Where to begin?
I guess I have a slightly different perspective on the weekend than those who were there preparing to race on that same course in two short months. I felt like most of them went in with a lot of anxiety whereas any anxiety I had was just about the hills and about not making an a$$ out of myself in front of new people or their podcasting equipment. I really was under no pressure as I didn't have to worry about how these hills would feel before a marathon in two months or worry if I could do it again but twice (by the way they all can and will be able to tackle that Ironman, I was extremely impressed with everyone out there). And I think that was the first of the many keys to why I felt so freaking great on my Saturday WIBA ride.
I was a bit worried going into the trip that I would feel out of place as I am definitely not a well known blogger and while I have been an avid podcast listener I have not gotten in on the audio scene as much as some of the others who would be there this weekend. And I am not even training for an Ironman let alone for Wisconsin so I hoped I wouldn’t be seen as an intruder on the weekend’s fun. Wil and everyone else were very welcoming the whole time and didn’t make me feel out of place at all. It felt like we were all old friends although none of us have ever met in person and many of us had never even read the others blogs.
Friday I woke up early and loaded the car and headed to TriSaraTop’s. We ate some waffles and were on the road headed to IronWil’s. About 4 hours later we arrived and loaded our 3 bikes and all of our stuff into Wil’s little Dodge with a huge trunk! Wil is such a popular tri blogger and I had built her up to be larger than life but don’t let her fool you she is tiny (in stature)! We were all abuzz with adrenaline and the fun times were just beginning.
While Wil and TriSara are probably twins (seriously folks they had all kinds of crazy things in common) I felt like I also had a lot in common with both of them. But where we differed we really differed :) We all have our own funny little OCD quirks. I could definitely see me and Wil being the type of girls that would always have a blast together out at the clubs or on a ride, and while I have only known Sara for a few months I feel like we will definitely remain good friends for a long time.
The ride through Chicago had its highlights. Podcasting was unique. I really tried hard to remain silent the entire time as I have no desire to hear my voice in the public arena but a few times my boisterous personality won out. Hence the Stu’s the lube man quote. You will have to listen to the GYGO podcast this Friday for more details on that though. We had a minor car accident (just a fender bender, moving like 3mph). I was amazed at how cool Wil was about it and we were seriously back on the road within minutes. (And nope we weren't podcasting when it happened) Unfortunately my rest stop didn’t go quite so quickly. My peanut sized bladder contributed to a 45 minute detour through the middle of Chicago. Other than that the only car excitement involved almost losing the bikes. I swear I am going to buy a roof rack if I ever have to take multiple bikes anywhere again. The whole trip I kept looking at the bikes every few minutes or so, I was so paranoid that they were going to shift and fall off the car. We did almost lose them twice so I guess my nerves were semi justified.
We were supposed to be at dinner at 7 but there was absolutely no way we were going to make it in time. How freaking nice are Stu, RobbyB, and Thomps? They freaking waited outside for us for 2 hours! It actually worked out that we were late as SLS and her hubby were coming in from MN late too. We finally got to our hotel, ditched the bikes, and headed over. Luckily the restaurant was in walking distance so we didn’t have to deal with directions or anything.
It was apparent when we arrived that the boys had already been giving the waiter a hard time. We did finally get some bread to chow on though and put in our orders. To my horror they did not have any bud light and I was forced to try something new. I think it was Hefeweizen (no clue how to spell that), and it was actually good.
Stu and RobbyB Pondering
Somehow Stu and I got in a friendly contest. I still have no clue what the rules were even, but I think Stu won. His disbelief in the Liger did lead to me getting a few points in our competition. I am sure you will hear about it in the podcast but let’s just say we compared the lion and tiger breeding to horse and donkey breeding and it didn’t result in a Liger and Mule being born. Stu did not believe me when I told him that I had actually seen a Liger so this link is for Stu. I will have to look through and see if I actually have one of the photos I took while at Turpentine Creek. So to end this argument (similar to Wil’s giant jellyfish) yes Liger’s are real (although they are not really bred for their skills in magic)!
Jade the Liger
Lots of fun stories were told which ended in more of our fun quotes from the weekend. I think my fave was probably "that's not my camelback...". Orginating from a few different stories of runners/triathletes taking care of business on the run.Dinner was wonderful, at first I didn't think I liked my lobster ravioli but I finished it without too much effort. And no, despite suggestions I did not lick the plate. But I do drink the milk out of my cereal bowl at home and it drives me nuts when people leave edible food on their plates :) I guess I am extremely lucky that the training I do allows me to indulge in the foods I like in large quantities.
The Crew (minus me)
No one else seemed up to dessert so I almost passed but they pulled my leg (all right so it took just one reccommendation that I indulge) and I ended up ordering the Tiramisu. It was really freaking good. Check out Wil's blog for a pic. I think that the Hefeweizen and Tiramisu were key # 2 to my legs feeling so great on Saturday's ride.
We continued to chat away but eventually made our way to the exit and called it a night.
Went back to the hotel and prepped our gear for the night and we all took a quick turn at the computer (okay so we are all addicted). Thank goodness for TriSaraTops and her bag full of goodies. I grabbed some gels for the ride in the morning and hoped that on top of Gatorade and CarboPro would get me through.
All of these were organized inside baggies inside the bag!
More on days 2 and 3 later!