Today, the IM Racine Expo opened, as did packet pick-up. So the family and I stopped downtown right after it opened. Things were quiet early in the day today, there was no wait in line for my packet, my race chip works and everything went smoothly. I saw zero Pros walking around. Maybe tomorrow...
Racine Festival Park, site of the IM Expo:
Expo tent, where the IM schwagg was ( yeah I bought a few goodies!):
North Beach, where we will swim. They put out some small white course markers, man they are FAR out there. You see the small, old pier in the foreground? That's the entry point. We'll have to swim out past those boats in the center of the frame, and head up towards the pier you see in the distance. The exit point is way way down the beach, almost to the pier. GULP. Whoa boy...
My buddy and I swam this yesterday, it was nice and warm outside. Well, the air temp was warm, at least. The water temps for Lake Michigan were supposed to be in the low 70s, according to online maps. Yeah, let me tell ya. Once you got out from shore, you could feel the temps drop. We swam from this same pier in this pic to the far section of beach you see, way up in the right upper corner of the pic. Not quite to the pier, but within a couple hundred yards. Probably 2,000 yards or so, maybe slightly more, in around 40 minutes, which surprised me.
And what you can't see, there is some chop (yesterday was worse, with about 1-2 foot swells with a SW wind blowing at 15-20mph). So, I got a headache from the cold ass water, swallowed a bunch of water from the swells, coughed or burped up and puked a little in my mouth (yeah, I chugged a Coke literally right before we waded in and swam-smart, I know. Note to self-DO NOT slam a Coke on race morning right before the swim). OK, so I took a break, swam on my back for awhile, until the puking feeling went away. Then, I felt better and was able to get my stroke down fairly well. Oh, another thing about swimming in cold ass water-it's very hard to get your breathing right. It's hard to exhale under the cold water, so you force out the air as you're turning your head to take your next breath.
The wetsuit worked fine, it fits perfectly. Floats like a bobber (I don't even have to tread water with this suit!), it feels slicker and fast(er) in the water, not like I'm fast, but this can't hurt. If anything, it's too hot! Even in this cold ass Midwest Great Lakes water. I found myself feeling like I was heating up, so I opened up the neck seal and let some cold water rush in, which did the trick. This (hopefully) won't be an issue race day morning, like I said it was about 90 degrees when we swam this yesterday. It should be around 68-70 deg Far. in the AM on race day. Now, the updated forecast is calling for a high of 89 degrees and humid. Great, lets make the race just a little bit harder!
Let's see, what else. Race day nutrition, all set out:
IM Race numbers! WHoop WHoop!!
Race gear, set out all over the living room floor (and the wife doesn't even care!)
Tomorrow, what's on the agenda? Well, we have a race meeting at noon, which lasts about an hour. My buddy Ryan and I are attending, then it's off to grab his race packet, drop the bikes at the corral and hit the Expo one more time. Yeah, I will probably buy a few more bits of race schwagg. I got some, but WTH, they have some cool IM Racine 70.3 things, so why not?
Stay tuned, more pics of the IM bike corral and swim course tomorrow. Hopefully they have the BIG inflatable course markers out tomorrow.