Back to life, back to reality. The weekend is over and we are home. We've had time to reflect upon our weekend. The best thing about doings these things with Trevor is that he gets it. Its awesome to be able to talk about it with him and have his completely understand. He was out there too. Its fun to compare our experiences, share our challenges and of course, our success. I cannot imagine doing any of this without him.
In our living room, there is an end table with pictures on it. Every year, on the anniversary of our first date, we've taken a picture. They are all framed on that table. This year, we did a triathlon on that day and last night I was framing that picture to put with the others. I picked up the picture of us on our first date and took both pictures over to Trevor. I said, "do you think these people (pointing to the first date) had any idea that these people (pointing to the most recent picture) even existed?" We laughed about how far we had come in the last 9 years.
Its hard to put all my thoughts into the race report, because at a point, it just becomes too much. Lots of things get left out. I'll try to capture some of those things here.
For example, going into this weekend, I had no idea how to change a tire on my bike. They say there is support on the bike route, but I know that if you get a flat, you are on your own. I wanted to know how to change it, so I wouldn't totally freak out if it happened. We never got around to practicing, so we practiced at 8 pm the night before the race - in the hotel room. Trevor showed me how to do it and then I did it two times on my own. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. Luckily, I did not get a flat on the course, but that was one less thing I had to worry about. I knew if it happened, I'd be okay.
At the expo the day before the race, they were selling some cool "Lake Stevens 70.3" gear. I really wanted some of it - but I didn't want to buy it until I knew that I had finished. I wish they would have sold that stuff the day of the event. Its like wearing the finishers shirt during the event. Something about that feels like a jinx to me.
Owning our Max Muscle store was one of the biggest blessings during this adventure. We had unlimited access to nutrition information and products. We were able to use some trial and error and find the right mix that worked for us. Nutrition is a HUGE part of an event like this. You are out there for 7 hours. On a normal day, between the hours of 6:30 am and 2:30 pm, I eat at least 4 times. During this event, you aren't eating meals, but you need to be sure you are providing fuel for your body. The wrong plan can leave you without energy or even worse with serious stomach issues.
I spend about 50% of my life dealing with stomach issues, so it was important that I nail down something that works for me. I was fortunate enough to do that and have no problems during the race. About 45 miles into the ride, my stomach was a little crampy and I worried that it would turn into full on bloating. Luckily, it did not and once I stood up to run, I felt just fine. Some people will eat something on the bike - peanut butter sandwiches, crackers, etc. I only took in fluids.
Then, on the run, I had two Hammer Gels. One at the 4 mile mark, then again at 9 miles. Sometimes these upset my stomach and cause a side stitch. On Sunday, there were no problems at all. After about 5 and 1/2 hours of moving, that first Hammer Gel tasted better than anything I can ever remember. The second one tasted just as good!
About half way through the day, I started thinking about what I wanted for dinner. I knew that I really wanted an iced soy latte. We got that on the way back into town and it tasted great. Pizza was on my list, but then they had that at the finish. We decided on Mexican food. We asked at the hotel and then sent us to a little place around the corner. It was so good, but we had eaten too much pizza and couldn't fit as much into our bellies as we had hoped. At that point, we really just wanted to get back to the room so we could lay down.
As I've mentioned before, I always like to "de-brief" about things like this. So Trevor and I talked about our favorite parts of the day - for me, the swim and the feeling at the finish; for Trevor - the finish. We talked about our least favorite things - for me, waiting to start; for Trevor - the pain in his foot.
Then, Trevor proved he really does love me by playing my game and actually taking my game to the next level. The Rocky movies are my favorite movies. I use quotes all the time. Trevor asked me this: "what Rocky quote describes today".
Here was his: "- Remember when Mick said when he was fighting sometimes,he'd fight so hard that he was thinking that he broke something inside?" He felt like he broke something inside.
Here was mine: "this is the best day in the history of my life".
Two very different takes. Two very different experiences. The same result. We finished.
This event was a huge turning point for me - as far as what I believe I can do and how I manage my emotions. I have come to realize that this triathlon is for me what Trevor's fight was for him. It wasn't so emotional for him because he already knows what he is made of. He already knows that he can do anything he puts his mind to. I just learned that. It will be interesting to see how that serves us going forward.
It is that big of a deal, it really is. You may not understand that. Someday, I hope you will, in your own way, find out that really, there is nothing YOU can't do if you put your mind to it. Really.
I took Monday as a rest day. This morning I got up and did some stretching, an ab workout and a slow 3.5 mile run. It really helped loosen things up and I felt pretty good. I thought about the Full Ironman and how I don't have the desire to do it, how I can't imagine doing it. Then I realized - 10 years ago, completing a marathon was as possible to me as traveling to the moon. I've done that and even though I said I'd never do another one - I'm doing another one on October 4th. 15 years ago, running 6 miles seemed like running 1000, now I run 7 miles every Tuesday. So, while the full 140.6 miles seems impossible to me now, who knows how I'll feel about that in the future. Gulp.