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Ironman Wisconsin-- Pre-Race

** Hey folks, just got home and got my pictures downloaded. Sorry for the delay.

Our pre-race was awesome! As I wrote before, I went about this year making this Ironman an “event” for us. For me, I wanted to make everything from training to post-race the best it could be. This is my FIRST (and very likely only) Ironman and I wanted it to be special.

Lunch with RMTC friends (Friday)

I belong to a very cool, fun, supportive tri-club in the Denver area-- Rocky Mountain Tri Club. There were 10 of us doing the race and over the last 6 months we had met up for a few workouts, seen each other at races and just talked about the impending IM. We decided to all meet up for lunch on Friday to sit back, relax, catch-up and talk about the day to come. What a great way to start our weekend!

RMTC representin' at IMMOO

Athlete’s Dinner (Friday night).

Let’s make something clear, you don’t go to the athlete’s dinner for the food, you go for the atmosphere. They had about an hour long program during dinner where they highlight some of the oldest & youngest people entered in the race, those who had lost a lot of weight, doing their FIRST triathlon, etc. It was very motivational and encouraging. Additionally, it also gave me time to meet up with friends who were also racing I didn’t see at lunch—Alicia, Jill, Niki, Courtney. Jamey (from RMTC) noted about how I seemed to have collected a conglomeration of friends through training. He’s right and I am glad I did.

Lane buddies. This is the smiling face I see every T/TH at 5:45 am in the pool.

Alicia (met in Green Bay, left) and Courtney (met in Kansas, right)-- I get around.

Bike and gear check-in (Saturday)

Now, there was nothing special about this, in particular. The only thing I really noted was that from the time I showed up, I was grinning from ear-to-ear. Checking in our bags and gear was the final thing we had to do before race day and I just couldn’t stop smiling. I was soooo ready.

Ross checking in his T1 bag. Feeling confident as well.

Pre-race dinner with the family (Saturday night)

Now I have made it no secret I couldn’t wait to share this experience with my family. Awhile ago I asked my mom if she would host a pasta dinner the night before and she said sure. So Saturday afternoon/evening I got to spend with my family. My aunt, uncle and cousins drove in from Michigan, plus Ross' parents and my sisters and their families were over—18 total— all planning on supporting us the following day, either by being along the course or by watching the kids. Everyone was excited and happy. I had made shirts for everyone and they got them. This way, we would be able to see them (and they could also see each other better) at the race.

I kicked everyone out of my parent’s home (except them) at 7:30 and got ready for bed. As we went to bed, I had NO anxiety. None. And the fact that I didn’t have any scared me a little bit. So I asked Ross if I wasn’t taking this seriously enough and he reminded me just how seriously we had taken this whole year. We were just ready.

The following morning couldn't get there fast enough!