This was one of the hardest races...mentally and physically, thanks to the run, that we have ever competed it. The weekend started off great by picking up our buds from the airport and headed straight to Orlando. First stop...food! We carb loaded it up at Olive Garden for lunch. I think we all ate about 1000 calories each....hey we have a half ironman coming up, we need to fuel the muscles. From there, we checked into our sweet condo for the weekend. We used our timeshare so we were able to have a full kitchen, dining/rooms and 2 bed/baths. It was perfect because we wanted to be able to eat most of our meals at home, so we can be somewhat healthy and know how many calories we are taking in. After we were all settled in, we went to Whole Foods to stock up the place. holy moly.....Dessert Bar?!?! They dont have that where we live. Jen, feeding for two, eats gelato while we are shopping....and I snag a bite or two! :) We all picked out what we wanted to eat for the weekend: english muffins, oatmeal, greek yogurt, soy milk, coffee, fruit for breakfast....chicken, wraps, salad for lunches.... pasta, couscous, veggies and chicken for dinner....cant forget the most important meal of the day for the Banks/Clarks...dark chocolate for dessert! Work hard to play hard right?!
Jen and Dean...dinner at the Hilton!
Florida vs. Mass tan!
Friday night workout...the "Gerry Shuffle" and some ping pong....and I beat Dean!! Nick wouldn't play me! scared! :)
Saturday morning comes too quickly. We head over to the Magic Kingdom parking lot to shuttle us over to packet pick-up and bike drop-off in Fort Wilderness (where the race was held). We gather all of our things we need for our pre-race practice into transition and head over to start our pre-race workout. We lay everything out just like we would for race day....only to find out that we could not practice in Bay Lake because there is too traffic in the water. ok change of plans, lets run into transition and pretend we are coming in from the swim (T1)....bottle of water to get sand/dirt off feet, socks on, cleats on, helmet on, sunglasses on, race number on, take a shot of GU, grab your bike and head out.....T2) from the bike-run....make sure you keep helmet on until you are in transition, helmet off, rack your bike back on transition rack without knocking anyone elses off, take bike cleats off, running shoes on, visor on, fuel belt on and start running! Nick, Dean, Josh and I had a nice little practice....15 min bike through Ft. Wilderness and a 15 min run with 30 second pick-ups...stretch/cool-down...then legs up for the rest of the day. We chilled at our place the rest of the night, made dinner with the Banks and enjoyed a nice relaxing pre-race meal before hitting the hay about 9 pm.
Saturday: Dean and Nick setting up their transition areas...
The boys leaving the transition area....headed home to eat and rest up! :)
Sunday morning is finally here! What we have all been training hard for and anticipating for the last 6 months of our lives! We all woke up pumped and ready to start the race. We all ate our own pre-planned pre-race meal...I ate oatmeal, with protein, banana, peanut butter and coffee. Nick has his usual english muffin with peanut butter, cereal with almond milk and (always) coffee! Dean got up at 3 am and ate his english muffin with PB and banana (coaches orders)... 4 hours before race start. After we were all fueled up, car packed...we headed to the race. It felt like it took forever to get there...the shuttles buses taking us from the parking lot to the race was a little backed up, so it felt like we were never going to get there. We tried to time it perfectly, so that we were only in transition setting up for about 30 minutes. Just enough time to get everything where you want it and no down time to start getting nervous and feel like you are going to pee your pants or puke! :) There was a little controversy about what time transition was closing when we got there. We arrived to transition at 6:10 and the announcer woman said it was closing in 5 minutes! We start to FREAK out! Everyone else did too! The info packet said that transition closed at 6:30 and she said it said 6:15...after a LOT of complaints, they let us stay in til 6:30...but let me tell you...it was the craziest race start set-up ever! We had to give Josh the pump first because his wave was the first to go, then me, Nick and Dean. I couldnt find Josh to get the pump, but thank goodness he gave it to Nick and then Nick gave it to me! :) ahhh ok we are all better. We head to the swim start to begin our race. Run into the family!! It was soo great to see family and friends there to support us! Thanks guys it was much needed! The swim was great! The bike was fun (and the rolling central Florida hills kept in interesting-Thanks Jen!) The run was brutal. From the beginning, I thought I was going to die....either puke or cramp over. The run was a 3-lap course through the park and into a dirt road path that never ended! It was tough seeing everyone struggle, but it made me feel better that I wasnt the only one out there hurting. After the first two laps, I started feeling better and was able to finish strong. The whole time you are thinking to yourself, what the hell is going on, you're telling your body to do something and it just shuts you down. It is the weirdest feeling ever not being able to function. We were all smiles at the finish line! Yeah! Put that one in the bank....ready for more!
Here are some fun pics from race weekend:
Bags ready to rock...
Pre-Race Game Face! So exited!
Awwww....Wolavers! :) The best reward (besides reaching our goal)! We are thankful to have finished the race, healthy, injury-free and with great family and friends!