Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vineman Report


P and me on our practice ride.
Korbel champagne maker!

Getting ready for our wave to start.
On the bike course -- Hop Kiln winery - Bob and I went here on our honeymoon 13 years ago!

We met a really nice girl named Linda Barrett who actually raced on Lance Armstrongs wheels. Say what you want about pro cycling - I still love Lance!

The only proper way to acknowledge Lance's wheels.

Post race transition clean-up.

As you probably know Vineman was a gorgeous and perfect day! 21st Century Mom did awesome! Goal was "under 7" and she came in at 6:55 - perfect!
Here's the play-by-play:

Swim: 34:38
T1: 12:58
Bike: 3:38:53
T2: 5:18
Run: 2:23:44
Total: 6:55:33

It was a gorgeous day and if you read P's blog, you know that when we got to the Russian river, our suits not both zipped up yet, and our wave was wading into the water! You can either see that as perfect timing or extremely unsettling! But we got in just fine and still had time to wait for our wave's whistle to blow. This was only my third time in the water (at all) since school let out in June. My normal swim time for a half IM is 33 minutes, so I was only a minute slower which means I am right that "training is overrated"!

P got out of the swim after a bit and we took off on the bike. It was pleasant and cloudy and let me tell you the course was beautiful. Small country roads through wine country - past Korbel and Hop Kiln and so many other great winemakers. The bike course is mostly flat - a few very small rollers - just enough to keep it scenic - not enough to slow you down. We'd heard about the Chalk Hill hill, but were almost up to the peak of it when we realized "oh, I bet this was the famed Chalk Hill" but it was over in about 20 more seconds. A total non-event. So if you are looking for a fast fun SCENIC bike course, this is it. So fast that we saw several hot-doggers with bloody arms and knees on the run course! It's fast, but there are a lot of tight turns.

T2 was slowed down by me because I somehow lost my race bib in transition and had to get another number so that I wasn't pulled later as a bandit. Sorry P!

The run was pleasant and cool and mostly flat - a few small rollers - just enough to keep your legs fresh. We went at a comfortable 10 minute pace, and added about a minute of stops per mile (aid stations, bathroom, feeding Clif Bars to little goats on cute little farms). Speaking of aid stations, there were 14 stations on this 13 mile course (7 on the out-and-back) and they were stocked with goodies and the best volunteers you could ever meet. I love wine-people.

With 66 minutes left before the goal 7-hour mark, we had about 5 miles left, so we knew we were there, we just had to stick with it.

P was a trooper as her knee was starting to speak to her a little with 3 miles to go, but she focused on distant objects, got there and then focused on the next object. We all talk about the Mental Game, and here was P's opportunity to get to play it! So it was totally worth training for! Lucky girl!!

We crossed the finish line together (okay - I beat her by .4 seconds ;-)), and hopefully when the official pictures are loaded we will have a photo together. We had our matching outfits on (hats, too) so he may have caught us both. go to They are not up as of yet, but should be soon.

P's number is 819 (mine was 745 but I lost it and I unfortunately tossed the one they replaced it with so I don't know that number that I wore on the run course) so I may have to scour the pics for my finish photo. But it was a beautiful day.

We stayed the last night back at P's ADORABLE house in Walnut Creek, had wine and cheese for dinner, and then it was homeward bound in the morning.

I am so proud of you, P! You have really done well in this sport and I hope you decide to try the full one next. Just. show. up. You are already ready. Trust me! Just go a teeny bit easier and you will see that the day just goes by. You'll still have plenty of spare time for flats or naps. I think you should show up race day for the full next month. DO IT!!!!! Can you imagine how great a memory that will be to look back on? (...."Once time I just showed up at an Ironman with my bike and raced it"...) And what a relief to have that goal behind you? Go now before you talk yourself out of it... ;-)

I got home in the afternoon, and Bobby had left that morning for camp, so I didn't get to see him off, which means Bob packed for him. Hopefully he has everything he needs! I will see him on the 26th when he returns. I miss you Bobby!

Ally had her Junior Champs meet yesterday. It's the season-ending meet for all the kids who didn't qualify for the Championships. It's a lot of fun and they give out ribbons for every heat. So Ally got two firsts, one second, and one third in her events. She had a bast! She's totally the kind of kid who likes the everyone's-a-winner policy they have at this meet. ;-)

Ally with her friend Sloan.

Bobby had qualified in 4 events for the big meet, but would never miss camp for that. He loves camp. He never gets homesick, but when he's at home he most definitely does get "campsick". He talked about it all year. It's a co-ed Christian camp and you all already know how he embraces his faith. He still wants to be in a Christian rock band when he grows up - it's the only music he listens to - and they play guitar and sing around the campfire everynight. Anyway, it's on a lake and they swim, rope-swing, go sailing, jump on this gigantic flotation toy that when you jump off a structure onto one side of it, it shoots your friend out the tube on the other end up into the air and back into the lake. Looks like a total blast. He especially liked the archery and the night games last year (he also was really excited to tell me that a couple boys from his cabin came forward and chose to dedicate their lives to Christ last summer which he thought was totally awesome), and I can't wait to hear his stories from this year.

This weekend is the Chisago half Ironman! TriMom is coming from Wisconsin, and will be staying at my house... so I'll have another race report next week.