Monday, March 2, 2015

Tourist training!

We woke up early this morning and made the 4 hour- unbelievably gorgeous drive, from Auckland to Taupo. We will be staying in Taupo for the rest of our trip since it's where the race is.
 stopped along the way at a tiny cafe, and the boys absolutely LOVED it! They all tried meat pies and were instantly hooked- I cannot tell you how many meat pies they consumed throughout our trip- WAY too many to count! ;) 
Once we reached Taupo, we checked into our hotel and the first priority was to start putting bikes together. Once we had all our bikes together, we decided to take them out for a test ride and make sure everything was ready for for the race.
We had a GREAT view of the lake and that road was a part of the course which is awesome! We will definitely get some practice in!  
Before we even started, I noticed my bike tire was rubbing, we thought it was my brakes- but after adjusting them it was still rubbing (to the point I could not force a full tire rotation from my bike tire). We then assumed it must be something off with my tire and it would just need to be trued- a simple fix. Luckily, when we were in town exchanging money, we found a cute bike shop with super helpful staff!
We decided to take it into the shop after the boys finished their ride-- and I went back inside and freaked out. :)

We took it into the bike shop, and Nigel- the mechanic, was the sweetest (most helpful) guy ever! He said he could not only true my tire, but he could also do a full tune up Friday night before the race! What?! He was seriously amazing!!
I left my bike there overnight, and he said it would be ready first thing the next morning (seriously- amazing service!).

We left, and headed down to a Splash n' Dash. We saw that we had to get all of our wet suits treated before we use them in the lake and they were hosting a open water swim- perfect! We got to get our wet suits treated and take our first swim in the GORGEOUS, crystal clear lake! (If you've read my blog for awhile, then you know I swim with my eyes closed in open water swims, but Jamie told me to open my eyes and try to swim 5 strokes. We were close enough to shore that I agreed and it was incredible! I could see the bottom of the lake and so far ahead of me! I seriously felt like I was swimming in a fish bowl it was so clear!!)

We swam a little before the Splash n' Dash and then hung out before it started. Since 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' and I were the only ones from our group to do the actual race, there was a whopping FIVE people registered for the 1000 meter swim. (So much for practicing swimming in a large group of people....;))
It was awesome though. I literally could not stop smiling for the entire swim- just thinking to myself, 'holy crap, we are in New Zealand! I'm swimming in New Zealand!' We finished and talked with some of the locals- all of whom were extremely fast!
 ((Side note: we looked up the average course time for Ironman New Zealand and compared it to Ironman Arizona; New Zealand had a faster overall average finishing time. We thought that was because the course was easier (flatter/downhill, whatever). We quickly learned that that was NOT the case. It had a harder course AND a faster finishing time, because the people here were SO much faster than Americans! I'm not joking. Almost everyone we talked to had qualified for Kona (the World Championships) or missed it by a couple seconds. Yeah...))

After the swim, we all did a short 5 mile run and then headed to 'The Pub and Grub'-- which quickly became our favorite spot to hang out at and eat for the rest of the trip. :)

*What's the smallest race you've ever done? 

*Have you ever lost or broke something while traveling? 

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