Monday, December 16, 2013

Volunteering and Diagnosis confirmation... we are C-R-A-Z-Y

Wow, it's been a wile since my last entry. Been a bit hectic with work, holidays, and work travel, hate when real life gets in the way of fun stuff :), just kidding.
Picture with the one an only Mike Reilly
When we finished our first ironman, and the weeks after that one when we made the decision that we would do another one we had said we will do Ironman Arizona. However the trick to that one was that you have to volunteer in order to get in otherwise you are leaving it up to the cyberGods and destiny to be able to get in and that your computer doesn't crash in the 45 seconds it takes to sell out. Yup, there is crazier people out there that camp online. So we decided that not only we were doing it but we were going to volunteer at it. June rolled in and the volunteer openings opened up. Even though these are free of charge they are very strategic. There are some that are called "speedpass" spots and others good ol' regular volunteer spots. So Felipe and I signed up for 2 volunteer spots each.
Bike handling and pointing runners. It meant working from noon until midnight straight, reason for this was that the pointing runners shift was a "speedpass" shift which meant that we would get especial treatment and a separate line on the day after the race to sign up. Fast forward from June to November and ironman weekend arrived. We decided to drive to Tempe, AZ which wasn't too bad. We left Thursday and the plan was to take Friday and Saturday pretty easy, getting to know the town, and being on vacation. Tempe is a pretty cool town and really welcomes the athletes. On top of that there was a ASU vs OSU game and my Beaver Adopted Fan was all happy (aka Felipe). He spent enough time in Corvallis and his company was founded by OSU alumni so he is a Beaver fan by default :). We attended a slowtwich party at Tribe which was pretty cool, they had some of the pros there, giveaways, food, beer, it was such a good tri community, we even got to meet some of our twitter and Instagram friends there and Felipe won a Cervelo cycling kit to match his Cervelo :). Were also able to run a portion of the run loop and got a feel for it, couldn't complain too much.
The calm before the storm... of bikes
Sunday rolled in, we got up kind of late since we knew it was going to be a looong day. We went to watch some of the bike before going to start taking bikes. Those guys were flying and of course we were getting so pumped. We saw some other twitter friends from Texas that had volunteered at wetsuit stripping and then headed to our post. We didn't really has much time down, pros got in like at 12:30 and we didn't stop racking bikes until 5:00, put in 7 miles according to the garmin. It was cool to get Jordan Rapp's bike or Amanda Steven or all the other pros and also support the "mortals" age groupers that hardly can get off their bikes or that simply want to sell it or told us to. Got to see Congresswoman Kirsten Sinema come in a bit wounded but in good spirits. We finished at 5 and promptly reported to our second shift. Of course after getting our volunteer wristband. The second shif20131213-181710.jpgt while physically was easy, emotionally was hard. It brought so many memories from last May and also was hard when the cutttoff arrived,we got to see the runners cut off at 9:30 and then at 10:30, it was devastating because we knew that it could've easy been us last May and we don't know how we made it. We also saw Danang our teammate that was racing, we then met him after he had finished. He was standing and looked tired, but he looked relatively ok. We had told him we would take his bike back to Texas so we had to get it from him before headed to the hotel to debate if we were going to jump on it or not.
So here is where the diagnosis became effective "We are CRAZY," and here is why. We get back exhausted after working 12 hours straight, and we knew we had our "speedpass" so at least we would get in, now the debate was if we could do 2 Iron distances in a year. Not only it sounds crazy to train pretty much 11 months out of the year, but we had to understand the toll it would take on our bodies, and life would be huge (Tri life 100% on 2014) We then said that we probably won't have an opportunity like that when we have an easy way of getting in, by easy we meant hard worked way to get in. To which we said... Let's do it. We knew they opened the registration tent at 8, and knew people were going to camp or get in line pretty early (by early more like hardly sleep to stand in line). We planned to get there at 7, worse that can happen is that we see a huge line and turn around to start our 14 hr trek back to Texas. To our surprise, they opened early, one of our teammates who volunteered too texted us as 5 am telling us the line was huge and that they were letting people in. While we worried we were also ok with the thought of leaving it up to destiny, if it was for us we would get in without a problem if not we won't push it. Well... People if you ever try to get into ironman Arizona, get your speedpass. We got there at 7:20 am by 7:45 we were registered for it.
Volunteering is always an amazing experience, you meet so many amazing individuals that really inspire you to do what we do and also is gratifying to see how people just like us do these with their many purposes, either to prove themselves, get healthy, prove others, payback bets, celebrate life or just celebrate a birthday, seeing that finish line at midnight gives you goose bumps no matter which side of the fence you are on, spectator, athlete, Sherpa, volunteer, it's just an incredible amount of energy that we are excited and scared at the same time that we get to live again next year.
So there you have it, my name is Adriana, he is Felipe and we are Ironman Crazy. :)
Yup.. even the cupcake store makes IM cupcakes