We flew down Thursday before the race and leading up to IMTX, I didn't have too many nerves. But let me tell you, when we touched down in Houston, wow, did the butterflies light up. All of a sudden, I knew this was happening. We landed at 11 AM, talked with some other racers while waiting for our luggage, and were quickly off and running with our rental car, thanks to using TriBike Transport to ship my bike. I had a 12:30 appt with my old chiropractor for a pre-race tune up. While waiting for the appt, I stopped by and said hi to my old swim coach, who was overseeing a lunch-time practice. Once I was all set and adjusted, we drove up to The Woodlands for athlete check in. We showed up around 2 PM. It was hot and there were a TON of people. We stood in the athlete check-in line - it was loooong. My friend Anne stopped by and made a comment that they were selling out of a lot of IMTX gear. I was worried about there not being anything left by the time I got checked-in, so I made a slightly-smarmy move and left Will in the check-in line to hold my place while I power-shopped. I ended up getting a visor, a bike jersey, and a tri top. Its amazing how a person has no trouble what-so-ever forking over ridiculous amounts of money for things like this. The jersey logo is cool - Texas is made to look like carbon fiber. This is probably the first time I've ever wanted to wear something "Texas" - it helps that I don't live there anymore. By the time I was done shopping, Will was only ~15 people back in the check-in line - PERFECT. Check-in was smooth and easy. Then it was time to pick my bike up from TriBike Transport - I was very happy to see my bike.
We had several hours to kill between check-in and the manditory pre-race meeting. It seems that the race organizers wanted you to hang out in the Woodlands and spend money, as check in closed at 4 PM but the race meeting wasn't until 7:30 PM. There was an athlete dinner from 5:30-7:30, but it would have cost $30 for Will to attend with me. We ended up driving up to Conroe, where we were staying with friends, and hanging out in the AC for a bit.
Back down to the Woodlands and to the athlete meeting. Turns out my friends didn't want to make a special 1 hour drive up for the meeting, so I was also responsible for giving them the cliff-notes. We ended up sitting at table in the back with some empty seats - turns out, we were next to the people from our Denver flight. Very cool! Athlete meeting was nothing spectacular - no, you won't get your special needs bags back; wear your chip to the Friday practice swim; if the swim is delayed by weather less than 30 min, you'll start late but we won't extend the bike cut-off time (!!); if the weather is bad for more than 30 min, we may cancel the swim (!!!!!!). The meeting ended earlier than planned - we headed over to Chipotle for a late dinner. Then back to Conroe and bed.