|Out of the changing tent|
|Kisses for mommy|
I make it to aid station one, just over a mile, run-walking. Ask for some ibuprofen. They don't have it. They can't tell me where to get it. They say they will "try" to have it on my way back. That's 11 miles away with no guarantees. But one volunteer says she has some in her pocket. I wait patiently as she digs and digs (and digs) in her pockets and comes up with... nothing. Bummer, just keep moving forward. Somewhere between mile 1 and 2, I see someone sitting and I ask if they have any ibuprofen. If I wait, they will go into their home (right behind them) and get some. What's a few minutes in a long day like this? I wait and it seems like forever, but when she emerges with a cup full of tiny pills, I am elated! (I later realize this is illegal but IM rules, no outside help. Oops!)
The rest seems to have helped my back. I am now running. But only till the pain creeps up again and my back starts to seize. Then it is too painful and I am stopping, stretching and walking till it is loose enough to run. Running till it hurts too much. Stop and repeat.
That's pretty much how the first 6 miles went. Thankfully, by the time I hit the turnaround, the ibuprofen had kicked in and my back was staying loose. Whew! Now, it is time to run.
And I did. Running. Thank goodness!!! Oh, but it's hot. So, now I am starting to fill my water bottle up at EVERY aid station. A little on my head and plug, plug, plugging along. It helped (a lot) that miles 7-13+ were (mostly) downhill. Like the bike course, it is an out and back that is rolling (but mostly up) on the way out and rolling (but mostly down) on the way back.
I got back into town and there (again) was EVERYONE! Having EVERYONE around makes you RUN even when it hurts so bad. In particular, I was excited to see my boys. Again, more kisses and hugs. I stopped to talk and the boys said, "Mommy! Daddy said we can take you for ICE CREAM when you are all done!". I smiled and said, "Daddy is bribing you to stand out here for 12 hours. Good job, Daddy!" and off I went. Down to the turn around and back up and out of town.
|Heading back out of town.|
Mile by mile, it ticked down till finally I was almost home. Saw the finish line and off I went, but made sure to take it ALL in. Hi-fives for everyone!
Saw my boys (again!) at the end. As I entered the finish shoot, I slowed to make sure to absorb it all.
|Coming upon the finish, taking it in.|
|More finish shoot love!|