Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Vineman - Take 2

Last July at the Vineman award ceremony, my daughters and I made plans to come back in 2016 and do the Vineman relay. I was excited for the opportunity to just go out and ride my bike and not worry about having to run that course afterwards. It would be a training ride for me as I still had plans of doing a “real” IRONMAN event some time during the year.

Last month, our relay plans were scratched. The Vineman site announced that the full distance Vineman race had been acquired by World Triathlon Corporation and would now be a “branded” IRONMAN race. With this change came the elimination of the aqua bike events, Barb’s Race, and the relays. I was bummed. I was really looking forward to racing with my girls.

This change also threw a new wrinkle into my 2016 race plans. I had discussed possible IRONMAN races with Coach K and was noodling over some of my choices. A flat course with a non-wetsuit legal swim? A scenic but somewhat hilly course? A race in another country? I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Now I had the option of going back and doing Vineman again.


While I was still seriously considering one of the other races, a little voice in me got louder and louder. It kept telling me that this was a great opportunity. I would get to do a real IRONMAN event, it was on a course I had raced on 3 times before, and it was close to home…no travel worries, no worries about where I wanted to stay, or where I should eat. It also meant that family and friends could come and cheer me on (if they were so inclined). Deep in my heart, I knew that this was going to be my “A” race for 2016. I completed the last unbranded Vineman and I would have the opportunity to complete the first official Vineman IRONMAN.

First Weird Dream

One of the things I liked to do during my training last year was to record my dreams about the race. Last night I had my first race related dream. I’m not sure where HS and I were at, but we were at someone’s house and they were having a party or watching the big game or something. At one point I realized that it was time to register for the race but that I didn’t have my computer with me. HS asked if I could borrow a laptop and one of the guys there handed me one. It was dirty and gross looking and most of the keys stuck because of the beer that had been spilled on it (don’t ask me how I knew that).

Anyway, I got on the website and filled out the info and pressed enter. I was fully expecting the next screen to be the screen for my payment information but instead I got a message that said “Thank you, you are now registered.” That was weird. I wondered why I didn’t have to pay anything. I then started worrying that I really wasn’t registered and told HS that we had to leave because I needed to go home and check my registration. As we were walking down the driveway, I told him what had happened and he explained that the guy probably had all his credit card info saved on his computer, so he was probably charged for the race. HS told me not to worry about it because the guy probably wouldn’t even notice the charge on his bill (NOTE: HS is not like this in real life, he is very, very honest and would not scam someone out of an IRONMAN registration fee LOL).

Registration Day

Last year when I signed up for Vineman, Mike and I pushed the [Enter] button together to complete the registration and then we drank my Barb’s Race prize wine. It was a great moment that signified our commitment to each other during training and the race.

Last year's registration

This year, as we kissed goodbye on our way out the door I casually mentioned “Today is registration day for Vineman.” HS replied, “Are you going to do it again?” “If I get in” was my answer. And that was it. No fanfare, no cute little pic of us pushing the button together, no celebratory toast. Just another day, just another 140.6 mile race.

I got in my car and started the engine. I had the satellite radio tuned to “The Message” and as soon as the music came over the speakers I heard Toby Mac singing…
...I feel it in my heart
I feel it in my soul
That's how I know...
That’s exactly what I had been thinking in the moments before I told HS I was going to register. I started to tear up a bit…oh jeez…I haven’t even started training and I’ve already got Vineman tears going. I couldn’t help it. I had been debating for the last couple of weeks whether or not to do this race again. However, deep down something kept telling me that this was the smart choice, the best choice for me, the choice that would elicit fewer tears than my other options (I could only imagine the tears and freak-out moments if I had to ship my bike, board an airplane, or tweak my routine too much).

I anxiously waited for the clock to strike 9:00am. I had my USAT number and credit card ready. 8:58am... Would the registration fill up like some of the other IRONMAN races? Would all my worry be for nothing?  8:59am... What if it fills up as fast as Vineman 70.3? There is no way I'm paying extra for this race. 9:00am...Time to register!!! I made the few initial clicks and found myself on the registration page. After a few minutes and several key strokes, I was officially registered to do IRONMAN Vineman. Now all I have to do is complete the 140.6 mile race and I will finally get to hear the words I've read about over and over... "Tracy Pengilly, You..Are...An...IRONMAN!"

Thank You, HS

I just want to thank HS for all of his continued support. I know that racing isn’t really his thing, but he sticks by me and occasionally put his name down on a registration form. Having his acceptance, understanding, and companionship during the training months means more to me than I can ever say. I know that there are plenty of days that he would rather be doing anything else besides riding a bike, or waiting for me to finish a long run, or driving to swim practice. Heck, there are plenty of days that I would rather be doing anything else besides riding a bike, finishing a long run, or swimming.

Through the good days and the tougher days of training, he sticks by me and encourages me when I want to quit. The picture below is a beautiful summary to Vineman 2015, I hope to have another one just like this on July 30, 2016.

I couldn't have done this without him.
I love you, Honey!!