I have arrived in the little gem of a town Wilmington, North Carolina. I braved interstate 40 and Hwy 74 to get here. Of course my flight arrived into RDU just in time to hit the peak of rush hour traffic.
To add insult to injury my rental car, which was brand new, decided to take a digger about a mile outside of the rental agency. So back I had to truck to the agency to wait for another car to be available. But the agent hooked me up with a nice upgrade, which was nice not having to worry about if the bike box would fit or not!
After a quick pit stop overnight at my mom’s house, I was on my way to Wilmington finally. This trip is bitter sweet, a race I was so pumped for in June has slowly become an Albatros hanging heavily around my neck. A IT band injury after Santa Claus Half Marathon that was further aggravated by my running Ragnar Great River (which was awesome and worth it) set my training back 5 weeks. Which luckily wasn’t so bad since I have been training since December for this race and already had a strong base to pull from. That along with personal turmoil rollercoaster, the prospect of cross country travel and peak racing were daunting at best. Up to the day that I flew out of Fairbanks I was questioning if I should even go. I still am questioning if I should have traveled. Another cross country race, shleping my gear alone through the airport…. which is par for the course. I can only hope racing well will clear my mind.
The worst part of the day so far was humping my giant bike box up these stairs! My apartment is part of the Momentum Surf Shop, thank you Hunter for hooking me up with your place!
I checked into Ironman Village got my gear and only half listened to the athlete briefing. Which of course led to furious texts to my high school friend Charlie, who is also doing the race, questions about transitions and bag drops 🙂 Thank goodness he is much smarter than I am. I am slowly trying to get my bags packed tonight. Which means I have gear strewn all over my apartment.
I hit up dinner at the Front Street Brewery. Food was meh, but the beer was cold and free. I sat at the bar and for the length of the bar all you could see were people wearing blue and orange Ironman arm bands. These are my people! The gentleman sitting beside me, John from Atlanta, was great dinner company. We talked about Triathlons and tech gear. As a gear head, I was right in my element. As a single traveler its always nice to meet new people. The bartender was even more awesome, as he bought my beers for me. Which totally made up for the food being kinda crappy.
After dinner its time to walk off the carbs! I took a short walk up and down the river walk. Enjoying the 80 degree sunshine. Race day will be much cooler at around 63 for a high, so its best to enjoy it while you can. Saw lots of athletes walking and running the river walk, along with the normal homeless people. I did sit down and talked with the lady that was sitting near the coast guard boat. She was a hoot and very friendly. She offered me some of her dinner and some of her hooch! I did decline 🙂
Even got a great shot of the sun setting behind the Battleship NC.
And this one: Sorry for the lens flare, but my lens is cracked.
And last but not least was the apple pie ice cream!
Back to my apartment and time to put Frank together. I love my Cervelo P2, its fast, light and beautiful. Frank has been an awesome bike. I am so glad that Bree trusted me with him years ago 🙂
Tomorrow I gear check my T1 and T2 bags along with my Frank. I hope to get this done early so I have the remainder of the day to relax, explore, and take in the Ironkids race in the afternoon.
I am hoping that I have an awesome race non the less. I need this personal victory to overcome the set backs of 2016. Learning that a friend you thought were there for you, were not, and have actively made your life harder, the break up of a 4 year relationship, the fits and starts of trying again, and moving have all made 2016 a year of transitions. I like to think that I have made it through T1 and T2 and now all I have to do I propel past the finishing line and everything will fall into place. A simplified analogy, but fitting.
Onward and forward to Saturday!