Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ironman Wisconsin - Thanks

It's been over a week now since I became an Ironman.  The afterglow of race day has faded and I'm slowly starting to get back into the swing of things.  You know - starting to have a normal life again.

However, I don't want to get too settled until I can thank all of the people that helped me get as far as I did. In the end, triathlon can be a very selfish sport.  It can take you away from friends, family, work and church.  It can be expensive, especially for something without a return.  After all, this isn't real estate or a 401k.  The rewards can be great, but they won't pay the bills. 

Here are some of the many things that I am thankful for:

1.  The man playing the Chariots of Fire theme on the run course - with bagpipes.  Pure awesomeness.
2.  The two men dressed in drag that I saw at least 4 times on the bike course - so you know they were traveling from point to point.  Now THAT'S commitment.
3.  Kathy and Chris, my two angels at the finish line.
4.  All the creative signs out on the course, including "Show me your calves", "Chuck Norris never did an Ironman", "Ironman Chicks are hot - and the men are above average", "Free High-Fives", and this one that my wife caught.  I'm inclined to agree:

5.  Every single cold sponge that I could squeeze over my head.  
6.  Taking off my running shoes at the end of the day and not finding any blisters.  Not. One.  Yippee.
7.  The lady with Vaseline at the aid station.  My armpits thank you deeply.
8.  Feeling invincible coming off of the swim.
9.  My first real food after the race.  By the way, that would be a #2 - Super Sized, with an extra Sausage & Egg McMuffin.
Oh yeah.  Best. Breakfast. EVER.
10.  No flats and no mechanical issues on the bike.
11.  Hearing about how many people followed my race progress on-line.
12.  Finding out that sometimes a Trek 1500 can beat at Cervelo P3 to T2.
13.  Friends that drove all the way to Madison to watch me race, even though they knew they couldn't be there to watch me finish.  I'm lookin' at you Pat, Steve, Rem, Doc, Mork, Jim, Sarah and Madeline. 
14.  People that tell me that I inspire them.  I'm not looking to be anyone's hero.  But hearing that more folks are getting into tris and racing feels pretty sweet.

Speaking of fans, I want to thank some people specifically:

Jim - For getting me off my butt and inviting me to do RAGBRAI in 2008.  It got me into the whole endurance thing again.  Thank you.

Tim, Don and Cory - Some of my homies from the Twin Cities Spoke.  You pushed me to keep up my investment into training.  You know - putting in the consistent miles.

Beginner TriathleteA great site, with lots of helpful, supportive people who won't judge you, even when you have no idea what you're doing.

The folks at the Start Line and Gear West - Two great gear shops that take extra time to get you set up right.

Mom - For always cheering.  Oh and for watching the Bark 'n' Sniffer while we were out of town.

Dad, Kristi, Patsy, Ross and Becky - My parents and in-laws - for all their support even though it's not always easy to cheer for a grown man in spandex. 

And Finally - to The Wife, Megan:  You tolerate more than you should.  You scratch my back at night.  You wax my legs.  You let me hug you when I'm sweaty.  You take care of things around the house when I'm out for long bike rides.  You even woke up with me at 4am on race day.  I love ya Honey.

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