Where did we leave off? Oh, right. The first 2 days of the trip were packed, and that brings us to Friday – registration day!
Rob decided to get up early and bike most of the Ironman course to get a feel of what I was going to be facing on Sunday, and to get a good training ride in for himself in preparation for his 70.3 in late August. While he was gone, I got the girls up and ready and we headed into town to get myself registered and get all my goodies.
I found myself getting nervous as we got into town, parked, grabbed a bagel and made our way to the Convention Center where everything was being held. I’m not sure why the nerves hit my then, but I guess it was starting to become “real”.
We got to registration, showed my IDs, signed my life away (literally), they weighed me (this was new – I guess it was to keep track of in case you ended up in the medical tent, they would know how much weight you lost if you required attention…), I got my wristband, my transition/special needs bags, my bag of goodies including a luggage tag, poster, program, a cool flag, some Clif Bars, etc. I would get the super cool backpack they give us down at the merchandise tent at the Ironman Village.
The girls behaved well (for the most part) and we made it through quickly, went downstairs to see the Olympic skating rink where the “Miracle on Ice” happened in the 1980 Games. It’s still used daily and was busy with people practicing figure skating. It was also nice and cool which was refreshing!
We then went to the Ironman Village to walk around and see all the vendor tents. Lots of good deals on things, but I restrained from buying new wetsuits, goggles, bikes…although it wasn’t easy to pass them up! The girls made signs for me, we hit the merchandise tent and had to buy all the things with my name on them. For some reason, this is a big deal to me. I’m not really sure why, but seeing my name (spelled correctly, too!) among the other 2,500+ athletes is a huge rush (and a bit nerve wracking). So I got a t-shirt, a cool microfiber towel and Julia got an IronKids hat. I knew I would be back again so I waited to get more stuff (never mind Emily was like the Tasmanian Devil running through the racks – good grief she tires me out!).
While we were waiting for Rob to return, we headed back to Mirror Lake beach so the girls could swim. Once Rob got back, it was my turn for a quick practice swim on the course before Julia’s IronKids race. Rob told me a little bit about the bike course but I found out later that he didn’t *quite* give me all of the details…and I’m actually thankful for that. More on that piece later on. He did an awesome job with his training that day and he’s more than ready for his race in a few weeks.
I got in for my swim, and was thrilled to do the 1.2 mile course – I went without a wetsuit just to get a sense of water temp – it felt easy, relaxed and the lake was amazingly beautiful. Clear, no weeds and the course is marked so well with the lighted cable under water and large buoys that it almost feels like you’re in a pool. I was so excited about this and it was a huge confidence booster! My coach, Matt, did tell me that I was to wear my wetsuit on race day if it was legal, even if I didn’t think I “needed” it. He said it would probably give me a 5-10 minute boost on my time. Well, that’s a no-brainer then!
It was then time for Julia’s race and she was bouncing off the walls with excitement! We got her race number and swag and watched the older kids do the “Dip and Dash” before it was the younger ones turn to do the running race. They could do 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile or 1 mile, and she chose the 1 mile. (we found out later it wasn’t really close to a full mile but it didn’t matter to the kids!).
A few of the professional women were handing out medals at the finish, which I thought was super cool, and even more cool was the “Voice of Ironman” Mike Reilly was there announcing the race for the kids! He’s kind of an icon for Ironman and hearing his voice when I crossed the finish in Arizona saying “Erika Myers, You are an Ironman!” is still one of my most memorable moments. I never got to meet him in 2012, though, so it was super exciting to meet him and chat with him. Turns out he’s from Toledo (where Rob’s whole family is from) and went to the same high school as his mom/aunts/uncles. He didn’t know the Gailliot name but we chatted for quite a while anyway and he could not have been nicer.
Julia did a GREAT job in her race and we were so proud of her!!! Maybe she’s an Ironman in the making (I can only dream!)
Well done, Ironman. This event was wonderful for Julia and I’m thrilled she had such a great time with it. The medal she got was legit, too – it’s almost as big as mine!!
After that, we had a snack at the Lake Placid Brewery and then walked around town more. They had an “opening ceremony” set up at this beautiful park in the middle of town – it started to rain a bit though so we didn’t stick around. Instead we opted for a beer at another bar before grabbing some Chinese takeout to have at the cabin.
I had a LOT of stuff to prep for my bike check-in Saturday morning so it was nice to just be back at the cabin. It honestly probably took me 2 hours to get my crap figured out and what I needed where. It’s like a job to prep for this race!
We went to bed fairly early and were ready to tackle Saturday!