It was a wonderful day. It exceeded everything I had hoped for and dreamed about. It had become an obsession, and parts of me are happy that it is behind me.
The 30 week training was a trial by fire. I worked harder then I ever had before. Physically, I traveled over 4000 miles. Mentally, the journey was much greater.
I have exorcised some demons during this journey. I have finally faced up to issues that have been swept under the rug since high school. I was never a jock. Never ran a mile. I was a geek, and always viewed myself as incapable of doing anything physical.
I had run seven marathon, and was finishing in the top 5% of finishers at shorter races. But I still made excuses. I was lucky. I was slow. I didn’t really belong there.
That has changed.
I just assume now that I can whatever I set my mind to. I have gone in search of my limits and still have not found them. The human body is capable of wonderous things if the mind just doesn’t get in the way. Now, instead of saying “you can’t” or “that’s impossible”, it says “show me what you got”…and that is a refreshing change.
This has basically been a pilgrimage for me, a journey of self discovery. And I did learn a lot about myself.
The day was hard. I knew it would be. I expected adversity, I just wasn’t sure what it would be. The nature of my burden surprised me (I always have a gut of steel), and it was difficult to overcome.
I stared defeat in the eye. It blinked first.
Yes, it would have been nice to have a smooth day with less suffering. But, that is what makes the accomplishment even more special. Facing the barriers, and overcoming them.
The event itself was fantastic. The course was very, very challenging. The weather was great which brought out the cheering fans and kept everyone in good spirits.
The volunteers were absolutely amazing, and I know that I did not thank enough of them. Many standout in my memory and, several times, their words or actions helped keep me going.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all.
And, thank you to my family who has supported me and sacrificed for me. Thank you to the Facebook group for motivation, explanations, insights, support, and laughs. Thanks to everyone who has followed me on this journey. I owe you all a debt of gratitude.
With all of your help, I am an Ironman. More importantly, I am a man with more confidence in himself and what he is capable of accomplishing. And, that alone, has made this journey worthwhile.