Friday, August 1, 2014

Boise Bound…

Just to make this Ironman a little harder I figured I’d go to Boise in between Thursday’s registration and Saturday’s gear drop off.

There’s two risks. Missing my plane and not giving myself enough pre-race sleep and rest.

The flights are back to back. First we had to Boise we had to get up today at 6:00 am, do my business in Boise and then wake up at 5:00 am on Saturday morning to fly back to Boulder and then grab my gear and check in my cycling stuff at T1 and run stuff at T2. It’s a very tight schedule and if I miss my flight, or it’s cancelled or if it crashes I’m not going to be racing Sunday.

What concerns as much, maybe even more, is that I’m not giving my body time to recover. After tonight’s event at the Boise Hawks game I think that’s a very real possibility.

The reason I flew back to Boise was because Salmon Social, the new social media app I’m working on and a documentary is being filmed about is officially being released at the Boise Hawks game. The Boise Hawks are the minor league baseball time for the Chicago Cubs.

Before I left my 90-day tour of duty in Boise on the second last day I met with Todd Rahr the GM for the Boise Hawks and asked him if we could officially release the app at a Boise Hawks game. He was in. I was stoked. The plan was to combine a Salmon Social night at the Fourth of July Game.

It was a little ambitious on my part. Our development team needed more time. So we had an option, do it August 1st or September 1st.  I looked at my schedule and realized that if we do it August 1st I could squeeze it in between Thursday’s registration and Saturday’s bike drop off. It would also be a shorter 2 hr flight from Denver to Boise rather than a 7- 8 hour flight from Toronto with connections.

The main reason I was prepared to take the risk of logistics and exhaustion was because I’ve got to promote this app in a big way and waiting another month just wouldn’t have worked for me. I’ve invested too much time and money to wait anymore time than I need to and it fits well into my post Ironman plans of not having to train and where I can focus all my attention on Salmon Social.

Little did I know that I’d be spending 7 hours on my feet at the Hawks Game. It reminds me of when I did Ironman Utah and did a 4 hour hike with my daughter Alyssa up Angels Landing two days before.

I really don’t know what I was thinking at the time other than I was more motivated by work and not by being fully rested and prepared for an Ironman.
The day wasn’t uneventful. If you’ve ever been to Denver you’ll understand how the Denver airport is way out of town and is big and requires a lot of time to get through check ins, security and then to take the tram to the gate.

I did have a minor faux pas, I thought the flight was at 8:30 am, it wasn’t, it was at 8:25 am. It may not seem like a big difference but it is.

By the time we got to the airport we were at 1 hour, but we had to park and it’s a huge complex and of course I didn’t know exactly the best place to park and had to walk a ways to the check in.

When we got to the check in the line was long, really long. We did get lucky and put in a shorter line. By the time we made it to the agent and checked our bags it was less than 45 minutes before flight time and the bags arriving with us was not guaranteed.

Our bags were filled with Salmon Social shirts and we needed them for the game. The plan was to throw them into the stands to the crowd.

The bags not making it on our flight didn’t freak me out too much. I knew there was another flight after us that would still make it into Boise before game time. It would just be a hassle if they didn’t arrive on our flight.

We then lucked out again and got the express security line at the airport. It helped. It got us on to the tram quicker and to the gate in time. Of course because we were late we were the last people on a full Southwest flight to board. No seats together. We did get two aisles one in front of the other.

I was just happy to make it on the plane. When we got to the airport in Boise our luggage had made it. Part one of the flight was mission accomplished.

Next stop was the hotel. It was literally walking distance to the airport. I knew that having to get up 5 am tomorrow would be tough and the closer we could get to the airport the better.

Even though we hadn’t arrived yesterday I used my rewards points to book the room last night so that we would have it available to us at 10:30 am when we arrived. We needed a place to crash and have a shower. I also wanted to use it to get as much rest as possible before the game.

Turns out there wasn’t too much rest. My first order of business was to go out for my last run prior to the race. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It was hot out, about 95 F and it was around the airport. No sidewalks, all industrial. Very scenic if you like looking at semi-trucks in an industrial park.

I didn’t know the exact time I’d spend running. My Achilles had been hurting since yesterday’s run and I’d been walking on it gingerly all yesterday and this morning. I kept telling myself it’s mental and not to focus on it being a problem. That it’s not as bad as it feels.

It semi-worked. By the time we got to the hotel I wasn’t walking on it as gingerly and I decided to go for a run. The last time I ran back to back it seemed to help.

I ended up going for a full hour and the Achilles was bearable. It was hot, a dry heat. It felt good to get that last run in and time will tell if it was the best move or not. I find that my body tends to respond to over use than over rest. Or at least it used to.

Once back to the room, it was a quick shower and then off for some food. We found this awesome place , a mom and pop, Cuciana Di Paolo that had amazing gourmet comfort food. The personalities of the owners were great too. I had veal Parmesan and linguine, some clam chowder soup and finished off with some almond pudding and ice cream. Carbo Loading at it’s finest.

Then it was touring drive of downtown Boise with Alice. She hadn’t seen the downtown residential areas. Boise is a really nice City, I call it the best kept secret in the United States. If I was going in the witness protection program I’d request moving to Boise.

After that tour we drove to Memorial Stadium where the Hawks play. I wanted to make sure the app picked up the location and just do a dry run to know where it is relative to the hotel.

By the time we got back to the hotel it was 3 pm and we had to be back for the game at 5 pm. I managed to get about a 40 minute power nap.

Even at that time I knew I was going to be in trouble. My feet were sore from the run and being in tight runners and the night hadn’t even began. I think part of the issue is I only wear runners when I train, any other times I wear my flip flops.

We got to the game and met up with the rest of the Salmon Social gang. It was hot out, about 97 F. It was so hot that when they documentary film crew was shooting my interview they had to stop because the camera overheated and wouldn’t work. They had to take it inside to cool down.

The long and short of the night was I didn’t sit down. From 5 pm till close to midnight I was on my feet.

At least I didn’t hurt my arm. I was throwing out the first pitch of the game and I hadn’t thrown a baseball in I don’t know how long. I was going to practice but decided against it. First I didn’t really have or make the time and second I know from experience if I start throwing a ball for 15 or 20 minutes muscles I never use will be engaged and become sore which will make my swim uncomfortable.

Instead I decided to risk it and potentially flub the throw. I’ve seen those guys that do that and figured that would probably be me.

To get into character I bought a Hawks Jersey and hat. They didn’t have any men’s jerseys so I went with the XL woman’s size which was probably even better as it is nicely cut to allow for my wider hips.

It really was a fun night. We had a great turnout of volunteers and it was great to see all these Salmon Social shirts running around.

Two things I’ve never had on my bucket list, if I had one. Throwing a first pitch at a baseball game and then being interviewed on ESPN Boise radio during the game about Salmon Social. It was kind of cool.

To add to the fun the game went into extra innings. Boise came back in the 9th from 4 runs down to win the game. It was exciting, although I wish they would have won it in regulation time. It was just more time that cut into my sleep and more standing on my feet time.

It’s not like I could leave either. I was presenting a check to the Boise Rescue Mission as part of our Salmon Social Fundraising night. We donated $1000 towards the mission. That's about 500 meals. Great cause and felt great giving that big check....literally. That's the 3rd thing I've never had on my bucket list but did..." I gave an oversized check", along with the "first pitch" and the interview on "ESPN Boise". It was a triple play. 

My legs were so sore by the end of the night that I dropped something and could hardly bend my knees to pick it up. That's when I knew I was potentially going to be in big trouble. 

Foodwise I had a hot dog, some popcorn and 3 BBQ chicken drumsticks. I was a little concerned about the wings when the guys were testing the inside cooking with a thermometer. I was thinking, "great, just what I need, another Ironman with food poisoning". It wasn't enough to deter me. I figured if they were checking it must be a good sign. 

Even after the event I couldn't leave. I had to do a post interview for the documentary, after the game fireworks. 

By the time it was all said and done we didn't get back to the hotel room until past midnight and I was wide awake. I tried checking the channels for some sort of murder mystery documentary or Greed with Stacy Keachesvoice. If only they had something with serial killers, that would put me to sleep in 10 minutes. 

Tomorrow will be interesting having to get up with only 4 hours sleep. This is definitely adding to becoming an epically sore Ironman. 

Mod Run - 1:00:09 / 10.25 km.

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