For starters, this picture cracks me up! Funny pose, but at least it captures the elation on my face. The camera on the other side of the carpet grabbed a much better shot though that hopefully I will be able to post later.
As soon as I crossed the finish line my teammates Leslie Anne and Trevor were there to catch me. It was so great to have people I know catch me at the finish line. It was also fitting that Leslie Anne was one of my catchers as she was the first person I ever met from Team Tri Life, now she was there at the end of my big journey. A race official asked me if I was ready for my medal and he placed it over my neck. Leslie Anne grabbed my finisher’s shirt and hat. Another wonderful volunteer grabbed my chip and put my strap back on my ankle. (Oh yeah, FYI, at this race they give you a chip but you have to have your own ankle strap to put it on.) They led me over to the photographer to get a picture with my medal. I hammed it up for the photographer and he laughed, saying I had the best pose of the night. I was feeling great, lucid and not in need of the medical tent so we headed over to the food. I grabbed a piece of pepperoni pizza and a bottle of water, then Leslie Anne and Trevor headed took me out of the athlete only area to the big tree that I had designated as the meeting point with my dad the day before. Finally my parents and Boyfriend were able to wind their way through the barricaded streets toward me. Big hugs all around and time for more pictures!
I thanked Leslie Anne and Trevor and wished them good luck at the sign up for 2011 the next morning. It was time to go home! Luckily my dad had my bike check ticket so they were able to grab my bike and all of my gear bags well before I finished so all I had to do was walk to the car. As soon as I started moving, holy smokes I was stiff! Thankfully I had my Zoot recovery sandals in my dry clothes bag and it felt so good to get my feet out of my sneakers. I thought I would be so hungry after I finished, but it turns out I had eaten so much along the run course that I was actually feeling pretty full! No late night trip to Denny’s for us! The ride home was a little uncomfortable and you would have thought that the two steps I had to go up to get from the garage into the house was a mountain that I had to climb! As the Boyfriend drove me home I caught up on the over 50 e-mails I had received over the course of the day from everyone who was tracking me. I was so overwhelmed by all of the support. So many folks had stayed up well past their bedtime to check in and see how I was doing. Tea, you were especially awesome!
Sleeping was rough that night. My left hip was so sore that every time I wanted to roll over in bed I had to wake up to do it. My alarm went off super early too as I wanted to hustle back to Penticton to buy finisher’s merchandise in the morning. Walking around Ironman Village wound up being great for working out the stiffness though and I continued to feel better throughout the day. It was almost hard to believe the weekend was over!
And so with that, some final thoughts:
- I am so happy that I smiled almost the whole day. I think my only real low moment was the final 5 km on the bike into the ridiculous head wind. Even though it was a slow go on the marathon I was so happy. I’m really pleased with how my day played out.
- Sure enough, I woke up with a massive cold on Monday morning. I was getting sick on Sunday. Great, excellent timing!
- Next time I would put some yummy candy in my run special needs bag. I kinda wish I had put my regular glasses in here too but then I wouldn’t have known what to do with my sunglasses.
- I didn’t want to throw anything out so I hung onto gels, tubes, CO2 cartridges, tubes of Vaseline, you name it. Hey, that stuff costs a lot of money! Don’t worry, I didn’t run with the bike tube and CO2 cartridge!
- Boy I really wish there was music at the aid stations along the run course.
- Have I mentioned how awesome the volunteers and spectators were? Thanks for making me feel like a rock star folks. The amazingness of the day is so hard to put into words.
- I have the best family, friends and teammates on the planet. They deserve a post to themselves. Tara and Kelly, we did it!!! 🙂
- Wow, the finisher shirt is not attractive. Way too big and a sorta blah beige colour. Last year’s were much better. Julie’s thoughts on the shirt are hilarious!
- Did I sign up for next year? Nope, I sure didn’t! For so many different reasons. The journey to get to the start line takes a huge commitment, not only on my part, but on the part of my loved ones. I’d like more time to hike and camp next summer plus do other fun things! I also think I need some time to forget how much this one hurt before I sign up for another. And I think I would do it again…sometime…the experience is unbelievable out there and there is no feeling like it on earth.
- Did I get/will I get a tattoo? Nope to that one too! I’m just not a tattoo person and I know I’m an Ironman inside as do my friends and family. I’ll just wear the finisher gear around all the time instead. 😉
- What next? Good question! I’m signed up for the Goofy Challenge at Disney World in January but I’m taking September off from formal coaching. I’m letting my mind and body recover before building back into marathon training. I’m also doing a bit of thinking about what I want out of those races in January so stay tuned for news on that. I had originally thought that after Ironman I might be done with the blogging thing, but I think I still have stuff to talk about. So I’ll still be around! I still have plenty of exciting things to share with you guys… 🙂