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Ironman Wisconsin: The Run

Off my bike and into T2. More bags, more ballrooms, more awesome volunteers. Here's the one who helped me get dressed again.
I switched out of my biking bottoms and into running bottoms, threw on my running belt and off I went. OK, maybe not that fast, but close.

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.)
Me in Camp Randall. Probably the first time I have been here without a brat and beer in my hand.

I thought this was appropriate since the Packers were playing while I was running.

Me and some gladiators on State Street.

Cowgirl Supporters. Yee haw!

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.
Me trying to make muscles for the camera.

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!
On the way onto the 2nd lap!

Halfway also means special needs. I found some ibuprofen (there was NONE at ANY of the aid stations... believe me, I asked for it), some more pure salt and that was about all I needed. I saw the volunteers salivating over my iced animal crackers, Pringles and Rice Krispy Treats and told them they could have them, but they declined. (I wonder what the rules are about volunteers accepting aid from athletes?)

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.

Me and Alicia on the lakeshore path. That's my old dorm behind us.

Ran into Matt at an aid station.

Courtney and I had been plotting this picture since Friday night.

So lap 2 was more about getting it done. My back pain had eased a little bit, but was still there. I kept trying to find someone to pace with, but no one seemed to be going the same pace. This was ok b/c I have done more than enough training on my own, I just wanted a suffer-buddy. Wasn't happening. Luckily my liquid mixture was still working (supplemented by Clif Blocks) and I was feeling as good as you can be for being close to finishing an Ironman. I will say that I was having a little bit of trouble motivating myself to go much faster, although I had the energy to. I mean, I was about 6 miles from the end and I had about 5 hours to finish it in. I was pretty sure I was going to make it... (Becki, you have been with me at this point, so you know how I get) But then passed the 20 mile mark and decided that I could suffer through the next 6 miles and picked up the pace. I got to the stadium turned the corner and actually ran UP the hill (everyone else was walking) this made me feel better. Then DOWN the hill (even better). Around the stadium and THEN was the the best part. Ross came running up. He crossed over the street, gave me a kiss and told me how proud he was. :) The perks of having your husband on the course. He said "You can maybe make 13 hours!" and I told him I was going to try.

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.
Mile 139.6.

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. :)

No, really? Yay!

** Thanks, Son, for the videos!

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.


They let me in the finish shoot, since I was an an athlete, too.

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.
Closing down the Echo with us: Wade & Theresa.

2 comments:

Bret said...

Congratulations! That absolutely rocks! What an amazing accomplishment! Thanks for sharing the journey.

daniel said...

randi and ross just read the account off the day sounds an amazing experience well done im v impressed and proud off the both of u . dan .