Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Roll 64 - 40

Ok, second attempt at this after accidently closing the window I was typing in. I headed off to Madison this weekend. There's something really therapeutic that I've been finding in these weekend adventures. Maybe it's the (sort of ) solitude, maybe it's just the change in surroundings. I'm feeling better than I ever have. I think that the anti-depressants have washed their way out of my system now. The only thing that I've noticed lately is that my head just doesn't like caffeine. I suppose this is probably a good thing.

Downtown Madison is going to be so much fun to run through. I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but Sunday my my friends Gina, Kari and I went walking around the IronMOO run course. Compared to the bike course, there'll be lots of stuff to look at. The bike course on the other hand, could be really painful.

After work on Friday, I headed off to the wilds of Madison. I really wanted to check the course out and make sure that Ihad a better idea of what was there than when I drove through in June. The drive down was pretty uneventful, just lots of people speeding down I-94. I did stumble upon this surreal radio show where people were buying discount gift certificates though. The two DJs seemed like they were straight out of Drop Dead Gorgeous .
I got down to Madison, checked into my Motel 6 Roach Motel (it wasn't THAT bad, but it certainly wasn't a four star type place... but it IS cheap) and ran to get some food. I will never be thin because I just love things like Chicken Enchilada soup TOO much. Having a Chiles' right next to the motel could be a bad thing sometimes. Not always though. I also stumbled upon a Borders that was pretty close. Sometimes there's nothing more comforting than a Borders and a Chilis. I don't always love suburbs, but I don't hate them either. One of the nice things about them is that sometimes I can feel like I'm at home when I'm elsewhere. It's not always the greatest thing, but sometimes just knowing what I'm going to be eating before hand is nice. <-- Not super original, mind you. Just nice and reassuring.

Saturday morning came too early, and I ended up rising to an upright position later than I would have desired. i didn't want to wait for breakfast to digest, so instead of going to the Denny's next door, I slammed a couple of granola bars and headed out to the bike course. It probably wasn't a good thing to do.

I got to the Monona Terrace convention center and realized that my maps were sitting at home. Everything should be fine right? The course is well marked? You'd think, but then you'd be wrong. I got all my bike stuff ready and rode up to teh top of the ramp where I saw this...

Lake Monona from the Parking Ramp

Frank Lloyd Wright can design a pretty dang good looking parking ramp, but the more important thing is that body of water that takes up most of the picture. That's where the swim takes place. I didn't get a chance to swim in it because there were boats EVERYWHERE, but in really thinking about it and breaking the swim down into pieces, i think I'll be able to do it. If you figure that the swim is 2.5 miles and you've got two loops,each of those loops is 1.25 miles. If you then break that down, you figure that if it's a rectangle, you've sides that are .3 .4 miles long. Thinking of things that way, makes it a little easier for me. Take it piece by piece. My dad asked me yesterday if the Ironman swim was 4.5 miles. Eek! 2.5 suddenly felt much better.

I biked out of the parking lot and tried to decipher the mess of heiroglyphics that I found spray painted all over the street. I don't think I found one spraypaint mark that made sense in my first 20 minutes of riding. I stumbled upon a bike shop right on the lake and they hooked me up with a map. hallelujah! (they shall continue to rawk until further notice)

The Ironman bike course is made up of a leg that heads out to a double loop and then the same leg back to the start. The leg out and back just does NOT seem like it's marked inside Madison proper. I put an extra 12 miles on at the beginning just trying to find my way out of town. Race day itself won't be that bad, but with the heat and the 25 mph headwind, I wasn't a happy camper riding my old steel bike. I finally found where I was supposed to be riding and really hunkered down. I don't know if it was a sign, but every cyclist I saw on teh course was going the opposite way. I should have listened. I really should have. I made it to the 35 mile mark for the day and realized I wasn't going to do the loop. Everything suddenly caught up to me. Wind, sunburn, heat exhaustion, sickness, dehydration - I couldn't go any farther. Moaning to Angela over the cell-phone as I was pulled over on the side of the road, I realized I needed to turn back. I think the only thing that got me back to my car was the tail wind I suddenly had. I just really didn't want to push things knowing that I was the only one I knew for 200 miles around me.

I guzzled as much liquid as I could when I got back to the car and sat down in Max A/C as I drove back to the hotel. After a quick food stop, I went back to the hotel to bask in more air conditioning. I had a couple hours to kill before my friends Kari and Gina came, so some Triathlon related reading and thinking transpired... that, and a trip to Old Navy. Can I just say how much I love Old Navy? Well, i do. That is all.

Kari and Gina came down and we hung out in downtown Madison Saturday night. Had some decent italian food and went back to the motel for episodes of Trading Spaces.

sunday we looked at the run course. It is SOOOO gorgeous. I'm really looking forward to that part. There really isn't much to look at on the bike course. Corn and more corn tends to be the order of the day. The run on the other hand will mostly be right inside the UW Madison campus. Pretty cool stuff.

Roll 64 - 40

Thanks to Kari and Gina for keeping me company on Sunday. I like traveling by myself, but sometimes its nice to have company. Its even nicer sometimes when those people are some of your best friends.

We stopped at the "Cow McDonalds" on the way home. An ENTIRE McDonalds decorated in cowspots. its quite the site to behold, but they've also got a lifesize Mac Tonight playing "piano". There can be nothing cooler... and I'll leave it at that.

Mac Tonight!