oregon adventures

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vineman Full Ironman

Completed my second full ironman triathlon on the 1st of August. The training was hard, the race was fairly easy as far as an ironman goes.
Drove down on Wednesday the 29th of July and my daughter drove the whole way so I could rest and prepare mentally. We spent the night in Medford at a Homewood Suites- very nice and with military discount it was very cheap. Two rooms, two TV's and a kitchen. I ran three miles in the morning on the Bear Creek path which goes from Medford to Ashland. Very nice path and a lot of people using it on a weekday morning.
Had lunch at the Turtle Bay museum in Redding because I saw the top of what looked like a cool bridge and it was- we walked across and took pictures. It's called Sundial Bridge.
We made it to the hotel in Windsor in the early afternoon and checked in and unloaded, very small room and over twice the price of the Medford hotel but a mile from the finish line. My son was arriving in Santa Rosa at 8 so we went over and waited and picked him up. Had dinner in the Old Railroad section of Santa Rosa at a really nice small Italian place with great food and good prices and a waiter who spoke almost exclusively Italian.
Friday we went to the expo and packet pickup and set up the run transition. Then we did a practice drive for the morning to Guerneville where the swim is. It took a long time because the town was full of tourists. I don't remember what we did for dinner that night.
Saturday morning my daughter stayed in bed and my son drove me to Geurneville and we had to park quite a ways away. Walked the bike up and set up the bike transition got in line for the porta-pottie while my son dropped off my bike needs bag for me- then it was time to line up. Started the swim and it was crowded, but I just swam along. Not in a particular hurry I just swam along and soon I was surrounded by other color caps. Did the turn around and sped up with the current. What seemed like a long time later I turned at the start and onto the second loop. Did this loop a little faster I think. Finally neared the end and thought I'll just stay here in the water and swim some more. But got out anyway and saw a 1:18 swim time on my watch- six minutes slower than my first ironman. Felt like I was going faster, oh well onto the bike.
What can I say about 112 miles except it was in Sonoma county CA and grapes everywhere. Also holes and bumps, so I couldn't look around much, had to watch the pavement. I had forgotten suntan lotion, so at the first bike water stop I waited in the porta-pottie line behind six people and then put on some lotion I got from the volunteers. I had what I would call a leisurely ride. Stopped at all the stops and then would pass all the people I had passed before who passed me while I was stopped. At the end of the ride my leg started cramping so I rode with one leg down stretching it out and drank everything I had left and it got better. Did a 6:28 bike with all the stops.
Then for the hard part. Three out and backs over most of the 70.3 route I did last year which means up and up on the way out and then down on the way back. Kept a good comfortable pace through two laps stopping every mile to get water, cola, chips, peaches, whatever I felt I needed that mile then start back up and slowly increase to cruise speed. On the third loop my right leg seized up and I slowed to a shuffle so it would only spasm sometimes so I would hop then. The uphills hurt, but I took banana pieces each stop and took more e-caps and going real slow but still running I made it to within a mile and sped up. Saw the kids and said "meet me at the finish". Seeing them at the bike transition and on the run loops was so uplifting. When I saw them almost at the end I started to really run and then I sprinted down the shute and the announcer said "look at this wow". Did a leap and hit the clock and finished the run in 4:54 for a 13:02 finish time! Felt great especially compared to the first ironman where I had to be led to the food. This time I talked to people and then ate and then the kids and I went to Applebee's by the hotel and had steak and beer.
The next day instead of doing wineries, we decided to go to San Francisco. So down 101 to the Golden Gate and walked a little in Fisherman's Wharf and ate in a crab restaurant in The Cannery. Had chocolate at Giradellie's and then went to Coit Tower and rode the elevator up and had a great view of the city. Then found the twistyest road in the world and lined up and took the Jeep down it with people lined up at the bottom taking pictures of us and the other cars going down. Then after getting lost and buying a map we found the walking ramp to the Golden Gate bridge and walked across. That may have been a bad idea. At the other end my legs hurt and I didn't want to walk anymore, but had to walk all the way back. Beautiful views and a perfectly sunny day. Then I had a hankering for pizza so we ate at Mary's Pizza in downtown Santa Rosa on the way back.
Monday said goodbye to my son and we visited four wineries taking only one sample at each and bought a painting in Santa Rosa that my daughter said would be perfect for my dining room and it does!
We actually stopped at an In-n-Out for lunch and I had a burger for the first time in years. Stopped in Corning at the Olive Pit just to see it. Spent the night at Medford and went back to Ashland to look at the Shakespeare festival place and Lithia park and ate at an Italian place and got this evening shot.
Then Tuesday drove home eating at a sushi place in Eugene and making a short stop at the Ankeny winery outside Salem.