney Airport Qantas Lounge enjoying free WIFI and blogging away about my impending race.
Why are all airport lounges outside the US so much better? It’s so spacious and airy in here. There is a kick ass cappucino machine that makes incredible drinks. Coffee is so much better ANYWHERE outside the US.
Sitting here in the peace and quiet of this swank lounge, I again reflect on 2007. So much I’ve learned about myself and my body, and what it is capable of, and where to go next. 2007 was the first year I’ve attempted two Ironmans, and it’s been a real experience seeing if my body could take two Ironmans in a year without a down season break in between. That, and racing in between Ironmans, has taken its toll on my body but I am confident that the fitness has been cemented in after each race. It’s managing the damage on my body after each race, and learning how fast I can come back, and figuring out how to maintain fitness which has been a challenge.
Kinesio-tape, Graston, ART, and then couple that with proper training – it’s been a real experience. I do hope I can reach a point of fitness where I can race more, and race faster. Next year I will be taking a lot of downtime, and using the early half of next year to build up run speed. I look forward to that, as I think my running strength needs to be built up considerably.
For now, I focus on Ironman Western Australia coming up this Sunday. Early news says the course is really flat, and I hope I can maintain speed without over-cranking my left leg where my kneecap is still bugging me.
1 hour before I hop on the connecting flight to Perth.
I’m less than a week away from Ironman Western Australia (IM WA) and down in LA with all my typical Ironman equipment.
I look in the mirror and see my face kind of shrunken in, as if my flesh is disappearing. It always seems to get this way right before a long event like a marathon or Ironman. My physical therapist tells me it’s because I have reduced volume during my taper, and now fluids don’t collect in my muscles because I am not damaging them as much during the taper process. Consequently, I see my weight dropping by several pounds in the weeks right before a race. It’s kind of remarkable. I hang near 148-150 lbs for many months and then it all flies away until I am almost 145 by race morning, and usually the week after as well.
Another stupid thing. I get to LA, on my way to Australia and I realize that…I forgot my bike helmet! AUGGGH!!! What an idiot I am. I call all over LA looking for an aero helmet and finally find one in Redondo Beach at the Triathlon Lab. What a life saver! I pick up a Limar Cronos aero helmet there.
Otherwise, I battle little aches and pains here and there. I always worry about them because I do not know if they will be OK or flare up during the race. Racing while in pain is not good; you have enough pain from maintaining a pace and you don’t need other pains to distract you.
News from Busselton and Perth. Customs at Perth is super strict. Hope they don’t take all my powders and gels. A buddy of mine arrived there a little while ago and drove the bike course; he says it is pancake flat. I hope it’s true. Plus it’s pretty hot in Perth right now, but Busselton is much cooler on the coast. At least the Australian drought means that it’s extremely doubtful we’ll have rain on race day.
Tomorrow, I hit the 1030p flight to Sydney. It’s one long ass flight.