|I'm smiling because I am winning!|
This all ended when I went into the transition area and the "wetsuit peelers" tossed me around like a rag doll at Rag Doll Rape Fest 2012 (they really have those...go ahead, look it up.) while simultaneously making me feel like a retard.
Wetsuit Peeler: Give me your arm.
Me: *diligently complies*
WP: YOUR OTHER ARM!
Me: *confused, while still diligently complying*
WP: GIVE ME YOUR ARM!
Me: I think I am.
WP: NOW PULL!
Me: I am pulling.
WP: PULL HARDER!
Me: *Looking around to see if I was on camera or in my new flick, Marky Does Coeur d'Alene. (I didn't see any pudding, so I felt relatively safe)*
WP: GET ON THE GROUND!
WP: Now, lift your butt up. LIFT IT UP!
Me: You do work here, right?
Eventually, they peeled my wetsuit (and pride) off of me, and I ran off to the changing tent, where I saw more sweaty, male dong since that time when...well...since the day before (I see a lot of sweaty, male dong on a daily basis. Don't ask.). This was compounded by the fact that every few minutes, a volunteer would come over and ask if "I needed help" while I sat naked in a tent with a hundred other naked men. No, I'm STILL good. But I think Bob over there needs your help. He somehow got his helmet caught in his pubes. Bring scissors.
At this point, I started putting Operation I Will Not Chafe fully into motion. I applied a generous amount of NEW vaseline onto ALL...sensitive...parts of my body while repeating: No, I don't need any help, to anyone who would listen. I suited up, and squished and waddled my way over to my bike, to start the longest part of my journey.
My other plan besides making sure my wiener didn't start bleeding at any point during the day (this has happened before!), was to take my time...and wait for the run.
And you know what, it worked! I met TONS of people while on my 112 mile journey around Lake Coeur d'Alene. Chat, chat, chat instead of race. I don't think I really talked to anyone while biking during a race before, but this REALLY helped. It distracted me from the long day ahead, and helped relax me while I pulled over again and again and again to pee. Seriously, I might have peed out the entire lake. That's ok...I'm sure I completely ingested all the fish poop. Yay, calcium!
By the way, you really learn a lot of interesting things about people when you talk to them during the middle of an Ironman:
- There was the guy who lost his leg, and was doing his seventh Ironman to prove to everyone that he could.
- There was the other guy who had trained for a couple of other Ironmans (Ironmen?) only to get hurt.
- There was the lady who lost her sister and was trying to reconnect.
It went on and on and on. And it made me realize while my legs burned and my desire wavered, that I was part of something bigger.
I had heard numerous times that something odd happens to you around mile 70 of the bike ride...and right on cue, at mile 68, I had a weird, out of body experience. I felt like my legs weren't working and my heart was going to leap out of my chest. I started panting and my head was THROBBING.
My first instinct was to get off of my bike (for a non-pee stop), but I knew that was a bad idea. I decided to work through it, and for the next twenty miles, I found my race. I found the energy I had to work through. I found out what this was all about.
And it was hard.
Really, really hard!
So I started chanting two things:
"You are doing so well. SO well. You are doing so well. SO well." I was impressed with myself, trying positive thinking techniques at my time of greatest need...I also wondered if anyone else would marvel at my correct grammar. I bet they would.
I also started a song..."You gotta get to 80...so you can get to 90....You gotta get to 80....so you can get to 90...because 90 would be so fine-y."
These chants pushed me through the hardest part of the second loop, which was all up. And then up. And then up some more. My brain and body were telling me to stop. To quit. To give up.
But my chanting and thoughts of how much time I had put in...and meeting all these great people who were missing body parts and loved ones...those all got me through.
And pee breaks. Lots of pee breaks. Honestly, I should get a job were I get paid to pee.
I was shooting for a 7:30 to 8:00 hour bike ride...and was pretty surprised when I got in at 7:18. I never let my heart rate get out of zone three...and really let the experience, not my competitiveness, drive me. That really helped me in preparation for the marathon.
The last part...and the most fun part of my day!