On Wed (Nov 5th) we got up a little early (at least for Kyle) to swim with James. The weather was still kind of icky - windy, kind of cold, and lots of waves. The swim actually went really good. The water is a great temp - not to cold but also not to warm. I swam all over the place and never in straight line. I blame the waves that kept pushing me around...
Afterward swimming my Mom & Jerry cooked us all a super yummy breakfast of eggs, toast and oatmeal.
Then we tried to go see the Big Cat Rescue but misunderstood that you had to be there at 9am or 3pm only. Oh well we met up with my Aunt Bernice who lives in Tampa and headed back to Clearwater.
Once back in town we stopped off at the race expo and did athlete check-in and walked though the expo. I was excited to see that all the gear was blue - my favorite color :) So I just had to get a pair of arm warmers, bike jersey and tri shorts. We also picked up some cool visors.
After spending way to much money Kyle got changed and went for bike ride with James while I walked along the beach with my Mom and my Aunt. Then I put my feet up and relaxed till dinner. I'm glad I decided not to ride with the guys since they came back saying that they feared for their lives a couple of times - I guess the drivers around here are not very considerate to cyclists.
The sun finally came back on Thursday :) We started the day off with a visit to the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fl. We had wanted to go on Wed but did not make the tour times. The tour was amazing. You get to see all sorts of cats and support a great cause.
Afterwards we met up Col, Bryan and Liz at the Tampa airport to help get them and all there gear to the condo. They played bike for a while. Kyle's dad met us in Clearwater. They went of and got checked in and all that sort of stuff, Kyle went for a run and I went to the hot tub to stretched my legs out.
In the evening we went to the Athlete Welcome dinner which was out on a beach and had a good buffet style dinner. The weird thing was is that they had alcohol but no gatorade or even pop.. The presentation was kind of dry and boring but oh well.
Friday morning I got up a little earlier than Kyle and went for a short easy run - at 7am it was already warm enough to run in a tank and shorts.. Once I got back Kyle was up and we headed out to go for a swim. The water was calm!!! no waves, no swells. it was wonderful and the best thing is that the swim course buoys are set up.
We only swam for about 15 - 20 minutes but I focused on sighting and swimming straight. The water felt great and so much easier than the waves of the days before.
Next up was a super short bike ride just to make sure everything worked as expected then final run through of gear bags to make sure I had everything I wanted in them.
We met James over at the expo and checked our bikes and both gear bags. I had a good spot on the end of a rack but it was a ways away from the rest of my age group which was kind of weird.
Of course we had to walk through the expo again and Kyle talked to the Newton guy about the gortex winter shoes and grabbed a pair to run in for the Seattle Half Marathon. After talking with Kainoa about final race/nutrition/mental plans I spent the rest of the day/night was spent with my feet up in compression tights.