as I contemplate the thoughts of doing a 1/2 IronMan in Sept. I think about the blogs I read, and of folks I know personally that have done more than one... a FULL IronMan that is - 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, YES all on one day, with a 17 hr cut off time, one event right after the other.....
First my hats off to anyone and I don't care if your the one that comes across that finish line without one millisecond to spare, or one who crawls across the finish line, to ME anyone that even attempts such a feat is... well... in a word, is one tough fucking cookie and I personally am in awe - but I wonder.... does doing multiple IM's ever loose the same excitement as the first one? or are they just different?
I mean do you ever get tired of hearing at the finish line
"John Doe YOU ARE AN IRONMAN"
or does each time you hear it mean just as much as the first time? And to that end, what possesses a person to do such multiple grueling races? And how do you feel at the start line when you KNOW what's ahead of you?
I mean the first time out, you have NO idea - you know what you've done in training, the long hours, the long rides, the brick workouts, all that stuff, but the adrenaline of that FIRST time must be one hell of a rush - is it always like that?
I just can't imagine, but then I never imagined I'd even do a sprint tri... now this year, at the very least I will step up to Olympic distance and possibly, still kicking it around, think of a 1/2 IM, but OMG a FULL IM?????
I know how totally emotional it was for me as a spectator when I was in Louisville KY last year and watched my S.O. Kevin and his friend Lori do IM KY.... I was not ever prepared for how emotional EYE would be and odd it was not just for Kevin and Lori, it was for complete strangers - seeing one gal on the last few miles of the run, it was dark by this time, and she was struggling, about 2 miles or so out from the finish, her friends were by her side, telling her come on you can do this, you can finish your almost there, its right around the corner..... Geesh months later thinking about this scene still makes me teary eyed... and mind you I had NO idea who this person even was - they never left her side, she'd walk and say I can't go any farther.... they'd be right there saying yes you can, come on your almost there, and she'd pick up the pace to a very slow run....
then my emotions for Lori who had a great finish and knew I was worried about Kevin, he had troubles on the bike leg, plenty of flats, and was tired and struggling on the run.... I hugged Lori and broke down and cried told her I was so happy for her but sad for Kevin... and she looked at me said here take Marc's bike, go find Kevin, he needs you... so I rode the run course till I found him... getting ordered off the street the whole way by officials... I finally found him he said I'm not going to be very talkative - I said I didn't care I wasn't leaving his side, he could talk if he needed to or not, either way I was there.... I didn't help him in any way, I just needed to be there... probably more for me than him, although I think he appreciated knowing I was there - anyhow about 2 miles out he told me to go ahead he wanted me to be at the finish line.... I raced ahead, found lori/marc handed off the bike and was there when Kevin came thru the chute..... as skanky as he was, I mean who wouldn't be after a hot day in the KY sun, let alone after biking and running in it, I hugged him and cried!
and just could not even imagine how that finish must feel, but wonder does it always feel like that?