I didn't realize until it was over how bad off Tommy was. He was green. I am ENRAGED that they wouldn’t let him into the medical tent. There are so many sick fakers out there that actual sick people can’t get the help they need. It’s ridiculous. So, all you people who faked sick, I’m probably gonna punch you if we meet. Nonetheless, the paramedics deemed me coherent enough to watch over Tommy, who could barely stand and was nauseous and dizzy. I’m still furious (this is my only real complaint about the race).
Seeing our friends was amazing and I was surprised that almost all of them actually wanted to hug me. Ha. I wouldn’t have hugged me. But they were all so awesome – special thanks to Amanda for taking care of us. I was on a high that nothing to could squelch!
We gathered all our stuff and grabbed a cab back to the hotel. Once we got back to the hotel, I hit my wall, came down off my high and started to also feel green. In hindsight, we probably shouldn't have been in our hotel room alone. I passed out on the toilet and Tommy in the shower. One of us would wake up periodically and ask if the other was alive...luckily, the answer was always yes. Eventually, we made it to bed where we both slept poorly and woke up at 3am because that's what time triathletes wake up. So sad. 5 days later, our bellies still aren't quite back to normal, but there is significant improvement.
I can't believe it's over. I can't believe we did so well! It was such an amazing experience – the training and the racing – and every single bit of it was worth it.
I don’t have any more Ironmans on my race calendar for the future, but who knows. I checked the box and for now, that’s good enough. We ARE however, planning our race schedule around possibly going to IMFL next year to volunteer and then register for the race in 2011. We will see how it all plays out. Who knows what the future will hold and what we will feel like doing. Our goals for 2010 are to focus on speed – we are always looking to the next big thing that we have never had the chance to work on getting faster at anything. So, we are signed up for Florida 70.3 in May with a bunch of friends and we are planning on doing Redman half in September…we will mix things up with some sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and some 5k and 10k races.
But above everything, this trip and this race has really showed me how lucky I am. I am probably the luckiest girl in the world. I have the most amazing family and the most amazing friends and the most amazing husband and I couldn't have done any of this without any of them. All week long I kept saying how thankful I am that I have such wonderful people around me – and it's the truth. I couldn't ask for more. I hope each and everyone one of you know how special you are to me!
A special thanks to my mom and dad, Cathy, Amanda, Jon, Janelle, Thomas, Brett, Francis, Matt, Ly and Chris – all of whom joined us in Cozumel for a wonderful vacation and who spent all day on their feet cheering for us. We appreciate you all more than you could possibly ever know. Much love.
A special special thanks to Francis for taking about 2 million pictures and to Thomas for making a video. I know we will cherish these memories forever and you captured them on film – thank you!
And thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout our season but was unable to be there – you presence and support was felt and appreciated.
Like Tommy, I will add a quick list of thoughts about Ironman training, racing, traveling, etc:
• Just like for marathon training, there are a lot of training plans to choose from. Find the one that you like and that you can maintain and have faith in it. You will benefit most from your workouts if you enjoy them and when they fit your life. Some people will do more, some will do less…do what works for you.
• I felt like I needed to ride 115 miles before race day but most people only ride 100. Do what you feel comfortable with. Either way, I’d be sure to get SEVERAL (like 5 or 6) 100 milers on your schedule…one of them with inevitably be rained out or crashed out and you want to make sure you have enough other scheduled.
• Make sure you can swim 2.4 miles comfortably…and then after that, focus on something else. Your overall time at the race will not be helped by saving 2 minutes in the water when you could save 30 on the bike. I swam less than once a week.
• Make your schedule work for you. If you like to do organized rides, make your schedule fit that. If you like to run with a group during the week, do that. Just make sure to take easy rest days in there. There were a lot of days I would meet my friends at the track – they would do speed work and I would just jog around.
• You can have fun and train…but it requires a lot of planning.
• You don’t need two-a-days. It probably helps, but we found that the quality time spent with each other and our friends was better for us. I DID, however, go to the gym for core workouts several times a week (but I am lucky to have gym at work where I can do this at lunch).
• Pack bugspray in run special needs. You never know.
• Special needs is for just that – special needs. You can’t rely on it, but pack whatever you think you might want…it’s nice to know it’s there.
• Redbull and Winterfresh gun are my heroes. I had a couple of pieces of gum in my bento box and special needs. It helped my mouth feel clean after eating crap all day. And frankly, Redbull gave me wings.
• Have a spotter in your hotel room after the race. It was definitely not safe for Tommy and I to be alone.
• I will never* travel with my bike ever again.
• The phrase “If you can’t handle the heat stay out of the kitchen” applies to Cozumel. If you can’t train in the heat and humidity and/or don’t like the heat and humidity, don’t come here. You’ll be miserable. I, on the other hand, LOVE heat and humidity, trained in heat and humidity and I rocked this course. Same goes for the wind.
• We are lucky to be able to do this sport, so enjoy it. Take the time to smell the roses, enjoy your friends out there and be safe so we can enjoy many, many, many more years of triathlon.
• If I never bike again, it will be too soon.
• Everyone says the marathon on an Ironman sucks and that crashing is inevitable. It’s not. Crashing is likely but it CAN be avoided and you CAN have a good marathon. Playing it smart is key #1 and a little luck is key #2.
• If you race in Mexico, bring your own water bottles because the Gatorade sport top bottles are too small for your cages…and the bottles they sell at the expo are like $27.