Now that I've had a week to let it all sink in, I'm realizing what a great weekend it was.
We got up Saturday morning, and headed down to Lake Mendota for a swim. A marina at UW - Madison was our take off spot - what a beautiful campus. The water was choppy, and very cold compared to Louisiana water. We swam out and around some of the boats in the marina. The way out was against the chop which was rough, but the way back in was sweet with the chop.
The bike was next. We all drove over to Olin Park and got ready to take off. I rode out the first few miles with a big group, but as the miles and the hills came, we all spread out somewhat. I don't know how, but I found myself riding with my teammate Chris - yeah, the beast that qualified for Kona this year. I was not familiar with the course, so we had to stay together. I really enjoyed riding with him, and I did my best to hang on, but really slowed him down a lot. Luckily, there were a lot of meeting spots along the bike course, and I was able to let Chris go on. Then came Stu.
Stu and I rode the rest of the course together. The hills on the Wisconsin course are brutal for me - we have no hills in Louisiana. Stu, too, had to be very patient and wait for me a lot. The course was very windy that day, and there were several times going down hills that I thought I was going to be blown over by gusts. I ended up riding 72 miles, the longest I've ever ridden.
Saturday night we went to dinner at the Great Dane. I had a great time with my new friends Steve and Pharmie. It's really strange to meet people after you've followed their blogs - they're even better in person.
Sunday morning, bright and early, we ran 13 miles around UW and downtown Madison. What a terrific course. I ran with RobbyB, Stu, Dan, Steve, and Art. I ran with Rural Girl right at the beginning, but sensing that I would definitely get chicked, had to move on to a different group. The weather was awesome, and the run went by really fast. Steve the running beast paced us back in to the terrace - he showed no mercy.
Chris led a bike maintenance clinic back at Endurance House. Unfortunately, I had to head back to Chicago to catch my plane back home. I had a few noise issues with my bike that Chris looked at and fixed while I was at WIBA - he's an awesome bike mechanic.
Many, many thanks to our incredible sponsors - BMC, CycleOps, Vision Quest Coaching, Zipp, 2XU, SRAM, - and to Ironwil and RobbyB for such a great weekend.