Are you tired of hearing about my Ironman experience yet? No worries! We’re almost done.
People ask me questions like: WHY I did it, WHAT I learned, How did I feel the next day, and, Now what? That’s the most popular one.
Before I tackle those questions, I want to tell you a secret about what happened after the race. That big, glorious smile I sported while crossing the finish line and posing for pictures with my family didn’t last very long.
Immediately after crossing the finish line, I found myself extremely thirsty, and had to keep moving. Standing still made the nausea and dizziness worse. So I paced, and laughed, and tried to burp and make myself feel better. Jeff, my kids, and SheriAnne all surrounded me and we celebrated. Mostly, I just kept repeating, “I can’t believe I did it.” After a half hour or so, we decided to round up my bike and transition bags and go back to the hotel to relax. On the walk over to the bike, it hit me. I HAD to sit down. Dede and Jeff went to get my bike, while I sat, more or less, on the sidewalk and faded…
The security is fantastic at Ironman, and I am thankful for that, and they won’t let anyone without the proper ID remove bikes from the corral. When they wouldn’t release it to Dede, she came and helped me walk. We got the bike and started off toward the car. I couldn’t do it. I had nothing left in me, and had to sit down, and down I went-right on the concrete. I was oblivious to the throngs of people walking around me. Dede helped me over to a huge cement block and sat me on it, so I could put my head between my knees, and feel better. A volunteer tried to get me to go to the medical tent, but the concept that I would walk back there was laughable at this point. Dede is a nurse, so I figured she would know what to do. At one point, I caved and asked her to go get a wheelchair so I could get back to the medical tent, and she took off. A few minutes later, Jeff came back and said that he would help me to the car, and take care of me. I tried to stand up, and that’s when it happened.
Puke. Puke shot everywhere. Violent, wrenching, LOUD puke. (Oh, how I didn’t want to get it on my nice white running shoes.) Puke with the force that curled my toe nails. All the while, Jeff just stood there waiting for it to stop. His kind, loving words: “What did you eat that was SOLID?” LOL. What a guy.
FRITOS! That’s what did it. Fritos corn chips at mile 56 on the bike. Ice tea, too. What was I thinking? This stuff had stayed in my stomach for 60 miles on the bike, and 26.2 miles running. Not anymore!
Once I finished, Jeff helped to to the car, where Mike and Audrey had already loaded my bike and gear. THANK YOU! They asked me if I wanted to be alone and just meet up in the morning, but I didn’t want to miss any time with them. Jeff and I got to the hotel first, and I crawled through the lobby, looking like a dying crack head. On my way to the shower, my body decided it wasn’t finished emptying itself, so I enjoyed another round of deep dry heaves. Lovely. I showered and got in my jammies, and my kids arrived with SOUP AND PEDIALYTE!!! Glorious recovery magic. After sipping both, I came back to life within minutes, and we ended the night celebrating until almost 2am.
4 hours later, I was up and getting ready to go back to the Expo to enjoy shopping at the Ironman finisher’s tent.
Later that day, while Jeff worked, the kids and I went to lunch.
What a weekend. I felt great. Ready for another day of fun!
I didn’t go on this Ironman journey just for fun. I had teamed up with Zero to raise funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer research. My boyfriend Jeff, is currently battling this disease. I had no idea that one in 6 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime. 33,000 will die this year in the US alone. Did you know that a simple blood test is all you need to determine if you have the disease? If caught early, it has a 100% chance of being cured. BUT, if caught late, there is no know cure. MEN: get tested!!! If you would like to make a donation of any amount, and help fight this horrific disease, please do so here: Zero the End of Prostate Cancer.
One more thing about Jeff. His cancer medication has side effects, one of which is a weakening of the bones. Recently, Jeff found out that he has a fracture in his pelvis. He has what he calls “Episodes”. These can come on slowly, and last up to 2 days, or quickly and last several hours. The pain can be overwhelming. He manages to survive these episodes and come out fighting. He still kept training for this Ironman. He had a stellar swim and bike, but the run became too painful, and he made the decision to stop after the first 13 mile loop, and wait for me at the finish line. What a guy. I can’t say enough about his strong will to beat this disease. I know he will. Oh, and he’s doing another Ironman in Arizona in November! I’ll be there, volunteering, and cheering him on….which lead me to…
I’m signing up to do Ironman Arizona next November. YES! I HAVE to do this again. Now you know the answer to “What’s next?” Oh, I’m sure I’ll have moments of doubt again, but they won’t last, because I know I can do this, and I now know how much fun it can be.
I won’t bore you with the “What I learned about myself…” subject, because I’m still learning, and most of what I learned is for me alone to know.
I am ever grateful to my kids for surprising me. I am in awe over Jeff, for keeping the secret. I’m thrilled that my coach SheriAnne was present to see the fruits of her coaching. And in the end, I’m proud of my accomplishment….and my bravery, or stupidity, for doing this:
As always, thanks for joining me on my journeys. I love your feedback and comments. Did you know you can subscribe to my blog?