Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ironman Wisconsin

I wish I could say that Sunday's spectating experience was invigorating, inspiring, rejuvenating or whatever, but generally I just spent the day being pissed off. As much as I love ALL things Ironman, I thought about just not getting out of bed.

That's right, I am fully admitting that I was a bad sport.

Let me back up a tick here and congratulate all of the AMAZING athletes. There were over 2000 hardworking, determined, rockstars out there working their tails off. And I hated each and every one of them just a little bit for being out there while I couldn't be.

My day started at 5am at Law Park to help coordinate the swim volunteers. (PS-huge props to Jason, the overall swim volunteer captain, for coordinating a safe swim AND snagging himself Captain of the Year honors.) It probably doesn't surprise anyone who knows me that I was on the verge of tears from the moment I woke up, or that I didn't sleep at all the night before, but I kept it together enough to help get the volunteers in place on time. About 6:45 we headed over to the swim start/finish to watch from there, and ran into a couple of friends. Mike, who later finished his first ever Ironman in a smidge over 11hrs, looked annoying calm and collected. Then there was Robert. Robert, who was frustratingly relaxed before the KS 70.3 was looking a little, shall we say, nervous. Can't say I blame him really...

Then there was the National Anthem and the start. And the tears. Yeah, I cried. A lot. Shocking, I know. Luckily after that it was time to wetsuit up and get in the water for my official athlete pulling duties which kept me occupied for the next 2 or so hours. As the clock ticked closer to the 2hr 20min cut off I got all choked up again. Who really wants to be the one to tell an athlete that they didn't make the cut off and their day is done? Not me.

After the swim was wrapped up, we headed back so I could shower and get the lake off me before heading out to the bike course. I was hoping to be able to cheer on the athletes I knew as they came through Verona after their first lap of the course. Of course, due to traffic and all the roads shut down for the race that was much easier said than done. We missed everyone we knew, but did hang out to see the lead pro's head through Verona before they finished up the ride. Seriously, the pro athletes make it look easy!! Like woah.

We spend probably an hour or so checking out the bike course. I then conceded to let Wyatt (and secretly myself) take a much needed power nap before heading back downtown to watch the run. Getting up at 5am and trucking around on a broken foot takes a lot out of you. Ok, not like actually participating, but I was pooped. Anywho.

Yet again, our timing was lousy! We missed the lead male pro's finish by like 10 mins. We heard that the lead females still had 8-10m left in the run so we attempted to grab some food and hustle back to watch them finish. Again, huge fail!! We didn't manage to catch anyone on the run. Boo! As we were deciding to call it a day, we ran into Mike's fiance who said she expected him to finish within the hour, so we opted to stick it out and cheer him on. (Side note, she was so fun. She didn't want him to be in pain per se, but she certainly didn't want him to enjoy it enough top want to do another....) Sure enough, we saw him finish just over 11hrs, nothing but smiles!

We hung out just a bit after Mike's finish and then decided to call it a day. As much as I wanted to see some of my other iron-friends finish I could barely stand. Seeing as I had to face the DR and 2 PT tribunal the next day I figured ti was time to put my foot up.

Sunday, not being able to participate, was devastating. It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. I have to give credit to Wyatt for getting up at 5am to watch the swim with me, hauling my cranky butt all over Madison trying to see it all, humoring my tears, and at the end of the day feeding me vodka and putting me to bed.

Is there an IM in my future? Not next year, 2010 is for rehab and getting back in the saddle. I don't think I can handle another DNS sort of season. 2011? Maybe....


robert said...

Your emotions are completely understandable. It was great seeing you race morning. Be smart about training and recovery. You're young, plenty of time to recover and come back strong.

Steve Stenzel said...

Yeah, that job would stink - telling people their race was over. Were you at the water's edge when the man came through just in the nic of time? I have a video of that I'll be putting on YouTube shortly. You're probably in it!

Good luck getting better!! Here's to an IM in 2011!!

Rural Girl said...

I really hope you're able to go in 2011. Broken body parts really suck!

Lora said...

Let's go 2011!