Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ironman Arizona

I went to Arizona this weekend to volunteer at Ironman Arizona and to cheer on my friends that were competing. I stayed with family and as always felt their great love! It was a whirlwind trip, arriving Saturday morning and leaving Monday morning. This was the first time I have volunteered for a full Ironman and it won’t be the last.
It was a beautiful site early in the morning at Ironman Village.
 My shift at the bike special needs location didn’t start until 10 am so I was able to be at the start and watch the age groupers all go at the sound of the cannon. What an amazing sight!
The water instantly turned into a washing machine. Seeing this made me a little more nervous for my own big race next year. I stayed to watch some of the athletes I know exit the water and head to bike transition before heading out to my assigned station. I was at about the 15, 50 & 100 mile mark. It was a 3 loop course so I was able to see people several times. It was great fun talking to the athletes as they stopped for their special needs bags, to refresh their bottles and get nutrition and sunscreen. Some were all business and just grabbed their bags on the go but a lot of them really wanted the break so would stop and chat. It was interesting to see what each person thought was important to have in their bags. There was as much variety as there were people.

Earlier this year, I bought the book "Feed Zone Portables" by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim.
Feed Zone Portables I don't necessarily have nutrition issues but am always looking for better, healthier methods of fueling during a race. I especially think this will be necessary as I head into longer training sessions and races. Anyway, I read the book but have not had the time to make any of the recipes and try them out. One of the cyclists who stopped in my area had what was obviously food prepared from this book. I recognized the wrappings so I asked him.  His wife is a nutritionist and they started preparing this food earlier this year. He told me since he stopped using processed nutrition and switched to the feed zone food, his performance has gotten much better and he's had no issues. He even gave me one of his rice cakes to try since he had over packed his bag. It was delicious and I can't wait to spend the winter months experimenting with the recipes.
I finished my four plus hour shift and headed back to Ironman Village to cheer on the people on the run and meet up with my friends. I can tell you that during a weekend like this with little sleep, we get a little crazy and there was lots of laughter! It the middle of this craziness, I decided that I would register for 2014 IMAZ. This race sells out immediately but if you volunteer you get a jumpstart on the registration process. Most of the friends I was with were going to campout to be first in line Monday morning to register.
The wristband proves you volunteered and lets you get in the early line! I got caught up in the excitement of the weekend but actually thought better of it Sunday night. I figured I better get through my first Ironman in May and then decide if I want to do a second one!

Last week was a great week. The GPP Master's class has grown in size and it's been exciting to watch them push their limits and go beyond what they thought possible. And my piece of good news for the week was that my application to be a USAT Level I Certified Coach was accepted so I'll be going to a training class in February and then will be able to work even more sharing this sport I've come to love dearly.

The next two weeks are going to be crazy, getting ready for Thanksgiving, training and heading into a busy time at work!

Have you ever done something because you got caught up in the moment?