Thursday, November 27, 2014

The week of Ironman Arizona: Day 1 (Wednesday, 11-12-14)

First…a little bit of background. My husband is an Ironman Triathlete.  He became one in August 2008 when he completed the course in Louisville, KY.  Afterward, he said he’d never do another one.

I’m not sure when he developed “Ironmamnesia” but fast forward to June of 2014 when he began training for the 2014 Ironman Arizona.

I wonder if eating those words was part of his nutrition plan for THIS Ironman training program?

June 2, 2014 – let the training begin! 002

He followed a different training program this time around. I certainly felt like he wasn’t “gone” as much on the weekends but that also could have been because there were many weekends where I was gone as well chasing my own goal.

The logistics for Arizona would obviously be much different than they were for Louisville. There was no packing up the car and driving there. He needed to coordinate hotel (and staying with friends), flights, car rental and shipping the bike and his tri bag.

November 7th – we took the bike and bag to Bicycle Garage Indy-North for them to ship it through Tri Bike Transport to Arizona. The pedals needed to be removed prior to shipping. My husband would then put those in his carry-on to ensure they arrived with him!2014, 11-07 (1)2014, 11-07 (2)

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH: our flight departed Indianapolis at 10:25AM. I was very thankful that it wasn’t one of those “crack of dawn” flights that he normally books. After a brief stop in Houston, we eventually landed in Phoenix at 4:49PM (local time). The first order of business was to find the hotel and drive from there to Tempe Beach Park where the triathlon would be taking place. For some reason we had difficulty navigating out of the airport. We drove around it twice missing the exit we needed both time. We felt like Chevy Chase in European Vacation. “Look kids -  Big Ben. Parliament.” Usually we are both really good at that stuff. This also make me question if we would survive on Amazing Race! But I digress…

We eventually found our way out of the airport loop and at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Phoenix Airport. While my husband was digging through his Ironman folder getting the address of Tempe Beach Park, I ran across the road with his bike pump to take the first official Facebook photo of Ironman Arizona.

FACEBOOK POST: A Palm. A Cactus. A Bicycle Pump. It's beginning to look a lot like Ironman Arizona.419

We were starving as well so we found the nearest Subway to grab a bite to eat and then it was on to the event venue. It was a little disappointing to find out that the hotel was not within walking distance to Tempe Beach Park.

Then he wanted to drive the Beeline Highway which was the biggest portion of the bike course. He wanted to check out the condition of the road and get a feel for the elevation. He was pleased with what he drove. We headed back to Tempe Beach Park and walked around for a bit. Since he volunteered at this race last year, he was familiar with how it would be setup and tried to explain it to me. But without all the barricades and stuff, it was a little difficult for me to imagine.

These pictures were taken between 6:00PM-6:15PM but it seems later/darker because Arizona doesn’t follow daylight savings time change.421422It is difficult to see how deep this bike area really is since it is dark and empty but come Saturday it will be filled with some very expensive equipment.423424This is the company that he used to ship his bike.428He’s pretty sure he saw his bike in there. There are still many open spaces so more deliveries would be made before race day.425426The Tri bags are starting to pile up as well.427

Finally it was time to head to P&KE’s house.  As we pulled in to their driveway, this sign and balloons were waiting.  Too cute!


The youngest of their sons (C) wanted to see my husband’s Ironman costume. We tried explaining that it wasn’t that kind of Ironman. Eventually my husband pulled out his wetsuit and showed him that.  Needless to say, C wasn’t impressed!

It had been a long day so after unpacking most of our stuff, we were off to bed.

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