After I handed off my bike to the volunteer, I picked up my run bag and hobbled into the changing tent. Again, I realized my naked butt was going to be visible to the world. Also, this changing tent seemed even smaller than the T1 tent. Ohhhhh well. I was pretty disappointed that I took thirty minutes longer than expected on the bike, but reminded myself I was 30 minutes faster on the swim - so it had evened out.
I immediately asked if they had any Advil or painkiller and the woman responded they only had Tylenol. I accepted it and she wrote a "T" on my bib. I honestly didn't care - I needed something to ease the pain in my shoulders and neck. I was able to quickly change into my running clothes - a pair of Tyr compression shorts (but not SUPER compression-y like 2XU) and my Team Drea shirt. I wore my sports bra throughout the swim, bike and run - careful to apply a gob of vaseline under the base of it because it chafes me after 15 miles or so when I run. I changed socks and stepped into my running shoes, remembering the advice of Swim Bike Mom in either her book (or a blog) about taking the time to make sure everything feels good. Saving two minutes in transition by skipping a sock change might cost you an hour on the run course if you can barely walk later on.
I added water to my handheld water bottle - which already had my custom Infinit "Run" blend in it. Pulled on my belt/pouch where I had extra Infinit bags, grabbed my race number belt and pulled on my hat. I had forgotten to pack sunglasses for the run. *trombone downslide* Oh well. I stopped at the porta-jons (FINALLY! HALLELUJAH THANK YOU JESUS) and then began the .5 mile exit out of T2. I saw the babies and Derek again as I started to run.
The first part of the run didn't hurt and my energy was great. I saw Andrea and Dave at the beginning of the run course and ran over to give them a hug. The run through downtown was nice, although I was seriously jealous of the people drinking beer and cheering on the racers! Then we turned toward the lake where the run traces along the edge, with an out-and-back.
I was able to maintain my intervals for quite some time on the first half (3 minutes running, 1 minute walking). I drank sips of water at the aid stations and refilled my bottle with nutrition every hour. I do have to say it meant the world to me to see the BASE signs that my kiddos made. It was a little windy coming back into town, and people were really cheering loudly as I made my way to the turnaround point. I saw the Leventhals and the Peets again. Unfortunately, I missed Derek and the kids because my time was a lot faster than he expected!
After the strange twisting and turning at the beginning of the second loop, I stopped at run special needs to change my socks. Now - it was perfect running weather and I wasn't super sweaty, but I decided to change my socks anyway. It actually felt GREAT to take off my socks. I had also packed "Wet Ones" and used one to wash the salty sweat off my face - that was very refreshing. After that, I sort of just stared into my special needs bag until a volunteer asked me if I was ok. LOL. Yes, I am just thinking about running another half marathon. It was around 4:10PM or so and I knew I would finish before the temperature dropped substantially, but I decided to grab my freebie arm warmers from an FS Series race, just in case. I also took my remaining bags of run nutrition and shoved them into my belt (that I wore underneath my shirt).
When you come out of town on the run course, you gradually climb up, then you gradually go down to the lake. Then back up again, and then down to the finish line. Needless to say, I walked most of the uphill grades. I started eating real food - pretzels - around mile 16. I drank a few sips of flat coke to get some caffeine around mile 17. Mile 20, near the BASE tent, is a park with real restrooms and I decided to stop and potty. I didn't *have* to go, but I felt like I should just flush my system. I washed my hands in a real sink, and chatted with a woman in the bathroom.
Now - obviously I was "running" slowly. And I don't care. It's my pace and it's my race. It was my first marathon and I kept waiting for a wall or a bonk to hit, so I was afraid to push myself very hard - especially after mile 18 because I had never, not ever, "ran" or "walked" that distance in my entire life. But, I felt good. My feet were sore, but not in excruciating pain. I walked a lot coming back up from the lake and ran/jogged nearly continuously when we finally turned onto Front street, except for one spot. And let me tell you about that.
So, it's after 7PM at this point and I was alone on the course. The people on Front Street had probably been drinking all day. I ran a little fast to cross an intersection because a car was waiting on me, then I walked for a minute, and I heard some young guy say, "hey - you're walking. Oh, is that a run-walk? That's not even really running" and he scoffed.
I had swam 2.4 miles. I rode my bike for 56 miles. I had "run-walked/that's-not-even-really-running" for 25.5 miles at that point.
I was beyond pissed off.
And let me tell you, it took every ounce of strength remaining in my body to not turn around and punch that guy in that crotch. I wanted to shout, "then you effing do this, a$$hat." The only thing that kept me from doing that was the realization that...
He probably does do this. He probably does run, or maybe he was one of the full finishers who had finished hours before me. There were a group of people who decided to ride their trainers after the race so they could get their "140.6" miles all in a row. I thought that was a great idea, but you know what eventually turned me off of it (other than having two little kids who were exhausted)? When a woman in the expo said, "some of us actually are going to get our 140.6 miles tomorrow." In this middle-school, "I'm the cool girl and you aren't" sort of voice.
But you know? Those people are everywhere. They're everywhere - just waiting to one-up you, or tell you how you have it easier, or you aren't good enough for their cool kids club. And to paraphrase my husband:
"If you're dealing with someone insecure enough that completing an Ironman doesn't legitimize their achievements for themselves - you're never going to win with them. Because it's always going to be about filling their own void, and nothing to do with you."
And that's all I have to say about that.
So, by the time I got to the twisty (AND DARK) docks, I had let it go. And then someone walking their dog with a retractable leash nearly gave me a heart attack. I came running around the DARK corner and scared the dog so it lunged at me, barking and growling. "JESUS CHRIST," I shouted. The dog owner apologized and said the standard, "he's a very sweet dog," that every dog owner says after their dog has tried to kill you. I could hear the music from the finish line and I was so excited!
I ran my first marathon! I just did a FREAKING MARATHON!
I saw Andrea and Dave and waved to them! I kissed the babies and Derek (who had been waiting a loooooong time because he was afraid of missing me again). I heard Mike Reilly saying stuff and I rolled across the finish line. I pulled myself up, accepted my medal and clothes - and that was it. I can't describe the gratitude I felt.
Heather Scott, You are an Ironman.
Nutrition: 6 non-concentrated servings of custom-blend Infinit "Run", handful of pretzels, bit of a cookie, sips of chicken broth T2 (UGH): 15:40 Run: 6:27:38 14:47/mi pace
Total Time: 11:58:46
Next: Part Four - Final Reflections and Thank-You's (I have a lot)