We returned home from Texas on Sunday night and I was back at my desk Monday morning. I had also overcommitted myself to an hour long presentation on overtraining syndrome for a bunch of sports medicine doctors (um, i thought you guys were the experts? just kidding) on Tuesday.
So, race reporting hit the back burner, and now that it is Wednesday, I'm sad to say that some of the brutal suffering is already fading from memory...
Anyway, back to the program.
James and I arrived in The Woodlands, TX on Wednesday night. The Woodlands is about 30 minutes north of Houston, and in true Texas fashion- everything is bigger! Big shops, big restaurants, big canals, big houses. Thursday was check-in and we got our bearings, scoping out the tasty spots in town. Hubble & Hudson market gets two thumbs up and we ate more than a couple of meals there before the race. I think I covered my love affair with H&H in the last post. So, moving on.
Thursday night we decided to hit the Ironman Pre-Race dinner. This was a leap of faith for James since he really banks on his tried and true foods and this random hotel buffet was a gamble. But, I have to say, the food was pretty good! Thank you, Woodlands Marriott! We were able to have some lean-looking meat and veggies and salad and James was happy (phew!). While stuffing our faces, Mike Reilly began his talk. Mike is THE voice of Ironman (meaning the guy who says over the loud speaker as you cross the finish line, "Joe Whoever, YOU are an Ironman!" Mike called up the two youngest competitors and interviewed them. Then, he called up "a husband and wife team, who just won their age groups at California 70.3...JIM and Beth Walsh". We walked up and I told him it was James, not Jim. Anyhow, an interview and some laughs at my expense ensued. Lots of stuff like this:
Mike: "So, Who takes care of all the packing, and schlepping, etc"
James: "I do everything while Beth sits on facebook and drinks coffee."
Mike: "Do you ever leave her on a bike ride?"
James: "Only when she tells me to."
Mike: "What do you mean?"
James: "Well, after 5 hours when she is totally blowing up, I know that its better off to leave her because she's angry and just wants to be alone"
So, that was awesome! Nothing like looking like a lazy bike psycho in front of your 2000 closest friends! It was neat, however, that for the rest of the weekend, everywhere we went, people said "Hey! The husband & wife couple!"
Friday night, my best friend from college, Martha, trekked up from Houston to have pre-race dinner with us. The trip to TX to race Ironman was wonderful in itself, but to get to spend three days of quality time with Martha made my year! Every time I see her I remember immediately why I love her so much and its really as if no time has passed. I cannot believe its been 10 years since we graduated from Vanderbilt. I also love Martha because she keeps it real. She said sometimes she reads my blog and is like, "Really? I crack up when people write a comment like you are an inspiration or something...I know the real you.." (I'm going to leave out the part about who she says the "real me" is because this is not a private blog ;). Then James agrees and they both have a good laugh at my expense. Then they trade stories about what a crappy housekeeper I am. good times!
Anyhow, after a great dinner at Pure on Friday night, James and I hit the hay (we had A LOT in our barns) and got a good night's sleep before the 3:30 am wake-up call.. It was about to be....RACE TIME!