Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Reflection from my IM 06


As everyone prepares for the race in just 14 days, I'm sure lots of thoughts are going through their heads. I saved this email I had sent to everyone the day after my race in 2006. It inspires me to reread it, so I share it with all of you. I hope you read the joy in it...and the love.

"it was fun...so I did it" :)!
Ok, I'm now rested, and have my glass of wine in hand (I knew you'd appreciate that Norm, and no, I didn't stop for beer along the course...sheesh...even I have to know some limits...:) )
I'm attempting to answer all of your questions below...(gosh you had SOOO many questions!)
The stats:
Pre-race:
Night before Preparation: checked transition bags feverishly. Sat around firepit with neighbors. Drank 1 beer, then gatorade and water. Went to bed. Slept like a rock. Amazing.
Person who put up with the most questions about prep: Mark Timmerman (thank you for patience...)
The swim:
Number of times I wanted to vomit: Zero! Woohoo! (I was calm, crazily...) I was there, I was ready, and knew full well "it is what it is".
Number of friends I saw at the start: 6 - a welcome, welcome sight. Hugs in wetsuits ROCK!
Size of waves: Holy Mother of God. (but, that was good, it kept my face planted in the water because if you looked up, you got a face full of stinky water that tasted like boat fuel..trust me...)
Best "under the wetsuit apparel": David Willborn ran up the helix wearing tie-dyed underwear he made himself, including an iron-on IM patch.
Feeling of running up the helix on my way to transition: Are you kidding??? I screamed my fool head off when I saw my people hanging out and cheering! Superstars.
The Bike:
Weather: Ahhh...non-stop rain and cold. Relentless and strong headwinds.
Amount of time my feet were dry: .1 minute
Number of spectators I talked to: How many were out there? Count 90%, it made me CRAZY not to talk.
# of Farmer-Blows: 1209
# of farmer-blows that ended up on my coat: 8
# of farmer-blows that I didn't care anymore where it landed: 6
Why biking was fun: I sucked so bad on my swim time, that NO ONE passed me on the bike course (except the pros on their second loop). I felt like a rockstar passing for hours.
Most impressive bike stat: Ha! Talked for 30 miles straight with my new buddy, John. Yep, you got it baby, you CAN'T SHUT ME UP! That's right!
# of boys signing up to do the Ride to Cure Diabetes that I met during my Ironman: TWO! (I'm always working....)
Biggest Grin on the bike: seeing that I had more fans supporting me than ANYONE on the course...and hearing other bikers complain about it! (true!!!)
Mantras taped to bike: U Rock, This is great I feel good, No negative monkeys, return with honor, slow is steady steady is fast, I did it, I own it, Smile.
Best coaching: I've never had so much coaching in my LIFE!! Bike coaches Dan & Jay, Swim coach Mark, and Tri Coach Cindi....1 on the course, 2 cheering me on and 1 sending feverish emails right up until the event all the way from Kansas City...way cool.
Most motivating moment: Hans Solinger in full bike gear waiting for me to top a hill so he could bike alongside me and give me pointers and tell me to focus and keep pedaling. :)
Mile I realized I wasn't enjoying my bike ride: Mile 80
Mile I lost sensation in both hands and couldn't shift: Mile 80
How many times I decided I didn't want to complete the race: 1
Number of times I cried during the event: 1, biking up the helix and thinking I couldn't physically get off my bike or tie my shoes because I was chilled to the bone.
Minutes held for hypothermia issues: 40 (that SUCKED)
Color of lips at that time: purple
Moment I remembered Bobby Heyer's mantra taped to my bike that said not to let negative monkeys in my head: that very second (thank you Bobby!!!)
Coolest volunteer in the world who dressed me (hands still numb) and got me running: Rebecca
The Run:
Coolest friend that surprised me: Chris Burque jumping in step with me and running alongside for my first mile. Thank you!! (IM 08, Burque??)
Moment I realized I was going to finish the race: Mile 2, when I saw someone I knew coming the other direction with a look of incredible pride and joy (and surprise maybe?), arms up, running towards one another and me screaming how great I was feeling and almost bowled him right over in my excitment when I wrapped my arms AND legs around him for God's sake...I giggled for miles about what a dork I was doing that...especially since I was wearing bright yellow AND a garbage bag (Yeah...this girl looked HOT...ha ha ha)
Moment I met my run buddy, Jeremy: mile 3 (finished the race with him)
Cool stat about Jeremy: he is only 27 and I was keeping pace
Why that stat isn't cool: Damn it, he was injured
Biggest grin on the run: Seeing Sandy, Mike R, Mike K, Stacy and Rob running towards me when I was about to finish...they were screaming and crying with excitement.
Number of blisters: zero
Number of toenails lost: 1 (yeah, gross)
The Finish Line:
Best moment - grabbing my kids to run with me towards the jumbotron baby!
Second best moment: realizing just how many friends/family showed up to see me finish!
The fans:
Who had the most fans cheering them on in the rain: ME!!!!!!!!!! I'm not kidding, I swear it's true. I'm not naming all of you because I don't want to forget someone!!! You know who you are!!!! Thank you!!
Best Wingman: Stacy Cook. I owe her my life. Poor woman had to undress me to get in the shower, feed me AND sleep with me LOL Incredible vibes.
Friend who pulled me through that was an IM participant: David Willborn - he was my hot date for everything. As I showed up alone to get body-marked, I never thought I would see someone I knew....there stood David...grinning...we got ready together and walked the helix together to the swim start...you're the best, baby!
Post Ironman:
Will I get an IM tattoo? No. I contemplated the IM logo on my back, with the "dot" of the "I" using the single freckle I have on my back...but I decided I kinda dig my one freckle, so I'm keeping it as is, thanks. No tattoo.
Will I do another Ironman? I did NOT sign up for 07. No regrets. I have 3 friends who want to do 08....and if they do...you know who you are....I'll be there with you....actually there is a 4th I want to join me in 08...I'll keep you posted...he doesn't know I'm slating him to do it with me..but he is... ;)
Most inspiring: the type 1 athletes I knew on the course had problems with their meters all day...and endured/achieved. Inspired, I am.
How do I top it?: No clue. I'm applying for Survivor. How about that?
My best advice to future Ironmen: I was right. Keep it fun. Smile and enjoy.
What I learned: it was a greater accomplishment to cross the finish line a little later bringing a friend along the way who needed the support, than to cross earlier, alone. I will reflect on that for a lifetime.
Your well wishes, by the way, have been a great joy to read today. For all of you who keep telling me I'm a coach..no I'm not...i'm just a girl who loves to watch other people feel inspired and reach their own goals. I know how important it is to have people tell you "you can do it." That is something I have learned over the last few years. To those of you who couldn't make it, I know you were there with me in spirit. For those who made it down and were surprised at how cool the finish line scene is...welcome...enjoy it...it's the experience of a lifetime...and I get to proudly say I did it, for the rest of my life. I'm glad I was pushed to it. Now....I'm going to bed. I want to stay up but my body says...enough girl.
Oh...last stat-
How many people are sick of hearing about Ironman?: How many people are on this email? (grinning)
:)Michelle
"How long should you keep trying? Until." ~ Jim Rohn

2 comments:

J-Wim said...

That's great!
You lost a toenail? That is so cool..... I always take off my toenail polish before any run half mary or more just in case I get one. Then I can see it first...

Michelle said...

I actually lost every single toenail - one by one, baby.