My Version of WIBA
If you want to read a really great recap of WIBA 07, head to Steve's or Wil's or Rural Girl's blogs. They've got some great pictures and awesome descriptions of the weekend. Steve put most of our pics on his site, so if you want to see our wetsuit Christmas card worthy picture (amongst others), head on over there. Been working on this post for over a week now. 'Bout darn time I get it up.
I have to admit that I was more than a little nervous heading out to WIBA, for lots of reasons. As I mentioned in my last post, my training hasn't been as strong as I had hoped it to be by this time. I'm certainly not ahead of last year's training and in fact may be a little behind in comparison. Also, being one of WIBA's first year crew, I just didn't think it would be the same. I'm usually more of a small group get to know everybody kind of person. I knew WIBA would be big this year. I just couldn't fathom how big. Steve and made it to dinner just a little late Friday evening (still had to put in a full day at work), but once we got there, my worries started to fade. Our group was HUGE but familiar faces like Tri Al, Wil, Stu, Robby B, and Thomps stood out right away. I also recognized other bloggers from pictures but always feel like a stalker introducing myself, so I waited till Saturday to meet a lot of those folks. We got to sit by some amazing people from Bloomington, IL, and I was quickly reminded that this one thing called Ironman is an instant bond maker. Suddenly our huge group wasn't so scary, and by bedtime Friday night, I was really looking forward to Saturday's swim and ride.
Saturday morning came sooner than I would have liked, but we were up bright and early to squeeze into our wetsuits. We got to meet Taconite Boy at the swim. I was afraid of looking like a stalker introducing myself, something like, "Yeah, you're Tac Boy, right? Um, yeah, I've read your blog." But he was totally cool. Soon Steve, Wil and I jumped into the water and had an amazing time swimming stroke for stroke with each other. Of course we did have to take a few seconds here and there for a good laugh and to make sure our fellow swimmers weren't getting picked off by the ski team practicing a little too nearby. Then it was on to T1!. A little creative changing in the parking ramp helped to prevent Run Bubba Run from seeing a little of Pharmie than he needed to. Before we knew it, we were heading down the ramp toward the rest of the group. The next time I bike down that ramp will be during Ironman. Only 8 weeks away! Steve and I had decided to go with the 72 mile group right away. We didn't know how his knee or my training would hold up, and we were more out to see the course and have a little fun than kill ourselves in the heat. Our group started out really small (only 4 of us decided to do the 72 miler), but it turned out that most of the big group ended up just going 72 anyway. The heat and the hills got to 'em.
My mini group started out as Steve, Thomps, and Widget. I'm not sure if it was because I was the only female, lack of training, or the fact that I'm just plain slow and steady, but I just couldn't cut it with those guys. I tried and I tried, but I was killing myself to barely keep up with their "easy" pace, and even then they were stopping to wait for me. I'm usually the waiter, not the waitee, and for me, it was humiliating. After I told him multiple times, Steve and the guys finally dropped me at around mile 30. I met up with Run Bubba Run and his friend Pam soon after that, but I really couldn't keep up with them either, so I told them to go on. I think Bubba was appalled that Steve would have left me. Honestly, though, I actually felt better once they had all gone. I could finally make it my ride, just enjoying the hills and meeting up with other bikers here and there. I finally got to meet Triteacher, who is just as sweet in person as she is on her blog. I also got to meet a great guy named Mike from the Twin Cities who is training for IM Moo. I had sort of thought that this weekend would be a make or break for me, but it was really neither. It just reaffirmed that I need to kick it into gear even more in these last two months. Steve and I met up at the end of our ride and just went for a one mile run. It was hot and I was in great need of a shower. Day 2 accomplished. We met up with the group at the Great Dane for supper, where Steve proceeded to eat his famous "man burger" with pizza for dessert. I stuck with the sensible fish, vegetables, and rice. The hotel had fresh cookies waiting when we got back, and we both ate those too. Delicious!
Sunday we met up with the group fairly early to try to beat the heat. I ended up running with Wil and Chris Sweet's wife Cara. I can only hope to look like her when I'm 5 months' pregnant someday! The three of us ran together for a while through the early morning streets of Madison before Cara stopped at her car. Wil and I ran together for a while longer and just talked about life and Ironman. It was great to have her there. I can't wait to tow the line with her again on September 9. She put so much work into the weekend along with Stu and Robby B, and it turned out fabulous. WIBA 2007 was another success!
Funny as it sounds, WIBA weekend was a very much needed vacation, even with all of those workouts. For two whole days, I slept, ate well, got to spend some alone time with Steve, and didn't think about remodeling houses, selling houses, paying bills, finishing residencies, starting a new job, or squeezing in my training. I left all of those thoughts on the course, where they belong. It also rejuvenated my training. I know what I have to do to get this done again. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a 2 hour bike ride planned...
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