Monday, July 15, 2013

Home of the Hoosiers

Beth and I didn't really know what to expect with our trip to Muncie. What was the area like? What was the race like? What were the people like? How would the homestay work out?

Well, things certainly couldn't have been better! Although, it started off with a rocky beginning on Wednesday trying to get out of the 'burgh.

I learned the definition of "flash flooding" on my way down to cross country practice in the morning. The roads I travelled on were becoming rivers. There were some areas that were impassible due to 2-3 feet of water. It was crazy! I finally made it to the 8:00 practice around 8:45 with all the detours and road closures. And, sure enough, there were our guys doing some "ball-toss" laps (similar to an indian run) on the non-flooded track with Coach A. #commitment

The return home wasn't as harrowing and I made it back in time to join Beth for a run. Then we packed up and got on the road around 3pm, dropped off the dog at my parents', and started heading west on I-70. We stopped for dinner near Wheeling and then round two of the major thunderstorm lines came through as we were crossing into Ohio. It slowed us down a little more and we were doing the calculations realizing we wouldn't make it to Muncie and our host's house until 11pm or so. 

This prompted us to search for a hotel along the way and finish the trip on Thursday. Thank goodness for the internet, and we settled on a spot outside of Dayton. It worked out well as there was a YMCA about a mile away to get our Thursday morning scheduled swim taken care of. It also didn't hurt that there was a Tim Hortons next door to the hotel (Hooray for Timbits!).

We finished our drive Thursday morning, stopping at the race site at the Prairie Creek Reservoir, about 20 minutes outside of Muncie. Beth did her usual ride and run and I did a run and run (without then with Beth). After driving the courses, we then got to our host James' place and got settled in. James was an amazing host! As we entered our room, we have souvenir shirts, local travel guide info, and the wifi password waiting. Very prepared!

We're now Ball State Fans! Go Cardinals! #ChirpChirp

We drove around Ball State's campus after dinner Thursday and it was really nice. Everything looked so new!

The Football Stadium

A large bell tower in the middle of campus

David Letterman's Communication Building. We found out he had the quote of
calling the cardinal the "fiercest of the robin-sized birds."

They are proud of their Cardinals!

Friday morning I ran as Beth had the day off from training. Then our day involved IHOP, the expo to check in, lunch at the Pita Pit (with great triathlon supporters Luke and Lisa), pro meeting, a movie (Despicable Me those minions!), dinner at Noodles, and then final preparations for the race.

Going into the race, I knew I had an opportunity to see Beth on both the bike and the run, but it was going to take some work. Beth has outlined her day here, so here was my race day.

Getting things ready in transition before the race

Another 75-degree wetsuit day. #Boiling

And they're off! Beth was on the right

Once, she left on the swim, I went back to the car to drop off her swim stuff and get prepared for the day ahead. Beth came out of the water 9th and left on the bike.
Coming up out of the water with wetsuit in hand thanks to the wetsuit strippers

Leaving for the 56-mile journey on the bike

I proceeded to do a 2.2 mile tempo run south to a spot about 13 miles into the bike course to see her go out and back.
My tempo to get to the bike course

Beth flying by on the bike

I snapped a picture of her going out and then had some time to kill so I cheered on the other racers, helped unload a truck with 22 lb bags of ice, and helped keep fumbled bottles from the exchange off the road.

Then, Beth came back by in 7th and it was another tempo back to the car and then transition for her to start the run. I decided to leave the phone/camera at the car because it was getting really sweaty and I didn't want to have to carry it for part two of my tempo workout - a 4.2 mile jaunt before Beth covers 5.5 miles.
The even longer trek to get to see Beth on the run course!

Beth left transition in 6th place and I hustled to meet her out near the turnaround. I was starting to get that bonking feeling, but thank goodness I had packed a gel and felt a lot better. Beth was 6th still but closing in on 5th.

She ended up closing the deal and finished the race 5th, so a good day all around!
Climbing up the final hill to a 5th place finish!

After cleaning up and getting some Little Caesar's Hot-n-Ready pizza for lunch, we made our way back over for the awards ceremony. We then met James for dinner at Amazing Joe's (and it WAS amazing!) and some frozen yogurt at BerryWinkle's.

Saturday night, I fell asleep listening to the Pirate game (though they did end up winning). Sunday, we went to the Cardinal Greenway trail and Beth did an easy spin and I did an out & back run. Great paved trail with markers every half mile.

We made our trip back towards home, but of course we got delayed by an accident that closed I-70 east of Columbus. Eventually we picked up the dog and made it to the Heights. Back at it for me this week with training and morning cross country fun runs.

All in all, a great weekend and I hope we go back to Muncie for Beth to race next year. James was such a great host and I dubbed him the "Ambassador of Muncie and Ball State" with all of his knowledge and helpfulness to us.

Oh yeah - congrats to great friends Ben and Laura on the birth of little Matthew!


Beth said...


Steve said...

What is harder, spectating a race or racing it?? I have done neither so not really sure. ;)