October 18, 2018 -
I completed my fourth Ironman this past Sunday in Louisville, KY. To me Ironman is about the journey and the friends I have made through the sport! This was the first race I seriously questioned if I would make it to the finish line. Mother Nature was relentless with cold and rain all day. I dealt with severe pain in my knee starting around mile 20 on the bike. Since my hip injury the Bike is home to me. It is where I have made the most gains in strength and speed. It is where I can push. That was not the case Sunday. Every pedal stroke hurt and it didn’t matter if I was climbing or easy spin. Durno caught me at mile 40 and I filled him in as tears streamed down my face. “Give it the old college try! I hope I see you on the run course! I know you are tough as nails!” Thank you Mark, those words stuck with me all day. From that point forward I was willing myself mile by mile to continue. Let me tell you that makes for a LONG 72 miles! At times I rode only clipped in with one leg. My glasses were streaked with rain and fog and I couldn’t see. I was wet and cold and my fingers were frozen. I lost dexterity in my hands and had trouble shifting and couldn’t grab my bottles for fluid/fuel. I was in a very dark place. I had no power or speed. I’m not quite sure how I finished that course. I limped into transition and had an angel of a volunteer who had to undress and dress me for the run since my hands wouldn’t do anything. She packed my pockets with nutrition and notes from my tiny fans. She tied my shoes, gave me a hug and sent me back out into the rain. I saw Diana in transition and ran into her a few miles out. Thank you for all of the encouragement and support???? I quickly realized that a light jog was more tolerable then walking so that is what I did. I ran to mile 13 where I refilled my nutrition. At 16 I stopped to use the restroom and my knee was very angry and not having it trying to stand up again. The last 10 miles I just kept shuffling my shoes, continuous forward motion (Tanya Cady). The last few miles pushed me to my mental threshold, but I was too close to stop now. Even if I had to crawl I was going to finish! As I entered the finishers chute I tried my best to put a smile on my face. This was my first full my parents weren’t at and I knew they were watching on the computer. I didn’t give up, I have come so far in my journey back to Health; I am not a quitter! Epic conditions and adversity were against me all day, but I was an Ironman once again.