Troy and I are less than 2 days away from a HUGE CIRCLED DATE in our calendar. See below!
12 weeks left! This is the first Ironman that we are really really traveling for. My first one was in Canada. But we actually flew to Spokane, rented a car, and drove over the border. No Visa, English speaking, and really easy, we didn't really even have to change currency. Cozumel was IM #6 and that was international, but we flew direct on Frontier from Denver to Coz. Bikes were free, no Visa, and they took dollars as well. We had to speak a bit of Spanish, but after 24 hours we were in our groove.
Now, Brazil. First off, we don't know whether to spell it Brazil or Brasil. So, we're not even sure how to spell the place we are going. We are headed to the town (town?) of Florianopolis. It sounds like a fictional land, and there is a little mark over the last "o" that I don't know how to make that happen typing. We have also decided that if we are going all the way to Bra(s)zil we should see the Amazon (not the one where you pay $89 a year for Prime to get free shipping).
IM Bra(s)zil has a two loop bike course with apparently 4 VERY LARGE climbs per loop and the rest is flat. I'm not sure what this means or where said climbs are, but I'm going to find out because it seems like that's something I should know! I do know that last years overall amateur rode a 5:33 and that seems pretty darn fast.
So, we are also going to this Amazon place, to see it...we'll report back in 13 weeks. I'm expecting birds, crocks, pirañas (yes with a squiggle above the n...it did that all on it's own), maybe a sloth or two. Oh and it's very hard to do research on said Amazon without continuously running into the Prime one! I just recently found out the Amazon is not near the Ironman. I now understand that it's like saying...we're headed to Hollywood for the Ironman, but if we are going to Hollywood, we might as well see Mount Rushmore....it's like that...
Amazon is in Manaus (AKA Mount Rushmore). So we go: Denver to Dallas to Sao Paulo to 6 hours of thumb twiddling in Airport where we will probably stay at one of those Fast Sleep places so we can make out to Florianopolis (with a mark over the "o") to rest relax taper to IRONMAN to Golden ticket (unknown) to Florianopolis (still with the mark) to Sao Paulo to Manaus (Mt.Rushmore) to Amazonian adventure on a boat with hammocks and birds and bugs to Manaus to Miami to Chicago to Denver.
Whew! This is SO not your domestic Ironman. The flights alone for all this travel were just under $1600 per person. Lodging in Florianopolis is another $1600 and the Amazon adventure is another $1600. I have planted a $1600 tree in the back yard. I thought it would bear $1600 fruit but instead I am merely out yet another $1600.
Having both Troy and I doing the Ironman has added some expense over just one of us racing, but in reality, it's not much. He would already be there spectating, so at this point, why not have both of us race? I think I'm honestly MOST excited about having him racing with me. When I think about lining up with him, going through race morning with him, and feeling the race anticipation with him, I get really darn excited. I wish I could say that I'm going to swim on his feet, but in reality, he will go out too fast for me to hang on and I will lose him.
Getting a VISA for Brazil is no small feat. My drivers license address is not our current address because the CO DMV doesn't issue new cards for change of address. So today I hiked it down and stood in line for an hour to get them to issue me a new card just so the address on my card matches the address on my Visa application which is a requirement. Step 1 of 40,000 is done. We need notarized copies of all sorts of stuff, we have to provide passport photos...even though we already have passports. They need current photos that are within 6 months. It's crazy sauce.
Troy and I sat down before I knew this was so crazy and divided up some tasks. I got flights and Visa, he got immunizations, and budget. So yesterday he comes upstairs and tells me, he just had to make 1 call to our doctor and we have appointments for our shots. ME, I've got a 40,000 point to do list, and his task is done in 3 minutes. He did say that after I got all the Visa stuff done he would reward me with an ipad. I asked him if he know how much the visas were going to cost? ($280 per person) No more ipad....
The more I plan for this trip the more I understand that this is going to be a once in a lifetime trip. It's not just another Ironman for us, but a really cool chance to share an adventure together, all for the affordable price of 10 grand. While we are bleeding money right now, I know that once it gets here, it will all be worth it! Memories last as long as I do, whereas money...wait...I think I got that wrong...
So, the next 12 weeks are about getting myself in great shape to race hard, but also about making sure that we really live in the moment, and that we are prepared and ready to enjoy our trip (of a lifetime) to the utmost!