Finishing the race--about 100 yards to go.
I began the race at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday and finished at 6:45 p.m.
1:02, 6:12, 4:22
It was a great day. and a long day. and a day I won't soon forget.
How to begin--
Once upon a time, two days ago, I did an Ironman. Yeah me! Wahoo!
Part I: the Thank You section.
Andy. For --. Well. Everything.
My in-laws: While I was gone they took care of our kids and took them to the Science Discovery Museum (Th), to the zoo (F), to Plymouth Plantation (Sa) and to the Lego Museum Su.) Wait, did I mention that my father in-law just turned 80, and my mother-in-law has progressive lung disease and is 78? Can you say Iron-In-Laws? They also dealt with seriously exhausted and puking four-year-old Lara on Monday, and also with Linus, our dog who is senile and incontinent, and with Minna, our dog with mouth cancer who we decided not to put down last week at the very last minute (literally). She is hanging on, still wagging her tail, and we have decided to keep her alive until that stops. Because she is an IronDog that could be as long as another week. We hope. They mopped up the blood, loved her despite the smell of her mouth tumor (which is strong enough to make you sick to your stomach), and made her comfortable the whole five-days long.
Alina and Ange. I couldn't have done this without the two of you. You know that. You are perfect people to me: supportive, loving, generous, forgiving and loyal friends, and also inspiring athletes and moms.
Jen Harrison, my coach. I'm sorry if she is not your coach, but I thank God daily that she's mine.
My Tri Friends in Maine--I should list all of you, but I think you know who you are. Thanks for taking me in even though I am a Mass-hole. Your cheers and support meant so much on Sunday--especially during the freaking run!
My Tri/Running-Friends in MA--I want to list you all too! It meant a lot to be cheered by so many of you from afar and at Lake Placid. Every time I saw one of you shout out to me (whether competing or on the sidelines) I got a little teary.
My Blogger Buddies: It is amazing to feel so supported by people you only know through an online world!
Okay. More people too, but I know you are sick of reading all that. I always find the thank-yous the most boring part of speeches. You know? And this is supposed to be a STORY (which I'm sure will reach novel length), not a speech. So here we go.
OKAY! Unto the actually RR!
Part II: Before the Race
I arrived with Andy at Lake Placid, New York on Thursday, July 23, 2009. On the way there (5.5 hours in the car) I prattled on and on about what else? triathlon.
From Thursday to Saturday afternoon is pretty boring to recount. I laid low. I slept. I read a good book. I ate. I did a few light workouts. I had active release done on my ankle. I saw Ange and her family. That's pretty much it except that I also stared out at Mirror Lake and thought,
Wow, Here I am. or
Wow. That lake looks calm but will it eat me alive? or
Wow. This time tomorrow I will be ____swimming/biking/running. or
Wow. Fuck. I'm scared. or
Wow. I'm not that rotund, under-confident, slow little girl anymore. God damn, look how far I have come. At 18 I could just barely run once around a track, and now I'm little, I'm lean, I'm strong. and
Wow. I did go for it, Dad. Just not for the reason you thought I should.
The highlight was Saturday night when we all went out to eat. There were two long tables, one filled with Ange's family (I kinda consider them my family too, actually, because they are always there and always say super sweet things like they are proud of me! :) love them.) and one table of all Nor-Easters, most of whom had just come down to cheer for the Mainers.
I sat next to Ange and she kept me calm by being super-revved up and intense--an irony that you can't really get unless you know Ange and you know me. We ate bread and pasta and chicken, of course, and then hugged good-bye until tomorrow.
I went back to the hotel to read my book.
I want to thank author Sarah Dessen for bringing me into another world for those few hours before I could fall asleep.
Part Three: Pre-Race
The alarm went off at 3:50 a.m.
I got up.
I mechanically ate my bagel with peanut butter, my coffee, my protein bar.
I mechanically dressed in my super snazzy Nor-Easter kit.
I mechanically checked my special needs bags one more time.
I mechanically took two Advil. My headed pounded, and I was pretty sure I was feverish. Perhaps it was nerves. Perhaps it was because I hadn't slept well. It didn't matter. And yes, I know about how you are not supposed to take NSAIDS before a race--or even a workout. That's why I brought four advil with me to add to my Bento Box.
I mechanically went to the car, and Andy drove me to the start.
My headache started to abait. It was going to be okay.
I got in line to get marked. I started a conversation with the man in front of me. He had just done RI 70.3 two weeks back. He had gotten a Clearwater spot, and was relieved because it took the pressure off trying to get a Kona slot. He looked strong. He looked confident. I told myself I looked that way too. My headache and feverish-ness were gone, and I was ready to rumble.
Then I walked like five miles down the road to drop of my special needs bags.
I bonded with a guy about how long it was to walk, and couldn't they just have made it a little closer?
As I walked I noticed there were mostly male competitors. Where were all of the women?
Everyone looked ripped. and lean. and ready to crush it.
I felt like a little girl, unsure how I had gotten here. What the hell was I doing?
And then I banished that thought. I was the IRONMATRON. I may be little. These men may tower over me with their big-ass muscles and their confident faces. But they weren't more fit than me. They weren't.
After pumping my tires (thanks to that nice man who lent me his pump--and lent his pump to practically every 35-39 woman in my row!) and after checking my transition bags, and after talking to a few people (thank you for chatting with me Chrissie, it actually really calmed me down!) and after peeing a few times, and after heading over to the Nor-Easter tent and chatting with Chess (Thank you for the tire changing help) and Rob and Kurt, I was READY. It started to drizzle. Competitors started entering the water. Ange and I donned our wetsuits, took a deep breath, and walked to the swim start.