Tuesday, March 24, 2015

One step forward, three steps flying backwards.........

Coach was racing Ironman Melbourne this weekend. On a last minute, spontaneous, let's go idea, we headed South. A quick oh geezus whose going to feed the dogs, sorted and we were off. I threw a few things in a bag after a huge couple of weeks at work, I was shattered but looking forward to the distraction. Big Gazza had done most of the prep around bikes and sorting out Steve to hang our new internal doors while we were away. Nothing like cramming it all in.

A quick 8-9 hour run and we were snoozing on a hotel bed in Brighton for an hour before heading into the city for a catch up with Gazza's dad, sister, her partner, brother and step mum. I had a great night. The stories from Gazza's mum set me up with a nervousness that was not required and soon dissipated. We laughed and talked of Africa and the Father-in-Law told a few small stories about Gazza when he was little. But we mostly kept the conversation on general topics of adventures and good times. It was relaxed and it flowed, just like the two glasses of wine. We finished the night with a fun stop in a lolly shop and final goodbye hugs. I fell into bed.

Sis, Bro and Big Gazza
We woke on Saturday and headed out on the mountain bikes to The Brown Cow CafĂ©. I love the food, the feel, the click clack of bike cleats as the MAMILs of Melbourne rack their bikes and laugh and tell tall stories while drinking their lattes. We rode along the bike track and stopped by the beach huts. I felt relaxed and happy. I realised just how hard I had been working and how much I needed the clear head space.

Trading Roadie for Fat tyres and bike paths
We then hit the big smoke once again for some shopping. I found some ASIC DS shoes in hot pink. Woot woot, I hope they work and go fast. A couple of nice deals on a jacket and some tops. We had a nice meal at a Tapas bar before an early night and Ironman the next day.

The swim course follows along Frankston Pier
 We woke early. I knew Coach had pulled out of the race due to his ankle not being up to running a marathon. I was tempted to roll over and enjoy a morning with Gazza lazing in bed. But pushed on. I wanted to see Coach. Race start is always crazy, but particularly so when you don't know the layout. We found a coffee van with a queue a mile long, literally. We searched for Coach and the rest of the AP crew, but no good. In the end I called Megan and we found them waiting at the bike mount line. No Coach. Then I heard his big voice, "Gaz, what are you doing here?" We had still surprised him. And then I turned and spotted him. He walked straight up to me and we hugged. He was so disappointed. I broke the hug first. He was gutted. Gaz was thinking by Kona he would be ok, chin up buddy. But Coach and I both knew that Melbourne was his A race. Kona would always be a fun day, not a race. Coach was in the fittest condition of his life and he was hoping for a sub 9hr race at Melbourne. Now he was left frustrated and pissed off as he watched the athletes in his age group scream past us.

Sometimes you eat the Bear, and sometimes the Bear eats you!
 In true, "I'm with you Coach!" I ended up flat on my arse with knees and ankles screaming under the weight. Yep bruises and scraped knees later, I hobbled off to find an ice pack!. I strapped my knee and was determined to soldier on and not ruin the rest of our weekend. Rolled ankle, Bloody knee, and a bruised side of the knee a little concerning. But don't worry Coach, I now literally feel your pain.

We cheered and spent time with the crew and Gazza got cuddles with Ava, before heading off to Melbourne again for an afternoon of culture and Strictly Ballroom. We loved it and had a wonderful time.

Another fantastic meal at a lovely restaurant in Brighton Beach and an amazing view of the athletes running along the path towards St Kilda and the finish line with the sun setting behind them. We went out later and cheered on a few runners, that by my calculations were at about my time for Port Mac. Its always scary and inspiring at the same time. Time to set some goals and get organised!

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