IRONMAN FLORIDA -DO WHAT YOU CAN

WHERE DO WE BEGIN ON THIS ONE ?
PROBABLY 12 YEARS AGO WHEN I MET MY BELOVED DEBBIE AND WE EMBARKED ON AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF LIFE, LOVE, FAMILY  AND ADVENTURE.  WHEN WE EVEN BEGAN TO THINK THE WORD SUITCASE WE WOULD FREQUENTLY GET “THE CALL”. DEB’S MOM WAS ELDERLY, ILL AND FADING. A FEW TIMES A YEAR FOR 12 YEARS WE PUT LIFE ON HOLD TO PARTICIPATE IN RACING TO HER SIDE AFTER A PHONE CALL WITH DIRE NEWS.  FAST FORWARD TO A MOVE TO FLORIDA, LEAVING EDITH BEHIND TO START A NEW LIFE FAR AWAY IN FLORIDA.  THIS WAS A HUGE MOVE FOR DEB TO LEAVE HER MOM, SON AND FAMILY, EVERYTHING ELSE BEHIND. BUT WE TOOK A DEEP BREATH KNEW THAT ALL WOULD BE WELL AND DID IT.
 
AFTER JUST SETTLING IN AND LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR LIVES AND OF COURSE ATHLETIC EVENTS WE GOT  “THE CALL”. WE DECIDED TO DRIVE BACK TO ILLINOIS.  A FEW HOURS LATER DEB’S MOM PEACEFULLY AND MERCIFULLY TRANSITIONED AFTER 96 AMAZING YEARS. WE LOVE YOU EDITH – CONTINUE TO SHINE DOWN ON US.
 
HERE BY THE WAY IS  IS THE MOST ADORABLE RELATIVE GRANBABY JACK.
 
 
WE SAID GOOD BYE TO EDITH WITH ALL THE MOLONEYS.   IT LOOKED LIKE THE IRONMAN FLORIDA- WHICH HAD BEEN A YEAR IN THE PLANNING WAS A GO.
AFTER ANOTHER 2 DAY DRIVE BACK TO FLORIDA (MY 4TH ROUND TRIP IN 12 WEEKS.)

 
 
WE GOT TO THE RACE IN THE NICK OF TIME TO PARTICIPATE AND DROP GEAR.
SINCE WE HAD ELLA OUR DOG WE SWITCHED HOTELS WHO WELCOMED THE HOT GIRLS AND NEED  JUST A LITTLE MORE INFO ON THE TRIATHLON CONCEPT.
 
IRONMAN IS ALL ABOUT THE GEAR- SO MANY DETAILS TO REMEMBER- BUT WE GOT MOST OF IT RIGHT ON THIS WHIRLWIND.
 
HERE IS OUR NEW BEST FRIEND LAST YEAR’S IRONMAN CHAMP MIRANDA.
 
GETTING TO THE START LINE WAS SUCH A GIFT SO I JUST FOCUSED ON THIS:
 
 

 
RACE DAY DAWNED WARM WITH SOME HIGH SURF IN THE GULF. THE FIRST 10 SECONDS I ALMOST LOST MY CAP AND  MY EARPLUGS CAN NOW BE FOUND ON A BEACH IN TEXAS. I TOOK IT SLOW TO AVOID SWALLOWING SALT WATER AND NOT END UP IN COSTA RICA.  NO SIGN OF BUOYS TO AIM FOR JUST BIG WAVES AND 2800 PEOPLE SO I FOLLOWED THE CROWD. AFTER ONE LAP ON THE SWIM DEB WAS IN THE FRONT ROW URGING US ON AND SHOWERING HER LOVE ON ALL THE RACERS.
 
OUT ON THE BIKE WE WENT, IT WAS  WARM WITH  SOME WIND HERE AND THERE. I STOPPED ALMOST EVERY AID STATION TO MIX G-ADE POWDER TO KEEP GOOD LEVELS AFTER THE LOW SODIUM DEBACLE IN MADISON IMAN A YEAR AGO. A GOOD SPOUSE DOES NOT KEEP THEIR MATE UP ALL NITE IN THE MEDICAL TENT. THIS I KNOW.
 
MODERATION FOR A FEW HOURS IN IRONMAN REALLY MADE  FOR A DELIGHTFUL RUN AND I WAS ABLE TO RUN AFTER RESTING A BEAT UP HIP FROM SOME FOLLIES IN WEST VIRGINIA A FEW WEEKS AGO. PRAISE JESUS.
I WAS RUNNING.
 
DEB THE FAMOUS DRUM LADY FROM MANY IRONMANS WAS URGING ON THE RACERS AT THE RUN TURNAROUND AND OFF WE WENT INTO THE PITCH BLACK DARK FOR LAP 2. 13 MILES TO GO FOR NUMBER 17. BRING IT ON BABY.
 
I CHATTED WITH SOME FUN GIRLS FROM ALABAMA, AND WHY ARE ALL THE FUN RACERS HALF MY AGE THESE DAYS ?  NOT TOO MANY GREY HAIRS AROUND TO DISCUSS SENIOR RACING LIFE WITH !!!!
 
THE WHEELS STARTED TO COME OFF THE BUS AROUND MILE 23 SO I GOT SENSIBLE AND WALKED A BIT. WHO CARES I WAS   WAS 4 MIN OUT OF THIRD- ALL I CARED ABOUT WAS GOING HOME NOT TO THE ER.

 

 
FEELING GREAT I ALMOST WAS THE 500,000TH IRONMAN FINISHER.  MISSED IT BY 2 PLACES, SHOULD HAVE SLOWED DOWN.
 
WE CELEBRATED AT THE FINISH WITH KATIE BULLDOG JOHNSON  WHO HAD A BRILLIANT DAY AT 11:23 . SHE WAS JUST FLYING.AFTER THE RACE  SHE WAS READY FOR A GLAMOR SHOOT – WHAT A GREAT GAL.

 

GETTING TO THE THE START LINE WAS  A GREAT GIFT AND PRIVILEGE. THE PREPARATION WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE AND  THE RACE TAUGHT LOTS OF LESSONS AS ALWAYS.   THE FINISH LINE WAS EXHILARATING AND INSPIRING.  IT  SURE  MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.  GOING TO WRAP THIS UP AND START PREPPING FOR MY NEW JOB AS A FITNESS INSTRUCTOR AT A RETIREMENT HOME AND GOOF OFF A LITTLE.

DREAM BIG AND MAKE IT HAPPEN
HAPPY TRAILS
NW

 

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