Monday, April 27, 2009

APRIL 18, 2009

Alarm goes off at 4am Saturday, April, 18th.
AJ suffered from a 24 hour stomach virus the day before and spent the day sleeping and throwing up!
5:15am AJ, Amy, Allen and Julie meet at the Zone for a day full of Adventure!
5:20am Loading all the gear into Allen's truck, AJ remembers that he left his wallet at home. Contains his ID and USAT card- which are required to race.
5:22am Leaving the Zone. 1/2 way down Aviation Plaza, Julie asks, "Do we have the directions?" Allen does a U turn back to the Zone. Oops, he says!
5:24am To the Johnson's to get the wallet!
5:43am Allen mentions that he has forgotten his goggles. "That's Okay", says Amy. "I've got you covered; I have 5 pairs in my bag." Someone ALWAYS forgets goggles.
5:50am Allen says, "OH NO!" Julie says, "What now?" Allen said, "I can't tell you...ya'll will laugh at me...I forgot my running shoes". Okay so apparently, Allen thinks this is just going to be a bike ride. He forgot goggles for the swim and shoes for the run! We decide that we will have plenty of time when we get in Memphis to stop at a nearby Walmart or Target to get Allen a make shift pair of shoes.
6:00am Julie needs a pit stop at exit 121....aka...Amy needs a Starbucks! That was the only way the boys would stop if someone had to go potty! WINK!!7:00am I40 at Brinkley. Bumper to Bumper non-moving traffic. We exit and visit with a friendly clerk that tells us State Troopers have been re-routing traffic since 5:15 that morning. 3 accidents and med flight coming in. She gives us an alternate route that sends us on a 40-60 minute detour, but at least we're still moving. We have 3 hours before the race starts and we realize it will be close.
7:00-9:15am we follow a 2 lane highway. Pouring down rain and semi's blocking our path. The clocks ticks, the rain falls, Amy bites fingernails, Julie gets a tummy ache, and Allen talks about how he will enjoy running in his crocs. The only shoes he has other than his bike shoes!
9:15am We make it to Memphis. Race starts in 45 minutes. We have usually checked in for the race, set up our transition, and warmed up by this time.
9:20am another traffic jam! Allen decides to take matters in his own hands and drive "H" style. Remember he is from the big city of Houston. He pulls onto the right shoulder and proceeds to pass cars that are patiently waiting in line. Julie and Amy duck down in the back seat from embarrassment and determine that the "old" Allen is starting to come out! SCARY!
9:25am Someone asked, "whose bright idea was this anyway?" Then we remembered the email challenge. It sounded like a good idea a few weeks ago, not so much anymore.
9:35am We pull into the parking lot and have a 1/2 mile trek across an open field to the start line. Allen and Amy still have to put on their race clothes. Julie and AJ were smart enough to have them already on.
9:45am Run to the porta potty- change clothes. Felt like Superman busting out of the phone booth with a "super fast" racing suit!
9:50am Time to "Stuff biscuits in the Can"- if you have ever squeezed into a wet suit, you know what I mean!
9:55am Set up transition area with bike and supplies9:58am Sprint to the start line quarter mile away!
10:00am Step into the water and the gun is fired! YIKES that was close! ONE MILE SWIM- The first 100 yards in the 50 degree water was just a panic stricken state of chaos. Good thing we didn't have time to warm up or we may have chosen to not race. This was HORRIBLE! The cold water put the heart in arrhythmia. So much to the point that 3 of us considered the "Q" word. I'll let you guess who didn't consider a quick escape to the shoreline. Allen received a free personal escort around the goose pond by worried volunteers in canoes. Asking him, "Are you okay?" With quivering lips he tried to say, "I ha..haa..have no we...wet....suuuuuuit!" Out of ? competitors, Allen was the ONLY one without a wetsuit. Allen made a note to himself as he was swimming in the frigid water, "I need to either get a serious sunburn, eat a can of jalapenos, or invest in a wetsuit before next triathlon. P.S. - he ordered one the day after the race!
21 MILE BIKE- Then we mounted our bikes for the giant slip and slide which they call the 21 mile trail. Amy rode Julie's old bike, "Periwinkle", some call her "Old Blue". When she jumped on she realized that she hadn't even checked the post seat. Fortunately, they are about the same height and it worked beautifully. Julie initiated "Black Betty", her brand new REALLY EXPENSIVE bike! She only had 3 miles on her before the mud bath. Allen- thankfully had all needed equipment for the bike ride when he mounted "Jaquelin". AJ doesn't name his bikes, but we all just call it the "Superfly" because he tears up the trail with amazing speed and power! The bike ride was like being a kid again. Getting as muddy as you possibly could. Mud was kicked up into our faces. Allen couldn't find a clean finger to wipe the sweat out of his eyes. Gritty, muddy water was all we could get out of our camelback straw because it too was completely covered in mud. Mental Challenge: Oh YEAH! I see the transition area! Alright the bike is over! Oh, no the volunteer motions 3 more miles to go before turning into the transition. Boy, that will mess with your mind. To think you are finished and find you still have 3 more miles to go!!!! THE RUN: 6.2 miles to go! Okay this is the final event of this triathlon. Unfortunately, the last leg of a triathlon uses your LEGS!Beware of Muscle Cramps! Have you ever felt the jaws of life clamp down on your quads, hamstrings, and hips? Ouch- that hurts. The body is screaming for an electrolyte balance of sodium/potassium/fluids. So what do you do when your heart and mind want to continue moving forward, but your legs say, "I don't think so?" You keep pushing to the next aid station and suck down a cup of water and a cup of Gatorade. Walk a minute, say a prayer and push through it! Friend you meet on the trail:Julie met Richard, a physical therapist on the run!Amy met up with a guy who was also experiencing muscle cramps and they coached and encouraged each other through the painful episodes.Allen was picked up by 5 mexican children playing in the park when he slid down flat on his back. It was the crocs of course!AJ didn't talk to anyone. He was all about the finish line! 3-5 hours later.....THE FINISH LINE!The moment you have waited for! AAh- how beautiful those flags wave at the finish chute.As Allen approached the finish line, the crowd cheered and the announcer said, "Here comes CROC man!" "He swam with no wetsuit, he rode a single speed mountain bike, "And he ran in crocs." I'll let you guess what color they were? Post Race Bath: How do you get dried mud out of your ears, hair, and clothes when there isn't a public restroom? You have to get back in the lake, of course! Oh, no....not the 50 degree water? YEP! Allen said we couldn't get back into his truck if we didn't get clean first! Post Race Comments and Rewards:AJ commented that is was a waste of time to shave his legs at 4:30am that morning.Julie rewarded herself with a Diet Dr. Pepper. So refreshing!Post Race MEAL- the best part of racing is that you can eat anything you want after a race because you have burned a zillion calories! Olive Garden it is, for bread, salad, pasta and chocolate birthday cake for Julie! If you're wondering....this is the last year of her 30s! The 3 hour ride home. Allen made us listen to his Mexican El Matador music, Julie and AJ slept, Allen laughed at himself as he continued to reflect back at his 6 mile Croc run, and Amy wrote this ridiculous but very true story! All I can say is, "You should have been there!"

8:00pm Arrived back in Hot Springs! Another Great Adventure, join us for the next one! Always fun to be had!

This one was well writen by sister!

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