Click Here to Get One for Yourself

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Lobster with a Side of Wings

Sunday morning Mike and I were up and on the road at O-Dark-Thirty headed out to watch the Accenture Triathlon in Chicago. We had a fairly nice ride in with a little fog but very little traffic. About halfway in, we remembered that we left the cowbells on top of the fridge …. Bummer. We headed for the exit that would point us toward Lakeshore Drive and the Miracle Mile and parked somewhere in Egypt and walked a mile or more up Monroe to Lake Michigan to find the Biguns.
For the first time, we met Di (and later Bigun himself), their friends Andy and Brittany, Roman from Boulder, and Dr Dave from Omaha. What a nice bunch of folks! They had a great spot all laid out under a stand of shade trees just off from the swim finish.
The tri itself was absolutely GINORMOUS…… like 8000 athletes and their fan clubs, people everywhere. Mike and I found our way to a piece of shoreline along the last few hundred yards of the swim and watched them swim by. Looking up the shoreline, all you could see was a never-ending moving line of swim caps along the shoreline for as far back as you could see. It was really cool to look out and see it. We sat for quite a while watching the people stroking past us, looking at the technique, their form, their wetsuits (or lack of – BRRRRR!) – some came in strong, some came by us obviously about out of gas, others reached and clung to the ropes for rest. I think it was good for Mike to see that even at an event this size there people doing whatever had to be done to get to the finish – sidestroke, doggy paddle, elementary backstroke, anything and everything.
After watching Dave, Roman, and Marc head out of the water, we headed to the other side of transition to where the bike came back in from Lakeshore Drive. A girl could get a serious case of bike envy sitting there, let me tell ya! Saw a sweet pink Trek Equinox roll by and fell in love, then fell a few more times for a variety of other pretty bikes. There were lots of people running by playing Hike-a-bike with flat tires or mechanical problems on their way back to transition (We learned later they had been told that if they had a flat, etc they were just done, don’t fix it, so I guess they were just trying to make it back in). Before long we saw Roman and the Bigun roll on by, looking strong.
Then we headed on over to the run finish to wait for the grand finale. On the way we stopped and snapped a couple shots at Buckingham fountain. It was her 80th birthday and they were serving cake.
Not far away, we headed in towards the finish line. We arrived just in time to watch Bigun finish. Then we hung around waiting for the awards and checking out the booths. This is where I fell in love with yet another bike – the Orbea Diva. She was beautiful. I thought momentarily about hiking my miniskirt up round my waist and hopping on, but thought maybe it would be a bad idea to flash my underwear to downtown Chicago. We did watch the salesgirl walk her out when they packed up and Di and I worked on a plan to kick the salesgirl in the shins and ride off with the Diva, but I don’t think Di would have shared well with me since she was eying the Diva up too…..
This group took down lots of bling – Bigun took 2/10 in his division and Roman should have placed somewhere too but was overlooked and is working on straightening that out.
I thought it was really cool to see the pros that were there. I don’t recognize a lot of names, but there were a few that I remember reading about in the magazines – Becky Lavelle, Michellie Jones, and others – so it was cool to see them up close and persona, among the masses racing just like everyone else.
Afterwards we took a drive up the lakeshore near the Northwestern campus and had an early supper with the group at a little wing place. It was a nice end to a really fun day and we enjoyed the company of these nice folks. Beautiful day, exciting race, good company, and good food – who could ask for more?
It was also a long day, longer than we had expected and I am positively glowing, not so much from the joy of triathlon-watching, but more from the hours I stupidly spent in the sun without sunscreen on.the.lakefront. My face, chest and back felt like someone lit me on fire - a bonafide lobster. Should be all good again in a day or so. I have 2 colors I turn – pasty white or fire red, no middle ground.

We arrived home and got caught up with IMKY-Live right quick. We saw Baboo cross the finish line, ad then checked in on our other blog peeps and Tawnya’s dad. Misty was down to the wire and we bummed when we watched the clock turn to 17 hours, but our spirits were buoyed when we heard the announcer say the cutoff had been extended 37 minutes as that was the time the last swimmer hit the water. We waited patiently sure she was going to make it. We watched her last four-minute split load to the athlete tracker and within a few minutes we watched her cross under the finish. What a cool moment. Shortly after that, I read Baboo’s post he had written about her in the wee hours before the race and it brought me to tears. It’s official – she is my new hero.


Dan Seifring said...

So happy to hear that you guys had a great time. Now the cool thing is I get to hear it from a few other perspectives. Can't wait to read more about the experience. That atmosphere must really fire you up to get there and train hard.

I vote for the Orbea Diva, that is a sweet ride.

blink140pnt6 said...

Sounds like a good and racy weekend.

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

Oh MY!! I am right there with you on the Lobster Look. Ouchie ouch. 2 days later and my face still looks like i just had an acid peel.
I absolutely loved having you and Mike there to share the race with! It made it such a lot more fun!! Yes, I fear you have judged me correctly on the Diva bike too...I might have had a difficult time sharing, although wrestling it from the grip of the girl pushing it out of the area could have been good times
Bigun and I were so bummed, we did not have any access to internet all week! We thought we would be able to track our friends at Louisville and couldn't. You are also right about Baboo's post. I just finished reading it and cried my eyes out. The love eminating from Brian for Misty just bubbled over the edges of that post right into my room and onto my desk. Beautiful.
Well, i am going to send you the race schedules for Florida next year... pick your poison!! LOL You guys could make a vacation out of it too. Lots of things to do here and places to go....just saying.... ;)
I am so happy that I was able to meet you live and in person, I am already plotting on how we could all get together again!! LOL
Thanks so much for joining us Sunday, it really meant a lot to us.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

you and I share a certain feeling about pink bikes, it seems.

You know, you can always pimp your own ride - and it's pretty cool when you do!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend!

home therapy

View My Stats

Calculate your Calories