Monday, May 13, 2013
It's been a week since I finished my first major triathlon of the year...but this triathlon was very different from so many others I have run. On this day..my husband was running his very first long distance triathlon...and his brother was running with him. He also took on a few "bets" on whether he could complete this race. Where would the money go?? To the Edgewood Children's Ranch...in total about 14 people pledged 1200.00....if he could finish.
And when I say his brother was running with him...that means he swam each stroke beside him, biked with him and ran and walked the run course...together. It was a pretty exciting and epic day.
For me...it was a year in the making. Hard to believe it had been a year since I ran a serious race. At this time last year...I was a mess. I was having pain in my abdomen, I had a broken heel and was in a walking boot...and my Ironman dream was once again on hold. All I could do was swim...and I wasn't doing much of that. I decided to get checked out and found that some of my staples from my bypass had slipped and one was lodged in my abdomen and one was up near my shoulder. I also had a serious hernia (explaining the stomach pain) so I decided on my gastric band. Now...you probably understand the name of my blog :Banding over bypass.
Fast forward to one year later...I am 30 pounds lighter...carrying more muscle and standing in shoulder deep water waiting for the start of this Olympic Distance PLUS triathlon. Why the PLUS part?? The typical bike of an Olympic distance Triathlon is 26 miles...this bike was 36 miles.
The gun went off and I was almost relieved. I was worried about my husband, Steve and as I made my way through my race day, my mind was on him more than my racing. I had A LOT of pinned up energy...and when I finally hit the ladder at the end of the swim, I checked my watch to find a new BEST swim time...9 minutes faster than my 2008 PR...a nice way to start.
Off to the bike where we got to see some of the most amazing sites on any bike course...the Kennedy Space Center...the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building), Pad 39A, Pad 39B and more. I was in awe. I was almost emotional...the thoughts of the history that was made here; the people that gave their lives here for space exploration....it was pretty amazing.
What was also amazing...was the WIND. 26 to 31 MPH worth of gusting fun. I cursed a lot on this bike course. It was flat with one major causeway at the very beginning and the very end...I have never been so thrilled to see a causeway in my life. Many people passed me...and I passed a few but the emotion I felt in this last corner that is pictured above was very important in my Ironman journey...I made it though this bike equaling my fastest St. Anthony's bike section. The training was paying off.
Off the bike (thank you Lord) and on to the run where 6 miles seemed...well..pretty daunting. If you know ANYTHING about my triathlon experience...you know that run is NOT my strong suit...but as I made my way through the course...I would see a Tri With Sway teammate. We would encourage each other...one by one...mile by mile...I never went far without someone cheering me on. What a blessing that was...
And with every mile, I wondered...where is my husband...?? Is he ok?? Did he survive the wind on the bike...?? How about the swim?? He did a different race than I did and started behind me...so...I was totally in the dark...UNTIL...my last half mile....there he was...with his dedicated brother by his side...walking his way through the run. I was so proud...I cried....I was so happy he was going to finish. I was so proud that he did all this to raise money for the Edgewood Children's Ranch. What a man Im married to....
I made my way to the finish line....and although it was a moment I paused and realized how blessed I was to be experiencing that finish, my mind was on Steve....I turned around....and went back out on the course....to run across the finish line with him and his brother.
So, imagine....the Daly Clan...running down a red carpet towards a finish line....a united front. A brother helping a brother...a wife so proud of a husband.....all of us healthy...all of us doing good for another......what a day....what an epic day.
My sincerest thanks to each member of Tri With Sway who encouraged ALL of us every step of the way. To Coach Sway, Coach Trung and Coach Cherie who continue to inspire me and my whole family in this world of Triathlon and in this lifestyle of positive fitness.
Onward.....173 days until Ironman