I was told when I wanted to quit, I still had more to give. I tested that theory this week.
Jay and I did a practice 70.3 on Saturday. Instead of resting and allowing myself some time to calm down, I decided to work at the LPGA event in Sylvania for 11 hours a day outside hauling beer and ice over God’s green earth. Why did my dumb ass think that was a good idea? I don’t know. I did it anyway.
Saturday morning I was up at 5:30 eating oatmeal (gluten free, of course), a bagel with peanut butter, and applesauce. I chugged a ton of water and made my way to East Harbor. Naturally, I was there early and thought I was going to throw up because I was nervous. Little did I know that Jay was planning on sticking together the whole time. That was a huge confidence boost for me. I know we won’t be able to do Ironman together that day, but knowing I wasn’t alone for the first time was just what I needed.
First of all—bless Lisa and Debbie. Both were there and incredibly supportive as we got in the water (which, by the way, was clear—WEIRD). Seriously. They made sure they had eyes on us while we swam and were so supportive. It was great seeing them before. Again, I felt calmer. Swimming isn’t my strong point. If you remember, it’s been a point of fear since day one. However, I managed to stay calm, count my strokes for something to keep my mind focused, and finish the swim in 52 minutes. I was so insanely proud. Having Jay, Lisa, and Debbie up there telling me how proud they were again, made me feel on top of the world.
I had some bike issues due to transporting my bike that pushed our transition a little long, but got it all fixed up. What I didn’t realize about Marblehead area is the elevation. I make sure to hit as many hills as I can when I’m biking here just to make sure I’m good. It was NOTHING compared to what we hit. Add in some insane wind and I threw out heart rate after mile 30. Miles 30 through 56 were miserable. Absolutely miserable. The wind was relentless, cars were being stupid, it was hot, and my heart rate average was almost 20 beats over what it should have been the ENTIRE time. Get to a top of a long hill and the wind blasted you in the face. It. Was. Miserable. However, we got it done.
The run. We decided four minutes running and one minute walking. After the first mile I knew I was in a little bit of trouble. Then it got worse. By mile 6, I was toast. A lot of emotions (and thoughts of throwing up) were experienced. Trying to be positive, telling myself to shut up about being positive, wanting to quit, but then ultimately realizing we could walk the next 7 miles and still be under the time cap. So walk we did. I don’t care. We moved. We pushed on. We barely spoke for a while, but we kept going. By about mile 10, we were laughing. Did a few short bursts of running. It hurt. But we laughed, talked about the tattoos we are going to get, talked about how ignorant we were about the run portion, and how much we have learned throughout this process. It was really reflective. We finished it at the beach. Jumped in the water and happily laid there.
What an experience. It was miserable for a few hours, but it just proved how capable I am and confirmed my ideology from day one: I just want to finish. I don’t care if I’m walking. I don’t care if I finish at 8:29:32. If I finish and can smile as I cross the finish line, I won. Ironman isn’t a competition. It isn’t a test. It’s something to be respected. I am so proud of what we both accomplished that day. I am so thankful for the people who have been supportive of this goal since the beginning. Regardless of what happens in two weeks, I have already proven who I am and what I can do. No one can take that away.