Saturday, August 22, 2009


A cute little old lady helped me get situated for the run, and didn't even bat an eye as I smeared Bodyglide on various sensitive areas. She had obviously been around the athletes all day! I donned my race belt, a long-sleeved top, shoes, socks, and a hat, and hit the road.

Holy gimpy, I was not moving fast. Within a couple miles I had nasty heartburn again any time I ran, so I ran/walked to keep things from getting to the point of vomiting. I'm not good at only puking once, and I was afraid that if I started I wouldn't be able to stop. Enter the power-walker.

It took forever. It was raining, and windy, and cold. I stopped to pee about a billion times. At first I was doing the civilized thing and getting undressed in the bathrooms, but after a while I decided that was a waste of time and just peed through my shorts. It was raining any way. Coming back in from my first loop someone gave me a space blanket, which I wore like a super-stylish silver cape. The Coke and pretzels and cookies went down well. The broth did not, something about the broth smell mixed with the styrofoam smell was no bueno. I saw my dad and brother a little before the half way point. It had been a while since I had eaten and I burst into tears, telling my dad I was SURE my foot was broken (because absolutely everything hurt at this point, my feet especially). He told me he understood, but he really didn't think it was broken, and he thought I should eat something. Of course I told him I was NOT hungry!!! Then I went and ate a bunch. At one of the aid stations I was ambushed by a mother/daughter volunteer team, who removed my poncho, cut a hole in it for my head, and put it and another plastic poncho over my head. They used my race belt to strap it all down, and sent me on my way with a hand-full of cookies.

The next time I saw my dad I was all smiles, and walking fast enough that they couldn't easily catch up with me. They might think I'm bi-polar.

After I saw them I got to the long, lonely part of the run, which runs alongside the lake. There are fewer spectators there, and it felt like forever. Just as it started to get dark I saw a guy walking past me in the opposite direction that looked a lot like Elliott. I was confused, as I was sure he would have been done by then. I turned around looked again, and he was wearing cargo shorts and carrying car keys, and was walking with a healthy limp - it WAS him! I called his name and he hobbled over, very happy to see me. Apparently my family and my friends weren't communicating well, so no one knew my dad had just seen me. Elliott had driven out to the turn around point to look for me. New boy had been tracking me online and it had been a long time since any updates were posted, so he was calling people in a panic. Elliott called him to say that he had found me, we talked for a bit, I told him Ironman was stupid, all while I continued my power walk/hobble. Once I reached the turn around and was headed toward the finish (albeit about 5 miles away) Elliott left me in the dark so he could pick up his wife and meet me at the finish. I fell in with a group of people that were walking and jogging, and stayed with them for about a mile before I decided they were going too slow. I was given glow sticks to wear because it was dark. They set off my plastic attire quite nicely.

About a mile from the finish, in the twisty little neighborhood, my brother found me. He and my dad had figured I would be there soon, so he started at the finish and started walking the course backward to come in with me. I apologized for keeping him out there ALL day, and he told me to shut-up, and that he was proud of me. It was awesome. He convinced me to run down to the finish. I did, until the huge blister I had been brewing exploded between my big and next-biggest toe and I almost fell down. Scared the crap out of my brother!

I re-evaluated my running-to-the-finish plan and only ran the last block. Someone suggested I take all the plastic off. I was too lazy. In retrospect, I would have had much better pictures had I listened.

The finish chute was AMAZING. It was 11pm and there were still hundreds of people sitting in the bleachers, cheering for the finishers. The noise was overwhelming. People were hanging over the sides, reaching out to high-five, and going nuts. So unbelievably awesome.

Once I crossed the line, a woman escorted to the chip removal, medal giving, and picture taking stations. I removed my plastic for that picture. Elliott and his wife, Greg and his family, and my family were all there to watch me finish. So cool. Elliott took me to the massage tent where they had a heater(!) and pizza. The massage sucked and my stomach couldn't handle the pizza, but it was good to get off my feel for a minute.

I about froze when I came out of the heated tent and made my brother give me his jacket. Poor kid. He and I went to get my bags and bike while my dad got the car. I got a painfully violent case of the hiccups while we drove to the house.

My room was upstairs. So not cool. I took a shower and climbed in bed, only to sleep like crap because moving hurt. I woke up at 6 am. Elliott was already up. Ironman does weird things to sleep. We packed up and picked up various bits and pieces, went to the awards because Elliott had done a 9:42 which was good for third in his AG and a Kona slot. I dropped off my rental car, tried to figure out a way to use my rolly suitcase for locomotion through the airport, and got on my first plane. The guy next to me was creepy, but I fell asleep before we took off. When we were leaving the plane he told me to go first (to stare at my ass? I don't know), I told him it would take forever.
Him: Wow, you're really limping! *sarcastically* What, did you do the Ironman or something? *sneer*
Me: Yes.
Him: Oh! *looks like he realizes he's an ass* Holy crap!


I limped around the Seattle airport and ate crappy airport food until my next flight. New boy was picking me up from the airport, which I was excited about. I hobbled off the plane and hit the bathroom, finally making it out to where he was waiting, WITH A SIGN! No one has ever made me a sign! It was a good one too! I'll have to post it for you.

He was disappointed I took so long getting off the plane because he wanted to embarrass me in front of a bunch of people. Ha! Too bad for him, all the people were gone!

The next day at work, while Elliott and I compared how swollen our bodies and feet were, flowers and balloons were delivered to the shop. From new boy. While he was there.

He gets soooooo many brownie points.

Later a second bouquet showed up from my dad and step mom. I love my people.


It seems I have finally made it out of my Iron-funk and the race it starting to be a good experience in my mind. There are so many things I can do better next time. I'm going to work on getting fast before I try to go that long again though.

The rest of this year will be XTERRA and half irons, and next year will probably be the same.

Coming soon, XTERRA Portland race report!

Woo hoo! The computer didn't crash!

1 comment:

faliciagayle said...

Big hugs!
You are amazing, Amy :)
Come visit me in NY. Do a race here! Love you lots