It's 10:30am, and I just woke up.
The Bug is already down for his first nap. Matt laughed at me when I came downstairs.
But I was EXHAUSTED. And I just don't sleep well when I'm not at home, so I had 4 days of butt-whoopin' followed by not much sleep. And that equals a lazy Monday morning, so I figured now would be a good time to recap.
I'll add pics later, as I really didn't take many. I mean, why on earth would I take pics with my 2002 digital camera that's heeeeuuuuuggggeeee when I have James and Steve around? So I'll just direct you to those pictures as they come in.
Wednesday I packed up and delayed leaving as much as possible...not because I didn't want to see all my friends, because I was SOOOOOO excited for that. I was SOOOO excited to meet my teammates, too. But I was so NOT excited to leave Matt and the Bug. And, as predicted, I stood in the basement to say goodbye I cried like a little baby. The Bug looked at me with that "should-I-cry-too?" look so I stopped as much as I could, but I realized I would just cry a bit in my car and that was going to have to be okay. I've never left him overnight before. I don't even like to leave Matt but this was even worse. I read somewhere that having a baby is like having your heart walk around outside your body, and I guess that's the closest I can come to explaining it.
So I drove. And I decided the best thing to do would be to play fun tunes and talk to my buddies. I called IronJohnny, my training bud from the first Ironman for both of us, and told him where I was going. He told me all about his IMUSA training and we shared stories. And I felt better. I talked to a few other friends, too, and despite hitting a major storm in western Ohio, I felt better.
Before I knew it, I was in Chicago. The stupid thing was that I filled up right near my house and then forgot to fill up at the last station in Indiana, which meant that as I pulled into Lincoln Park I was coasting on fumes. Which then meant, of course, that I was going to pay the most insane price for gas I've ever paid. Ugh. But my little car made it from Cleveland to Chi-Town on one tank! Yay Chewy!
Jacks and I got the car unloaded and brought all my stuff up to her apartment. We caught up like we had never left and like we still lived in our house from Miami, the Nuthouse. And I was reminded of how awesome it is to have friends that you can just pick up with like five minutes have passed no matter how far away you are or how much has changed. This is true about my WIBA friends; many of whom I hadn't seen in a year and a half, and we've all changed tremendously, yet we could still ride, swim, and run like we did it last weekend.
You just need friends like that.
Thursday I woke up and drove to Vision Quest in Lake Bluff for testing with Robbie Ventura. Yeah...the real one. The one who rode with Lance and stuff. Needless to say, I was a bit intimidated. My buddy and teammate Stu was there to help document (thanks, Stu!) and I also got to meet Coach Emily! CycleOps was also there and I got to meet some really cool people who work for what I'm convinced is the coolest company on earth.
Robbie was SO nice and down to earth. You would never know how amazing he was if it wasn't for the posters all over the room with him and his teammates. I even forgot my running shoes and he let me wear some of his! Super nice. Within a few minutes I didn't feel quite as intimidated as I did on that drive up.
I did the LT test and got my finger pricked every 30 watts. It was awesome to see how my body was reacting to the stress and what it would mean for my training. Robbie explained everything to me in simple terms and I am amazed at how scientific this process is. Sure enough, at a certain point, my lactic acid skyrocketed, and that's how we determined my power zones. I am already a HUGE fan of training with power; it's everything that for me heart rate training was NOT. I'll be writing more about that as soon as I get a chance.
When the test was done, Robbie took me into another room with Stu and Emily to do a strength test, or as I refer to it, a Lack Of Strength Test. Ugh. I clearly know what I need to work on. I was frustrated at times, and even had to bite down pretty hard on the upper lip. I just know that I was pretty strong before The Bug and now I feel a little back to square negative one. But, that's life, and I'm not going to whine about it anymore...it's time to just change it. So I will.
I finally made it back to Old Town in the city and Jacks and I figured out a place to go to dinner with our buddy T-Bone. We didn't even head out until pretty late, so I didn't know if I'd get to see any of my other buds I was going to try and meet up with, but I did! My buddy Chris came to meet us and so did my other friend Chien...and my super awesome friend Mouse! We ate lots of food, laughed a lot, and drank a lot of sangria. It was SO fun and so good to see them!
Friday Jacks and I headed up to Madison which took a little longer than anticipated. I remembered my first drive up there with ESpeed and Wil and how afraid I was of what I'd encounter when I got there. This time was different. The fear wasn't there as much--there was an odd familiarity to it, perhaps like if you step into your old high school cafeteria and you remember what it was like to sit there and what you were like back then. I wondered what it would be like this time. How would Madison be different to me?
And it was. Totally, 100% different this time around. But in a good way.