Sunday, June 8, 2008

Escape From Alcatraz

Let me just start by saying we had the best weather out in California that we could have ever wished for. Every day was sunny and clear with no fog.

We arrived in Cali on Wednesday and didn't do much except stop at In N Out and get us a burger.

Thursday we headed down to Monterey and saw the sites of Pebble Beach and the 17 mile drive.

Friday it all started to become real. We headed in to San Francisco to pick up my bike and drive the bike course. At this point I have no clue where the heck we are riding and I'm looking at the streets in San Fran just about to die. We pick up Alison and the bike and head out for a drive on the bike course. At this point there is no turning back or quiting nor do I want to. I've trained for the hills and I can handle this.

We get started stopping at about every picture perfect moment snapping pictures and taking it all in. We had the Golden Gate in view most of the bike and when that wasn't in view you had the back side of San Francisco coast and the ocean to look at. Just amazing. We keep driving and driving. We get to the end of the bike course and I'm thinking, wow, this is not going to be all that bad.

Saturday, we did the packet pickup and bought all kinds of gear for this race. We were good little athletes and attended the meeting that they had. From there is was all downhill and we were prepared and ready to get this done. That evening my family made posters for me for the race. I was so happy and excited for this support.

Sunday morning. I set my cell phone to go off at 4:15am, only to forget my phone is still on Texas time and I get up at 2:15am Cali time and start getting dressed. My husband says, go back to bed it is only 2:30am. I'm fully dressed and get back to sleep right away for two more hours. I get up and get my breakfast down and head into San Fran and meet up with the team. The swimmers were already on buses by this point so I didn't get to see Mike before the swim. David and I proceed to to find the marked spot for us. I go to air up my front tire and I did something and ripped the stem on the tube apart and had to change a tire. I get that all over with and we head to the shore to watch the swimmers jump from the boat at Alcatraz Island. We really couldn't see much until they got a little closer. And they were still specs in the water splashing around.

David and I then headed to back into to transition to wait for Mike. He came flying in handed me the chip and I took off. Half way down the chute and my water bottle between my aero bars comes out and I had to stop from the rough patches you have to run through. Oh well, I have to have it. I take about 30 seconds and fix it and I'm off.

The first two miles are pretty easy and everyone is just blowing past me. We get to our first hill and it is like everyone is being pulled backwards. At this point all those people who passed me are now at the hill struggling a little. We make it up it and we take off. There are lots of downhills on the first 9 miles than on the last 9 miles. The roads were really rough in sections but I managed. The ride was amazing and not that hard. The computrainer was much harder and I felt relieved. I make it back not even knowing what time I just did and passed it off to David. He takes off on the run. I figure I have about an hour and he will be back. I watched him cross the line and it was awesome.

All in all I recommend the race to everyone. I will go back after ironman and complete the whole thing. It is a beautiful course and well put together. I loved every minute of it.

Our times...
ATX ESCAPEES(for some reason the announcer could not say our team name when David crossed the finish line.)

Athlete Statistics(Mike Reichow) FYI...Mike was about less than a minute behind the winner of the race in the swim!
Start of Swim:
End of Swim:

Total Swim:

Start of Bike:(Shawnda Freeman)
Midpoint of Bike:
End of Bike:

Total Bike:

Start of Run:(David Babbitt)
Start Sand Ladder:
End Sand Ladder:
Total Sand Ladder:
End of Run:

Total Time: 02:59:29

I will post some pics later in the week.