Friday, October 10, 2008

This Time Last Year...

I was getting ready to race Ironman in Kona!
I keep having flashbacks of how great I felt after training so much all summer and then being all tapered and healthy and ready to go. That's the addictive thing about Ironman- the feeling you have in the two weeks before the race when you just feel like a superhero.

And then race morning comes... and the National Anthem plays as all the athletes start crowding into the water for the swim start... heart is racing already even though the cannon has not yet gone off. And you look around you and think, "I can't believe I'm here!"
I remember loving the bike there... pedaling along the wide and smoothly paved Queen K, looking off to the side and seeing the incredibly blue Pacific Ocean... riding with the best triathletes in the world while media cameras captured the whole thing. How cool was that? I didn't even mind the wind.
And then on the run I finally had a chance to see Scott and a bunch of my other friends who flew over to watch... cheering as loud as they could until they no longer had voices. Running along the famous Ali'i Dr and into the Energy Lab... and that amazing finish line.

Of course I remember it so fondly now. Funny how our memories play funny tricks on us like that. Because the reality of it was that the swim start was a brutal boxing match, the wind totally sucked at Hawi, my legs started cramping much too early on during the bike, to the point where they completely seized up on me in the last few miles... I had to walk the whole (long!) transition area because a running step would have caused me to keel over. Running became possible for a few fleeting miles early on in the marathon but then I experienced a whole body meltdown due to nutritional/electrolyte imbalances, which forced me to walk most of the rest of the way... Walking such a distance provided me a long time to completely question my participation in this insane sport. And at the finish line, right before I was whisked away to the med tent, I specifically remember asking out loud through tears, "How many more times do I need to learn this lesson? Ironmans suck."

And yet, a year later, I would love to be there again. And I have no doubt that one day I will be.

Is this what childbirth is like? Terribly painful while you're going through it, but then somehow you manage to forget the reality of it and agree to do it again? Because right now I'm thinking that being pregnant isn't so much fun and I can't imagine myself purposefully doing it again.

I wonder how long it will take me to forget and want to repeat?


Andrea W.I. said...

i got a little misty reading that. you were so awesome last year and we had such a great time cheering for you! still love that picture of my hand out and you running towards us! i'll babysit for you during the next ironman! ;-)

Angela and David Kidd said...

An Ironman is exactly what childbirth is like. I am already forgetting all the pain and suffering I went through to have Zach and just remember the positives.

Kate Parker said...

Took me about 2 years with the first one! :)

Love the race recap. Amazing!

Congrats on the successful version....sounds scary and painful, but worth it to avoid surgery though.

Frayed Laces said...

i think that childbirth will be nothing compared to ironman!

N.D. said...

I think its totally like that. Just like most long races for me, while I'm going through it, I want to kill myself sometimes, but when it is over, goal accomplished - it is What's next!!

rr said...

Ironman hurts more than labor.. especially the kind you had last year in Kona. Really. You will be fine, so long as you go in knowing that you can do this, you were meant for having babies, and you will rock labor. So in that way, it is like IM.. you can do it!