- The Iron Crew - Guys, how can I ever repay you? All the emails, text messages and phone calls, the blogger and facebook comments - you all know who you are. Do you all know how much that means to me? I am so humbled by your excitement and encouragement towards my completing this thing. I thought about you all while I was out there...some of you I know personally, others via the internet and email...but you all mean the world to me, and each comment of encouragement served as another piece of motivation for me to go and lay it all out on the line. My training partners - Tim, Holly, Heather, John, Lee, Tammie, Holly J., Don, Kevin, Ben, Tom, Chris, Jack, Mike N., Michele, Amy, Justin, Lisa - thanks for the tough love, guys. You've pulled me along when I didn't think I could go any faster...you've met me to run, ride and swim in the wee hours of the morning, in the hot and humid sun, and in temps so cold our eyelashes have frozen up. You've been there to listen to me complain about "another 100 miler," you've been there to high-five me at finish lines, and you've been there to put notes of encouragement on my car and in my inbox. Thanks just doesn't do it justice, but I hope to return the favors to all of you. And Mae Anne - we haven't got to train enough together yet, but we are going to! That Ironman Care Package you made me was JUST what I needed! And it tickled the boys to be a part of it - I had your card in my special needs bag, and it made me all warm and fuzzy and even more determined when I read it. Jere, Dee, Abby, Missy, Becca, and all the other Excel Triathletes - You guys ROCK! I know we don't get to see other that often, but I'll do triathlons forever as long as it means I get to meet up and hang out with you guys! Trimama, IronJenny, Momo, and Greyhound - your experience and advice made me a faster Ironman, no doubt. Your support, encouragement, and prayers made me a stronger one. Trimama - now go devour IMAZ!!!!! Stephanie, Jill & Joe, Bigun and Di - It was so good to see you all out there!! I swear I ran faster when I knew I was getting close to you! And last, but most certainly not least - my family. Let me make it clear that I would not be an Ironman if it weren't for the love and support of my family. J.T. never complained about my training or my inability to keep the house as clean as I should have. He just picked up what I couldn't get done and told me to get my butt out the door and swim/bike/run. My parents provided the biggest, baddest condo in PCB for me and anyone else who wanted to come down and cheer me on. Holly volunteered on race day to make sure she could be right there on the front row to watch me come out of the swim, and take care of anything I might need. My Aunt Dana, Uncle Eric, Uncle Troy and Cheryl all made the trip to cheer me on. My mom, Holly, and J.T. catered to my every need, and my Dad was always in the right place at the right time. How many times did you guys find me on that bike course?!?!?! I had other bikers out there asking me if I was a celebrity with my own camera crew! You have no idea how much easier it made my day. Briar and Bo - thank you for being understanding and supportive of this whole thing. Thanks for giving up a lot of that early morning snuggle time and the late night movies when I couldn't stay awake. Thanks for being there on that course yelling for me. Thanks for praying for me. And most of all, thanks for believing in me. If you don't remember anything else about this journey, you remember that you can do anything you set out to do. That talk is cheap, but hard work is gold. That you will fall and you will mess up, but it's the one who just keeps getting back up that takes home the prize. That ordinary can be extraordinary. And don't ever let anybody convince you differently.
- Iron Wheels and Helmet - If you noticed I had on a super fast sperm helmet, and I was sporting some sleek, fast Flashpoint wheels, you were right. They were most graciously loaned to me by my good friend, mentor, and fellow triathlete, Tom Leanza. Tom is a legend in these parts, he finished an Ironman back when there was barely even an aid station on the course. He was signed up and ready to do this Ironman with me too, but he had an accident due to a carotid artery dissection back in May after the Gulf Coast Half Iron. Tom is a person who trully exemplifies the spirit of triathlon. You can't keep him down. He has been very restricted as to what physical activity he can do since the artery dissection, but he has not stopped. It would be so easy for most of us to just throw our hands up in the air and say, "The doc says I can't." But Tom just keeps asking "When can I..." He will be back for another Ironman. I really have no doubt in my mind about that. Tom has helped me in almost all aspects of triathlon. He's educated me on strategy and equipment, he's coached me on how to get faster, and he's let me know when I needed to be tougher. He wanted to be out there on Nov. 1st, and the fact that he couldn't, but I could, really left me no other option than to go out there and burn it up to make him proud.
- Iron Massage - Listen, if someone tries to buy you a massage for after the Ironman - LET THEM! Holly asked me if I would want a massage when the IM was over, and I told her "Nah! I'll just relax on the beach..." Ha! Nobody had told me that I couldn't relax on the beach if I couldn't walk down to the beach! But Holly was smarter than I was, and she went and purchased a whole 1hr massage for 10 a.m. the day after...and boy was I greatful. That thing was worth a million bucks. As a matter of fact, those massages are the best deal of anything at the Ironman Village. Anything.
- Iron Parents/Sponsors- I just have to mention this - I was sorta sponsored out there - ya see...my Mom sponsored my running shoes (she insisted on buying the shoes I was going to run in) and my Dad sponsored my bike tune up and final accessories. How cool is that? Well, it's really cool when you consider how expensive all this stuff is.
1 year ago