When I thought the run would be the worst part of the entire day, it turned out it was my favorite as I had a lot of support out on the course! (with some surprises along the way)
As I got in from the bike transition and said a huge..."Thank You God!!" for no flats and bike issues, I made my way to get my Bike to Run bag and headed to the changing tents. Changed out of cycle jersey into tri top and then handed the Body Glide to the volunteer and told her to put it anywhere my Tri Top touched my body. With the dry climate, the last thing I wanted was major chaffing. The Body Glide left a slight white film on my body.
Next stop: Sunscreen station. I walked up, put arms out and said...Get me!! The volunteers went at it and covered me...as they started to rub in, I said "oh no, that's ok...it will do that itself, I got to start running!!"
As I got out onto the run course, a friend told me I looked like Casper! I said...I am already going to be in pain, I don't want it to be worse because of a sunburn.
Here is where mentally things got interesting...I headed out for the small first loop and noticed that quite a few people looked as if in pain, not letting it get to me I put one foot in front of the other (as planned). I got to mile 3 and saw many friends from Austin...Coaches Chrissie and Mo, my good buddy Adam Reiser and a few others. Just two miles later at mile 5 were the ladies from Florida...and one surprise. My friend Heather that I had performed with at Disney drove in from Seattle the night before. She had told me she was coming but I did not know if logistics and her son would keep her from this....I don't know why I doubted..it's Heather for crying out loud! She had her son Zach and dog with her and was screaming on the sidelines with my other 3 friends. When I made the loop back around and hit mile 10..there they were again but with Heidi's parents now joining them. (it is awesome when 6 people are SCREAMING your name) Then a few miles later..the Austin crew again! A few miles later, a sign with my name and number and a woman I did not recognize at all..little did I know that my friend Missy Daly from Orlando had told a friend of hers in CdA my name and number and she was just out there cheering for the heck of it...how cool is that?!?! With all of this support...the run went by fast as I focused on who I would see next rather than the mileage or the numbness in my feet!!
When I reached half way...I couldn't believe it..It didn't even feel as though I had run 13 miles at this point...I felt good, my pace felt comfortable and I thought...I JUST might finish this marathon within 5 hours. My goal initially was to run half way and decide from there...at 13 miles I knew I could run 20...so I made it to 20 and said....Hell! It would hurt to walk now, I gotta keep moving!
Rounding the corner for my big finish is something that I will never forget...Adam Reiser was at the last corner and told me to "Enjoy it, I deserve it!" I wish I could have made those last few minutes last a little longer. It almost felt like I was in slow motion going towards the arches and the voice that proudly announced..."COLLEEN WILSON, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!" I wanted to turn back around and run over the mat again just to hear it one more time! (can you do that?) When I realized the clock said 13:14 on it, I thought something was really wrong. I couldn't have done it under 15 hours?!?!? (which was my super stretch goal!) When I asked Adam if that was right..he laughed and said.."Yes Colleen...you had a super great run of 4:30! You looked solid the whole time, as if it was a 10k or something!"
It was then that the emotion hit me hard. The tears started rolling and Adam walked me over to my girls from Florida where I celebrated with tears, hugs, pictures...see below.
What a crazy ass day!! And it was only one week ago that I couldn't walk down stairs or get up from my bed!
I am ready to set a new goal...don't worry, nothing crazy! I know I need to sign up for another race (not an Ironman yet) and get myself on a schedule! Tonight I will start going to core class again and do some light biking and swimming this week. Running will be a few weeks...my feet are hurting a bit still!
I am going to upload a few more pictures after this post...enjoy!
Thanks again for all the crazy support!