Ironman San Juan travel report coming first because I have gotten a number of emails, tweets and Facebook posts requesting a race report and I would love nothing more than to post one for you, but I think this entire trip deserves a handful of posts. I am going to break this race report down into three sections and not a swim, bike, run post but a before, during and post race report. Today I will start with the after, tomorrow will be the during and then Thursday will have the before because this has been the most ridiculously awesome and hilarious trip.
After completing the race Karen and I went up to the room with me fully exhausted and legs just hurting bad from the race. Karen was starving and wanted to eat but I just wanted to lay down for an hour. Karen went downstairs to find something to eat. As soon as I closed my eyes my buddy Juan sent a text message asking to see what we were doing about eating. I immediately called Karen and was going to tell her to not eat that we would go to Cafe Berlin for an early dinner with Juan and his wife. The phone rang in my ear and then another ring across the room…..yup, Karen left her phone in the room. In an attempt to go get her I jumped out of bed as quickly as I could to race downstairs.
I got to the elevator on pure guts and went downstairs. I looked all over and then finally heard her calling me. After telling her the plan, we went and got the car and picked up Juan. We went to Cafe Berlin, which was incredible. During dinner I looked at our reservations and as it turned out our flight was at 9am with connecting flights in Atlanta and Houston before reaching Dallas. A veritable triathlon of traveling home you might say.
Bummed that we would not have time to spend on the beach we went home and packed up our bags, including my bike. This time I made the right move and packed the bike properly (more about this story in tomorrow’s post.) As I was packing, our newest friends Richard Kalasky (whom you might remember from the interview with Beth – SUAR) and Carlos. We decided to meet them in the hotel lobby for a snack and some drinks. Richard raced and does not drink so he was with me in soreness and sunburness while consuming water. We laughed the night away with them and it was the best nightcap to a long but rewarding day. At around 10am we decided to head upstairs knowing we would have to be up and out of the hotel by 7am.
Once the alarm went off at 5am I was out of bed ready to get going to get home as quickly as possible (6:40pm) and get to relax on my own couch. Got the car from valet and on the San Juan roads only to get lost and driving down a one way road the wrong way. Should have known something was not going to go our way at this point. Get to the airport, drop off car and over to the terminal. We boarded the plan to Atlanta no problems. The flight was a good and I got to watch Ides of March for free on the plane. Good movie if you are into the inner working of politics and elections. With a 2 hour layover we decided to have some lunch. So far so good except for the texts and messages regarding the weather in Dallas.
The flight to Houston from Dallas was nondescript except for the bumpy descent and quick landing. I think Karen may have broken a finger or two hanging on so tight. Once on the ground we had time to kill, especially because we noticed that our flight was now taking off when it was supposed to be landing in Dallas. Hey, make the best of it……we went to eat and eat I did. I had 4 slices of pizza and declared Tuesday (today) the day that nutrition for Ironman Texas would begin. No ridiculous snacking and everything I eat from this point forward would have a purpose in regard to the race.
After eating we head back to the terminal and find out the plane is not leaving until 7:15, then 8:00, then CANCELLED. Pure awesome at this point as the entire gate freaks out. People are mad at the airline as if they airline asked Mother Nature to wreak havoc on all of us. People are so mad and we just made the best of it. After failing to secure a rental car we looked up Amtrak. $168 per person for 13 hours of travel by train…..no thanks! We did the Priceline thing and landed a decent hotel for the night at cheap cost. We kept calling for a rental car but not one place had one because not only was our flight cancelled but the previous flight and the flight after were cancelled as well. Best part was the agent telling us that we were booked on the earliest flight for us which was Wednesday……good times!
We took the shuttle to the hotel and started making calls. I called Budget Rent-A-Car and was told it would cost $250 for the rental car and mind you I was using it from 8am until 2pm…..$250 for 6 hours of usage? What world does Budget live in when that is not a budget friendly price? No, thank you. Over to Kayak.com and found a car from Hertz for $100 for the same amount of time. Yes, book the car. So today at 8am I shall be picking up the car and heading north to Dallas.
This trip has been bizarre from the beginning (you will have to wait until Thursday) to see how this whole thing started. Tomorrow will be a recap of the actual race and how it all went down. Keep your fingers crossed that as you are reading this I am in a car on my way home or am home relaxing.