Monday, July 31, 2006

Ironman Race Report - Pre-Race (Wednesday)

I started writing a journal of my Ironman week and found myself getting quite details in my writing. I was trying to figure out what I should or shouldn't write on my blog. I usually like to write short, concise posts but that wouldn't do Ironman USA justice. So I'll try to do something inbetween that won't bore you with my ramblings yet express the shear beauty of the land, excitement of Ironman and struggle to compete. So I present to you my first installment for Ironman USA.

Aimee and I left for Lake Placid on the Wednesday before the race. Aimee's dad would be following us out there since we didn't have room in out car with all of our gear; two bikes, extra set of wheels, helmets, shoes, food, clothes, bike workstand, pump, folding chairs, laptop, camera, etc. The advantage of being able to drive to the race was not worrying about overpacking. We could pack almost anything we wanted.

The drive was mapped out and forecasted to be 9:15 in duration according to GoogleMaps. Of course we had several stops for eating, gas, stretching, etc. We actually made the trip in about 10 hours. The drive was fairly uneventful along the New York Thruway passing such great cities as Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Watertown. On the thruway we saw alot of BMW motorcycles. At a service plaza we asked one rider where he was headed. He said there was a rally in Burlington, Vermont. He had be on the road for 48 hours having come from Dallas, TX. Now we understood seeing all of the motorcycles. We even saw a family of four with a side car for the kids and trailer in tow.

Actually Watertown is where we left the main highways and made the final push to Lake Placid. Aimee switched over to her dad's car and drove with him for the rest of the trip. This was actually nice because I liked having the time alone with my thoughts on Ironman, listening to my MP3 player with my Ironman playlist and enjoying the scenery.

The majority of the drive is in the Adirondak National Park. No cellular service, very few buildings, small towns, etc. I managed to get a couple of pictures while driving but of course seeing it first hand is the way to go.

We passed through Tupper Lake, home of the Tinman Half Iron distance tri and also Saranac Lake.

As we got closer to Lake Placid I finally saw the first indication of Ironman.....yup that sign is up there for me.

Pulling into Lake Placid from the west I missed the street we were staying on since the city had renamed their streets and not put up all of the signage. So we wound up driving down main street and circling back around to our street. We finally found the townhouse I rented. I liked the location of the townhouse. Nestled back from the main road in a clearing. After talking with the rental agent I learned that we were in the only unit that they rent and she didn't know if any of the other units were available for rent. It was a nice 8 unit condo association. I never saw another tri bike or any other evidence of Ironman USA. I was close enough to town, but just on the fringe to stay away from too much hype. I could stay calm and focused as I prepared for the big day.

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