I got out to start the run and I heard cheers, so of course I had to look for my family. They were there... and there... and there. Man, do I have a great support system.
So it was out and onto the run. Now, again, I think I have a mental advantage with growing up here. I mean, I ran around campus all the time as an undergrad. So, mentally, I knew where I was going. I started the run and just tried to settle in. But... my back hurt. Bad. I ran down State Street and saw Jessie and Jason again. Yay! And then onto Dayton, the first non-spectator-lined street and had to walk. My back was tight. I stopped to stretch it. It relieved the pain, but not that much. So, it was going to be a lot of walk/running. Crap. But, oh well.
On top of the back pain, it was hot and humid and I was probably a little dehydrated from the bike. I had brought my running belt with a bottle, and I was going through a bottle/mile at the beginning. No kidding. I started mixing and found a perfect concoction of water, berry powerdrink and salt (yes, straight salt). It was sweet/salty mixture of electrolyte goodness and it worked, so I kept with it the entire way.
I had told myself this was going to make this an awesome day and I seldom back down from things I set out to do. So I continued on trying to ignore the back pain (not possible). I ran when I could, walked when I had to. And decided if I couldn't run the whole way, I would have fun doing the marathon. (This is where the camera comes in handy.)
Towards the end of the 1st lap, I saw my friend Karri had joined J squared and also my family had made it to the run course. Yay! Yay! Yay!Having family and friends along for the ride was great! That pepped me up and got me to the halfway point.
So, not sure if they do this at EVERY Ironman event, but halfway you pass right by the finish line and continue onto your second lap. Some people find this demoralizing, I found it encouraging-- you mean I only have 13 to go? I just swam/biked/ran 127.5? I ROCK! And part of it is, I think I have run 13 on more tired and burnt out legs than I felt at the time-- and I had all these people to cheer me on and motivate me? I was making it!
Off on lap 2. More family and friends, more fun. Lap 2 I think I saw just about everyone I knew. Joey was mad/crazy/fast and heading to the finish as I was about 1.5 miles out. Most everyone was rocking, so we just passed each other smiling and cheering one another on! Will, Brad, Jamey, Kelly, Niki, Jake, Brian-- I even saw the guy who sat in front of us on the plane (now I know him as Brendan). They all looked strong and it was encouraging. I didn't stop them, but I did happen upon a few that were willing to take some pictures.
Off to do more running. About 2.5 miles to go. Came up Dayton. No more family-- they were already headed to the finish. Came around State Street and even though I wanted to just get to the end, I stopped and took a picture of the capital. I wanted to remember this.
Took one last swig of water at the last aid station (about 1/2 mile from the end) jogged out of it, turned the corner and SPRINTED the last 3 blocks to the end. I was FILLED with energy. I passed people (probably 8-10) and some of them tried to pick up the pace, but no one was matching me. I raised my hands in the air and just ran to the finish shoot. I was done and SO, SO happy. :)
At the finish line, they give you two new best friends (volunteers) who talk to you, walk you through the end, check for indications that you are hurting, need medical attention, etc. I just jibber-jabbered with them and they quickly realized I was happy and fine. My family and friends were all around. I saw Wade and Theresa for the first time (although they had been following us all day), they let me know that Ross was a few miles out still, but they were going back to find him-- he was running a little bit ahead of another friend of theirs.
I recovered pretty quickly and hung out with family. Most had gone back to find Ross and others stayed with me to just rest. (My AWESOME parents had taken care of our bikes and gear- thanks, mom and pop.) Shortly after, we received a phone call Ross was 1.5 miles away. Side note: make sure your phone is FULLY charged for IM day, almost everyone's phone had died by this point.
Then another call (Jason panting) he was running with Ross around the capital. Then, I got to see my husband come down the finish line.
Our AWESOME support crew! Thank you to everyone who made it happen. We couldn't have done it without you!
And, yes, we DID make it to the bar after.