I DID IT!!!
Its been a whirlwind since I have blogged. I left last Thursday morning for Lake Placid and finally have arrived home. Oh yea, and I am walking. lol
Where do I start??? so many emotions, so many friends and family members to thank and tell them I made it.....and then those who may not personally know me or I know them, yet knew of my journey and wanted the best for me.
Paul....you don't read this stuff, but I have to include you. That note you left me.....I'll cherish that forever. And thank you. When do my golf lessons start?! lol
So thank you all.
But Bendz and Grease, you have been with me through this whole journey talking many times a day. I won't get into it all, but hell, let's go out for some pizza and beer! You guys earned it!
So the days leading up to LPIM...
Let's just say I am a person who wanted the race now....hangin up there for 3 days and attending athlete meetings, walking around town looking for pasta, not pastries, checkin out other athletes bikes, body's, running forms, etc. can totally mess with your mind. I had to remind myself I was just as prepared as every one else.
So Sunday morning at 5am...and No, I did not sleep well, have had dreams for months, but went to the hotel breakfast with my family (ya, they were nervous too) and gulped down oatmeal.
Then headed down to transition for body marking, checkin out my bike, pumping tires, loading up water bottles,etc.
Yes, family was intact too.
Headed down to the swim..got in the LONG line for the port'o'potties. Got a laugh out of a lady that came up to meet her husband in line and said "holy crap this is a long line"...we started laughing.
Christina and I were walking to the mats to activate the chips to start our journey. We both seem rather calm and I know we believed in one another.
It was at this point that I needed to believe in myself or not....was I going to sell myself short or not....pickin the spot to start the swim.
I needed to believe in my mind, body and spirit.
So I got where Max had instructed me to go....a little ways back from the front nearest the buoys.
At LPIM, there is a yellow cable....yes, tiny cable that runs the length and attaching the line of buoys. If you can sight that throughout along with 3000 other friends you may encounter a fast swim time.
So the star bangle banner played and looking at the clock it was 6:59...1 minute to the cannon went off. I felt calm, confident, excited, and took a few last deep breaths. I did not want to be anywhere else but where I was.
Off we went....swimming with 3000 friends is like playing rugby in a washing machine.
I did try to stop and breath early on, but learned quickly I did not like getting stampeded.
It was jam packed the whole way.
So I made the first loop in 45:45 after exciting the water and running on the beach for loop 2.
I decided to try and grab sight of the yellow cable, and I DID! As i was swimming it , i then decide i wanted to "own it", it was going to be mine...as swimmers invaded my area I remember trying to karate kick them out of the way.
When you thought you had open water, within seconds it was taken away by other swimmers.
Just owning that yellow cable, If I could have smiled under water I would have. I am sure the scuba divers underneath could see my face beaming with pride.
I excited the water with a total swim time of 1:13.....my husband and kids were screaming for me with huge smiles on the faces.
Yahoo, Mommy survived the swim!
There was Bendz in her bright green volunteer shirt screaming to me. I got into the woman's changing tent we hugged and then she sat me down and started ripping open my bike gear bag. Her heart was racing a mile a minute, she was beyond excited for me. I told her to relax, don't hurry, I got a long day ahead of me. I was still on cloud nine from the swim and coming out alive.
We then hugged probably fifty times before she shooed me out to the bike.
Because I volunteered last year, I took advantage of riding 1 loop of the course. So I knew what was ahead of me.
Before mentioning the hills and climbs, it was the beauty of the mts, the greenery, the quarries, everything I love about riding my bike was right here at Lake Placid.
Yes, leaving town, crazy fans screaming and yelling. I had to remember the advice Kris and Max had given to me.... that the ride should not feel like a race. You can not go balls to the walls on the bike because the marathon run will not happen if you do.
So the rain started, and bikers were hauling butt trying to get up the hills leaving town. I stayed in the saddle and stayed focus with the advice and thinkin, these guys are, OK ....stupid.
So packs and packs of bikers... I wish I had my camera...with the beautiful array of colorful biker outfits, the mts, the greenery, the rivers, it was snapshot I'll never forget.
So with the rain and my skinny little tires i was cautious on the long decent. I was really hoping not to witness a crash. At the end of this decent were emergency vehicles waiting....enough said.
So the ride.....wow. jam packed... I was having the time of my life out there. Ya, bikers were passing me, but I was passing some too. That's not what it was all about.
Yes, the climbs were tough, but I felt great on them. Having rode Rt 309/rt20/Beach Rock I was definitely prepared. OK and suffering through 300 -500 squats occasionally I was not lacking any confidence.
There was a point by White Face mt that I had a moment to not want to quit but to remind myself that this was going to be a long day....it was not a 70.3 and that the run was not right around the corner.
Near the end of the first loop, it was crazy riding by all the people, cheering and screaming. I rode by my tent of fans as they were screaming for me. I swung into the bikes special needs area ands refilled my Bento box of more Gu's.
My nutrition on the bike was Gu's every 20 minutes and 18 oz of water every hr. Salt tablets every hr if I needed them. I was on track.
Still no sign of Grease and Mary....humm
2nd loop of the bike...I got up to Christina and we both had stitches in our side. Ya we needed too pee. She shooed me away so she could concentrate. We both had huge smiles on our faces as we were both fulfilling a dream.
Made it into town and rode by my "fan tent" covered in grease since I dropped my chain 3 times and Gu guck was sticking to my back of my leg, ripping the skin off.
no sign of Grease and Mary....really worried....her mom, their ride...But my husband and kids were screaming with excitement.
Biking up over the Olympic Oval with all colorful flags, the music, the crowds, was amazing.
I got up to the dismount and hopped off.... I had made it. But OUCH, those biking shoes were killing my feet to walk in... I remember saying to a volunteer, after taking them off that they hurt more than high heels. Hey, no laughin! Ya, I never wear high heels either!
Coming into town, again, greatest feeling, fans were screaming. I peeked into the woman's changing tent and screamed "Hey Benz!". Her big brown eyes, she looked up at me with a huge smile.."GRIGS!!" Since she was doing her job helping out other athletes, I went over to another chair to get ready for the 26.2 run, and out of the corner of my eyes, Bendz comes barreling over to telling the volunteer, pretty much, get lost, I got this lady! I was laughing and smiling. And surprise surprise, Bendz sister , Kate and her daughter B were there helping out..yes I posed with Bendz for pictures.....finally Bendz kicked me out.
Wow, legs not too bad. Going out of town, the crowds were unbelievable!!!
Hey Grease, "My friend does 500 squat!!!" lol
My plan was to walk at every aid station to hydrate. My nutrition was to have cola every 3 miles. That would be my 300 calories to keep me running. Yes, this was Max's protocol and I had full confidence it would work.
River Road....I wish I had known the run rt prior. There was a turn around but I did not know where it was and had no idea of the terrain.
As I past each aid station I either had my water or cola depending on what mile it was.
Coming back into town there was a big hill and I really had to go.....ya "go"....so I did. Sure it felt great but those who know me know that I will bronze these sneakers along with the "pee pants" from the MMRF Dance Party! lol
Legs were feeling ok...no cramping anywhere, not even in the stomach. Ran by my "fan tent", high fiving all of them and still no Grease and Mary. I not only needed to see them, but so wanted them to be there.
Loop 2.....ok...yes, it was getting harder. My right Achilles and bottom of my feet began to become very uncomfortable. I again was trying to make it to every aid station...but then it became make it to that pole then you can walk....it was weird though...hardly anyone was walking! At the Rev 3 half ironman back in June, there was a quadruple amount of people walking.
At one of the aid stations I came across my kids volunteering passing out water, Gatorade,etc. One of them ran beside me for a few yards as the other one said to me (and yes, i gave her permission months before the event to encourage me) "Kick some ass MOM!" I am not so surprised she remembered to shout it out. LOVE my kids!
I kept moving....did alot of thinking and takin it all in...yes, i was doing it, and going to finish no doubt.
I hit the port to potty 2 times on this loop....mainly checkin my urine to see how hydrated I was. So far so good.
At mile 18, I remember throwing my hands in the air saying "YES, I get soda here!" You'd think I won the lottery....I considered it my dinner, as it was getting late.
As I came into town, chuggin up the hill for the last time, I was focused to just keep moving. Yes my legs were tired, but it was more my achilles and bottom of my feet. As I came by my "fan tent"no one was there. They knew enough I was going to see them next at the finish line. As I made the turn around at mile 25 (lame I must say..a few ole ladies sitting in chairs) I was determined to run the last mile in.
As I entered the Olympic Oval , I had my head down not looking around, just thinking to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Also thinking my family/friends must see the girl in pink coming...
I look up and there was Grease and Mary......my heart skipped a beat or two. Grease and I had set out on separate, yet similar journeys this year. We both were challenged in so many ways both physically and mentally, yet we stayed focused, never gave up, and where there for one another every step of the way.
I ran by slapping their hands in a high five as I continued on to the finish line.
12:52....SUSAN GRIGELY...YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!