The heading says it all. I now have an IRONCORE. I always knew I did, but this just makes it official.
When Leah & I decided to embark on this journey on New Years Eve I didn't realize how empowering it would feel four months later. We we very faithful to our training and stuck together through it all. I wouldn't have it any other way. It was an absolute blast.
The night before the race, I barely slept at all. I was so anxious and couldn't wait to just get started. At 3:30am I decided I would finally get up and try to relax by watching a little TV. Around 4am I said to heck with it and got up and started to get ready. Leah & I were meeting the Striders at 5am to caravan down to Clearwater together, and thankfully I packed my bags the night before. Yes, I said bags...you know, the pre-race bag and the post-race bag.
By the time we arrived in Clearwater I was ready to get this thing started. We stretched really good and just took it all in. When we were standing in the potty line (for the 2nd time) we came across a sweet face. Boy was I glad to see her. If you know Becky, you know she has a way about her that is so calming.
We pottied and made it out just in time to get to the start. We gave our hugs and kisses, and words of encouragement and we were off.
I was so surprised to see the hubs,kids, and some great friends during the 1st half mile. That was just what I needed to calm the "we just took off nerves."
First up......The Clearwater Bridge. WOOHOO! I actually like this bridge. Leah & I killed the first 3 miles and felt great! At the 3 mile water stop I was wondering how far it was til we got to the DREADED Sand Key Bridge.
Lucky us it wasn't far. HOLY TOLEDO~that bridge is a BEAST and you have to be a BEAST to get up it. Thankfully, Leah & I are BEASTS! After coming off the bridge we headed into Sand Key park where we HAD to stop for another potty break. All the hydration was really catching up to me ;) We ran out of the park and headed back out and soon after we saw Josh, the kids, and Kim! OMG~I NEEDED THAT! It was soooo nice.....Josh ran with us for a bit giving us kind words and scaring off everyone around us.
ateful for wonderful, supportive family and friends. I don't know how I would make it without them.
We made the turn around and headed back towards the
awesome bridges. Oh joy!
We were still feeling pretty good and then something happened that I never expected. Leah was running backwards in front of me and she gracefully did a back flip over a traffic cone and landed on her feet. She is a trip. Literally. I saw the cone, but just couldn't get the words out of my mouth. She's a true champ.
The second time up and over the Sand Key was harder than the first and my knees were starting to bother me, but we carried on. Around mile 10 some idiot on the side of the road offered us a cigarette! YES~DURING A RACE! WHAT THE HECK!
Anyways....3 miles left and I was starting to fade and get a little delirious. THANK GOD for Leah. We just kept and taking in the BEAUTIFUL scenery that we are so lucky to have. We seriously could not have asked for better weather or a better view. The next 2 miles were really quite boring and then our sweet friend Becky came back for us after she finished her race. AGAIN, we are so blessed to have such amazing friends. Becky got to us just before we were set to go back over the Clearwater Bridge for the last time! She is so awesome. She was chatting and showing the medal off and encouraging other runners. I ran/walked up the bridge and promised them when we got to the top we would not stop.....We took off and made our way to the twirly whirly part of the run. Becky was yelling to our friends to let them know we were coming and I could here Rachel yelling back. When we got to the end of the twirly whirly there was a poor girl getting serious medical attention. I felt so bad....just .15 away from the finish line. I had to push that image out of my head. We crossed over the street and could see our Strider friends cheering for us at the chute. The finish line experience for this race was like none I have ever experienced before. SOO many different emotions going through my head. First and foremost I was deteremined. My body was telling me it wanted to stop but my heart was saying,"HELL NO!!!!" I was lucky enough to have Josh, Becky, Rachel & Kim run me in to the finish and then Leah & I crossed.I cannot explain enough the range of emotion I had at the finish: Proud that I finished, Happy that I set a goal and reached it, sad because it was over, overwhelmed, fatigued, thirsty, hungry.
I was hanging onto the railings at the chute and trying to compose myself when someone told me that my parents and Tyler were there. That was all it took~I started crying, my legs gave out, I was dizzy, I don't know what the hell was going on. The next thing I know I have medic standing next to me telling me he'g going to get a chair to sit in. He failed to mention it was a wheelchair. He strapped me in and made me go to the medic tent. I tried with everything I had, but he wouldn't let me go. It was no big deal really, kinda nice to sit and chill. I think it gave my mom and dad a bit of a scare because I looked at my mom and she was crying and my dad welllll.... he's my dad. He was making jokes and just kept pouring water on me.
It was so nice to see soooo many family and friends at the finish line. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you! MUAH!
I dedicate this blog to you. Without you and your unconditional love and determination I don't know how I would have gotten through with this. We have bonded, become friends, and sisters. We have shared laughs, cries ,and disgusting bodily functions. You have put up with my non-stop peeing and somehow we made it!
I hope you know how much I love you and how proud I am of you! I can't wait to do it all again. So, what's next on our list? I love you
So here it is.....this is what the months of early wake ups, long runs, sore legs, blistered toes, and toe nails falling off was for:
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BLING BABY!