so we're here checked into the hotel room. Nice suite, btw, which I was more than surprised by. I expected a regular room with a half-assed half-wall divider like I've had before, but this one actually has a separate living area, so we've got lots of space to move around.
But, getting here was nearly a disaster. We had tickets to the Star Wars exhibit at the Ft Worth museum this morning, bought by hub when he was unaware of the conflicting need to be in Austin by 3:00 for packet pick-up (Sidebar: Who closes the Expo at 3:00???). So we gambled and hit the museum for an hour before hitting the road. It was a great exhibit, and we're going back next weekend to take our time and really savor it, but we kind of rushed through. Then we had to drop off Elder Child at the in-laws -- his uncle bought him tickets to tonight's Rangers game, so he stayed behind. Normally I would have pushed for him to come with us anyway, but the tickets happen to be $105 PER seat, for the Cuervo Gold club, and I couldn't make him miss that special night with his uncle, nor could we justify letting those go to waste. So, instead of taking off from Fort Worth, we had to come back to South A, then veer south again.
No worries, the trip was fine. TDP Dino Boy was thrilled to have the back seat to himself, and ended up falling asleep about ten minutes before we were going to pit-stop, so we decided to barrel through and eat when we arrived. And then... Then.... traffic. Damn. Austin traffic sucks even more than Dallas traffic, and trust me, I know Dallas traffic. We were stuck like Chuck outside of Round Rock, at 2:15. About twenty seconds after I said, "Another couple of exits before ours -- we'll be there with time to spare," the movement on the freeway ground to a halt. Hideous. We moved about two miles in 30 minutes. If we hadn't dumped off, we might still be sitting in that mess. As it was, we hit the parking lot of the expo at 3:05. I ran in to grab my packet, shirt and swimcap, then barely had time to find the boys before I had to go rack the bike. I asked the girl at packet pickup about chips, and she told me it was in the packet. I felt a lump in there, so I took her at her word and went on to rack my bike.
We did have a moment to stop at a booth for a chiro adjustment - it's been months since I've been adjusted and I was *very* glad to have that done. It loosened me up really nicely for tomorrow, and it also reinforced that I've got to find someone closer to the house to set me up with regular appointments (both Hub and I had been going to a chiro in Dallas regularly, but I quit going when I changed jobs, since he was in North Dallas). But then, we went out to transition for the bike racking. On the way, Hub innocently asked, "so, how many bikes will they really have out there?"
Since we were so late, we arrived to a sea of racks and more than 3000 bicycles already laid out and ready to roll. Balloons were on nearly every rack, as people used all kinds of methods to mark their spots. Some folks covered their seats with plastic bags. After we hung up the PPE by her seat, Hub asked if I was going to lock it, not understanding the overnight security and the plethora of other bicycles that were much more appealing than mine. He doesnt' understand (yet) that there are bicycles out there with one wheel that costs more than my "upgrade" bike -- I saw a really nice Cervelo with zipp wheels and *had* to stop and drool for a while. It was a bit overwhelming, really. I'm kind of glad that I didn't have a lot of time to look around, because I would have gotten very, very nervous. All I can say is that with that sheer number of folks, I cannot possibly come in last (again).
Once we got racked up, we had to find some food. By now it was nearly 4:00 and none of us had anything to eat since breakfast at 8:00. I did sacrifice my go-lean bar to give TDP DinoBoy something to munch on while we were screeching toward the expo, trying to get there before they shut it down. So it was time for dinner.
On the way back into Austin, I started to look at the packet more closely, and realized that I didn't have my chip. The lump that I thought was the chp was actually the snap on the plastic strap. F#$! a duck. Damn. By then, it was too late to turn around and go back; they'd been ripping down the expo even before I left. So unless I can find somehow to get my chip in the morning, I will have to run the race chipless. Which sucks eighteen ways to Sunday. Which means I'll be technically listed as DNS. Which sucks. Argh.
While I was bemoaning this, Hub reminded me that my only goal tomorrow is to finish, and that I can do that with or without my chip. He said it actually removes some of the pressure. I can kind of buy that, but it's still going to mess with me in the morning to try to rectify it before the swim start. My wave is 11th out the gate, with a 7:38 start time, so I won't have a lot of time to futz with it. I'm completely bummed. But, whaddyagonnado?
I know what I'm going to do -- I'm going to toe the line, swim longer in open water than I ever have, spin for an hour (maybe less, doubt it with the hills around here) and then run it in. Chip or no chip, that wont' change my challenge or my resolve.
Oh, yeah, my swim cap? It's yellow, my favorite color. That's gotta count for something, right??
Peace out -- see you on the other side!