Monday, August 27, 2007

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!

8 comments:

bunnygirl said...

Kudos to Don for even trying! I had no idea you and he were dealing with something like that. Keep the faith and don't accept anyone's worst-case prognosis. Sometimes some pretty amazing things happen.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

I'm so sorry to hear the WHY behind his DNF. Somethings are outside of our control and those things are often difficult to understand. I can only imagine how disappointed he must be. He's in my thoughts and prayers.

TxTriSkatemom said...

wow -- he may not have conquered IM this time around, but he certainly is on the path to conquering something even bigger and scarier. I'm sure his training up to now positioned him to be in the best shape possible to fight this. another amazing IM story, DNF or not.

Shelley said...

Don's the best, I know he would have continued if he could..it must have been awful for him..tell him i'm thinking of him please!!!

Cindy Jo said...

Thanks for the great write-ups. All my best to you and Don. That is really tough but it sounds like you both have wonderful perspectives on life and Ironman. Thanks for sharing.

Phoenix said...

You are both in my prayers. I'm so glad to hear that Don is in remission and so sorry that it meant a DNF for a race he trained hard for. I echo txtriskatemom that his training has to have made him stronger to fight a much more important battle than Ironman. Just toeing the line was a huge act of courage. Give him my admiration.

See Zanne Run said...

oh vickie ... thanks for sharing that story. best to you & your friend don.

WADDLER26.2 said...

To Don-
You are an Ironman on the inside. The training was completed and the challenge of the day accepted. The finish line was a formality but your heart is Iron.

Waddler