IM LOUISVILLE--A Little More
I'm back home now and I can tell you it is SO nice being able to fly in 2 hours compared with 7+ hours of driving!
Ironman. What can I say? There are not enough words to describe this event. Its emotional as much as physical. And its even harder when there is a DNF. So much time is invested in an Ironman event. As Don says, you have to plan a whole year ahead, and you don't know what will happen in that year. You just have to believe it will happen. You have to have faith in your beliefs.
And happen is what you do believe, and most of the time it does happen. This year, it did not happen for my Donald. There was so much emotion on his part in that decision, such a gut wrenching feeling on mine, when I knew he wasn't going to finish. What do you say? How do you feel?
Ironman, so many stories, so much anticipation, so much expectation, so much belief. Being present at one of these events humbles you in a way you can't imagine, watching these everyday people, people like you and me, out there, putting forth the effort to accomplish what it takes to be an Ironman. Standing at the finish line, for hours because you can't leave, watching every type of person imaginable crossing that finish line, becoming an Ironman, is something you can't express to others. You have to be there.
There was a lot of good, and some not so good. For Don, I will now share with you his story. Don found out recently that he has an incurable type of cancer, and started therapy in late June. At that time, he was told he probably would not be able to do the Ironman, but he went forward with the positive attitude that he could do this. The good news is that the drug he has been taking has had good results, and he is now in remission. The bad news is that the side effects are bone and joint pain--not aches, pain--and decreased energy levels. Up until a couple of weeks ago, all was well. Then, the pain started. But it came and went. Same thing with the energy levels. It was taper time, after all, no reason to be too concerned.
But the day of the race? The pain came and the energy level went. He just couldn't make it. He would never have made the bike cut off. He said he had no energy. His legs just wouldn't function the way they needed to.
I can't describe my emotions, trying to keep them in check for many reasons, unable to even acknowledge my fear of the whole situation. I was just there to be supportive.
As for all the others who finished? I know how hard it was for you, but I am so glad you all made it! This is something you can never have taken away from yoou. You have done something that the average person will never experience. That makes you extraordinary. As they said over and over at the finish line: I salute you!