Holy crap, a new blog post!
Let us rewind to the morning of November 17th. Really, really early in the morning. I ate my banana with peanut butter. Grabbed all my nutrition, yes meat pockets, along with swim gear and jumped in the truck to be carted off to certain death (okay, maybe death is too strong a word for Tempe Town Lake but whatever).
I head to my bike first because, well, I had stuff to drop off. Stuck my water bottles in their cages and pumped up my tires while avoiding eye contact with those around me so I didn't have to share my bike pump-you know when you give it to one person you'll never get it back. It's true. This is the point I head to the port-a-potty.
If you ever do an Ironman, you gotta get to the port-a-potty early because otherwise you're screwed, make a note.
Can't feel anything but nerves at this point and just doing what I'm supposed to do. Bodymarking, check. Wetsuit on, check. Toss your morning clothes bag to loved ones, check. Grab your cap and goggles and head to the gigantor TYR inflatable, check. Yeah, at this point I'm freaking out because they're going to tell me to jump in the water soon and swimming, well it just sucks. And a 2.4 mile swim sucks hard. What's going on in my head? "Don't drink the water. Don't drink the water. Don't drink the water."
Pros go off. My turn.
I get in the water plugging my nose and holding my goggles to my head, which is what smart people do so they don't lose their goggles before the swim even starts, right? Everyone is swimming and I'm squashing the minor panic attack the splashing brought on. Pretend swim to the start before the gun goes off, ha ha, at least I made an attempt to. My rule of thumb with the swim is this: No sense in getting run over. Let the people who are in a hurry swim over the top of each other so I am not on the receiving end of a black eye. You non-swimmers, you get me right?
Swim was alright. I started counting breaths. I swam straight! That never happens! The only issue I had during the swim was when some fool kept cutting me off. He was NOT swimming straight and he just wouldn't get out of the way.
Out of the water, looking particularly awesome in my wet tri suit I stop to wave at the fans and make faces for those taking pictures (that's the only explanation for the photos that were taken of me) and head to the changing tent. Where I changed. By myself. Some of those ladies must have been in pretty bad shape because they were hogging all of the volunteers.
According to my transition time I mosied to my bike and the bike mount. Hey, it was going to be a long weekend, I was conserving my energy.
On the bike. Pedal, pedal, pedal. About two miles in I realize I have to pee. My apologies to the hardcore triathletes, but no way was I "going" on my bike. Eew, just eew. I did my best to forget about that minor need. Drink water. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Up the Beeline. No wind. Lots of drafting. Drink water, eat. Pretend I don't have to pee. Smile at the nice volunteers. Down the Beeline. No wind. Lots of drafting. Drink water, eat. Smile at the nice volunteers (particularly the nice ones at Bike Special Needs who knew my name). Pretend I don't have to pee. Back into town, wave at KFC who did an excellent job making themselves known. Pretend I don't have to pee. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Up the Beeline. Wind. Drafting. Get lapped by friends. Pretend I don't have to pee. Drink water, eat. Down the Beeline. Frickin wind. Stopped at Special Needs ONLY for the bathroom (it got really hard to pretend). Smile at the nice volunteers. Back into town, wave at KFC. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Up the Beeline. Didn't see many peeps (they're all on the run course). Drink water, eat. Down the Beeline. Wind. Stupid, mean wind. Drink water, eat. Pretend that the pain in your rear end is not really that bad.
Riding a bike for any extended amount of time is painful. For me, because my saddle hates me, anything over 3 hours is excruciating. So for the duration of the second and third lap, well, it hurt.
Back into town. Throw your bike (yeah, you heard right) in the direction of the nearest volunteer and head into the change tent. Again.
I got help this time! Nice lady put my race belt on me. I forgot to change shorts (quick stop to the port-a-potty fixed that). Also, thank you Dr. Hoy for making that magical gunk.
Oh the frickin run. My head was in such good shape until I tied up my neon yellow kicks. I ran out and waved to KFC (thanks KFC!). Freaked out. Ran into some more fans (thanks fans!). Freaked out. Walked for too long. This is where I had a heart-to-heart with my self. I said, "Self, this is going to take a ridiculous amount of time to finish if you walk. Suck it up." Run 3, walk 2.Drink water, eat oranges. Mega blisters developed and were not really friendly after mile 10. Didn't they understand I had goals?! Smiled, kind of, to the KFC on the second loop. It was hard to smile when your toes have become blisters, ya know, but I did my best. Then it happened. It exploded. The blister exploded. Mile 20. Sunday, bloody Sunday. I walked. Had to have another heart-to-heart. Sounded a lot like the first one. Run 3, walk 2.
Finally, FINALLY, the finish is around the corner. Oh I ran. I ran hard. I remembered there were cameras (mostly, finisher pics show that maybe I wasn't as aware as I should have been). People in the stands are going nuts. They love me (everyone does, heh heh heh). Amazing friends catch me. Stupendous KFC spectathletes waiting for me.
15:46 clock time.
Mega thanks to those who coached me, trained with me, and listened to me whine, to the people who pushed me, cheered for me, and lifted me up. You are awesome. Let's do it again.