Friday, November 4, 2011

Catch up to Race Day

Well the big day is almost here. 21 hours from now I'll be heading into that water to start the swim. To say this week has been hectic is an understatement. We'll start with Monday night:

Bigun wanted to go out as "the cow that jumped over the moon", so Kelley made the costume. It turned out so good! Evil Genius wanted to be Pocahontas, I think that might have been a subconscious attempt at getting in to Bigun's Indian Princess tribe.

They racked up trick or treating. It was raining pretty good outside, so we met up with some friends that had umbrellas. The kids had no problems with the rain of course. Everyone had a good time.

Tuesday I wrapped up work for the week and we got as much as we could packed up. Getting all of my race gear in individual bags makes it seem really real. I'm also amazed how much gear it takes just for the race:

Nerves are starting to kick in. Laying out the nutrition alone is getting intimidating. Normally I tape gels to the top tube of the bike, but I'm planning on taking 10 gels this time and still getting another 1000 calories of liquid nutrition while I'm on the bike. That's too many to tape. I've never had that problem before. How to take in 2000 calories during a bike ride? interesting problem.

Wednesday we drove all the way from Raleigh NC to Destin FL I developed a secondary time goal for the Ironman. Now I want to finish the race faster than the drive time it took for us to get here, 13:22 including stops for gas, lunch, and dinner. We came down all the way across South Carolina and Georgia, kicked into Alabama for a bit and ended up on central time in Florida. This is waaaaay to much time in the car. It was mostly a fun drive, the last few hours just got a little long. We were in Georgia for a really long time. It was a fun trip, Kelley's a trooper - she drove the entire way. And I'm really glad to be here.

Thursday we got to experience Destin, Panama City Beach, and the Ironman Village. It is incredibly beautiful here! I haven't been to the Gulf Coast since high school, even then it was very brief and I had no idea what I was looking at. It is Kelley's first time here.

White sand, green water, Destin has incredible beaches. I can totally see why this is the beach destination of choice for Atlanta peeps. My mind has been blown. We still don't claim to be "beach people", but this is sufficiently amazing.

Then we got to head down to Panama City Beach for the Ironman village and athlete checkin. Now, we had been warned about how Redneck Riviera PCB was. It was said to be Myrtle Beach on steroids, MB's big brother, the list goes on. After crossing the city limits, what are the first two things we see?

A golf cart towing a moped scooter and a prostitute. PCB did actually out-MB Myrtle Beach! I didn't think it was possible. Seriously? A scooter being towed by a golf cart? Hilarious.

Athlete checkin was smooth. I got the bracelet and found the Ironman store. I could get poor(er) in there. Some seriously cool stuff.

Every freaking race throws in a t-shirt in the swag bag, I was quite surprised that Ironman does not. I'm sure I will get one from the store and there might be a finishers shirt (they did take my size at registration) at the end, but that was unexpected. Then at 3 pm I had a meetup with:

The one and only Frayed Laces! I've been reading her for so long I was really excited about this. She had a group meetup with lots of twitter people and some unexpected facebook friends! And she totally lived up to the expectations. Smart, beautiful, nice, interesting, I was slightly star-struck. Very cool.

Then we got to meet the Rockstar!

Joe is a really cool guy IRL. We have a ton in common even outside of triathlon and I really enjoyed getting to talk some with him.

Then we got to head back to Destin and have an amazing dinner of local gulf caught seafood. Kelley was wondering, if you put a steakhouse next to a cattle farm would it have the same impact as putting a seafood restaurant right beside the ocean? I'm sure it would be fresh.

Today (Friday) is the bike/gear checkin, we're going to buy all the stuff at the ironman store and meetup with Colleen. I can't wait!

Tomorrow starting at 7 am central time you can track my progress at, use the "Ironman Florida Athlete Tracker" link, and enter bib # 1231 or search by last name Flynn. I'm the only Flynn in the race I think, so it should be easy to find me. Yes the nerves are starting to kick in, but I'm still feeling very confident about my race. I'm going to go out there and execute my plan, run my race, and have my Ironman experience.

I feel like I have thanked a lot of people personally for this time, sorry if I missed you. But this truly is not a place that I could have arrived at on my own. I owe big thank you's to my parents and Kelley's parents for helping us take care of the kids, everyone on the RAM swim team for helping me get ready, all of my friends and co-workers and former co-workers for letting me get in the workouts without thinking that I totally abandoned them socially, everyone who wrote on my facebook wall or sent an email or left a blog comment wishing me good luck, and of course, my amazing, inspiring, beautiful, patient and incredible wife. Kelley has had to deal with more shit in Ironman training than anyone expected - including me. And she's been amazing through the whole thing. She's going to have a long day out there tomorrow too.

And that might be the only time anyone has called her Patient.


Sarah said...

So incredibly excited for you and proud of how much work you've done to get there (and for your wife for hanging in there). You are seriously a rockstar, and even though I won't be there to see you cross the finish line in person, I'll be cheering for you all day long. You.are.awesome. Have a fantastic day and enjoy it!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Oh you and Kelley crack me up. That last line made me laugh out loud!

I am so so so excited for you. Going to sign up to get updates on you now! Hopefully they will email or text me with updates!

Lisa said...

You've worked hard for this. Now's the time to enjoy it and make it happen!

Holly said...

Congrats on all the hard work leading up to today! You progress is so inspiring. Best of luck tomorrow--enjoy your reward!

Frayed Laces said...

So, so, so excited for you! I hope both you and Kelley have an awesome day! You better do this next year--I'm going to!

Theresa @ActiveEggplant said...

I can't imagine how excited you must be! Here's wishing you a fabulous swim-bike-run tomorrow & we're all rooting for you!

Reese's Runner said...

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!! You will be amazing!!! I'll be stalking!

Diana said...

Best of luck to you this weekend!! Very excited and can't wait to read all about it!!
Have fun and be safe!

Unknown said...

I'll be tracking you and sending you KICKASS thoughts!!

Kim said...

go get em john!!!

Karen said...

GO JOHN! I am so excited for you - so glad you putup a post, I had been thinking about you guys all day! Yeah - PCB earned the redneck riviera title very legitimately - ha ha. Weird about the shirt, they *have* to give you a finishers shirt. Frayed Laces - I think I would be star struck cool you got to meet her! Have a great race tomorrow!

Hugh Jass said...

Yay!!! Blogger meat ups are so much fun!

Michele said...

Go John! I'll be watching the tracker for you!

joyRuN said...

Have an awesome race, CJ!

You got this.

Kelley said...

I think that is the first and probably last time that anyone will ever call me patient. Let's see if I can keep it up for a couple more days! I've seen you turn from frat boy to husband, from sterile to father, from smoker to athlete, and tomorrow I can't wait to see you turn from mortal to iron. I love you babe!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Awww! This is so exciting!! You are racing as I type this. I can't wait to follow you along throughout the day. You are going to kill this race, buddy. I am so proud of you and excited for you and amazed by you!!!

Sophie @ threetimesf said...

Aw, the cow that jumped over the moon is such a cute idea - and great outfit!

I can't believe I'm so behind on catching up with your posts!