I should know better than to write posts in parts since I’m terrible at following up in any sort of timely fashion. Here’s thrilling Part One of the Ironman series if you’re interested in getting caught up.
We left off with Dave and me camped out at the bottom of our driveway in traditional redneck fashion. Beer, dog, plastic chairs – the whole bit. That was fun for a while, but as the competition thinned out we got bored. So we decided to come inside and take a nap. Watching an Ironman is exhausting.
After we woke up we did that whole thing where you look at each other and say, “So what do you want to do?” And then the other person says, “I really don’t care. What do YOU want to do?” And then the first person says, “It’s totally up to you. I care so little about what we do that you could tie me to a tree, slather me with peanut butter, and wait for the bears to come get me and I’d be totally up for it. That’s how much I don’t care about what we do or do not do on this fine evening.” And then the first person says, “FINE. We’ll just do what YOU want to do.”
Our marriage is built on excellent communication.
In the end, we mutually agreed to drag our lazy asses into Lake Placid to grab some dinner and cheer on some of the later finishers. Really, it was the least we could do.
By early evening the bike event was over and the road was open in both directions. We only got held up for about 20 minutes near the ski jumps where the marathon course crossed over to River Road. But it gave us a chance to hang out the car window and offer our encouragement. Or stick a camera in the faces of the exhausted competitors.
We made it to town and hung out in front of Lisa G’s for a while, watching as the runners began their slog up the hill to reach the center of town. By the way, Lisa G’s is awesome. It’s our favorite restaurant in Lake Placid. But sometimes we go there to eat and have such a good time that we end up at the bar. And then we wake up the next morning and worry that we embarrassed ourselves the night before, so we avoid going back for a month until we think it’s safe and we’re sure they have forgotten about us. Which means that we don’t go there nearly enough.
So, anyway, this was the scene on the corner. Runners/walkers dousing themselves with water, spectators wandering blindly onto the course, cardboard boxes strewn about, puddles of unidentified liquids shimmering roadside. It was obvious we were 12+ hours into the event. But the music was jamming and the mood was still positive.
After dinner at Lisa G’s (we managed not to embarrass ourselves, thank you very much), we cruised up Main Street and made our way to the finish line, which was set up at the speed skating oval.
Our camera sucks, so the pictures don’t do it justice. But it was so neat to watch the runners head into the chute and approach the finish line. I was amazed at how strong the athletes looked after 14 ridiculously grueling hours.
The best part was watching the crowd and hearing the announcer say the names of each competitor as they crossed the line, “John Doe, YOU are an Ironman!” Goosebumps, I tell you.
The next best part was watching one guy in the crowd, his arms filled with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, watching expectantly for his girlfriend to round the corner towards the finish line. We couldn’t wait around to see his reaction, but I’m sure it was everything we – and he, and she – imagined it would be.
So there you have it, our first Ironman experience. For about 12 hours afterwards I was truly inspired and Googling things like “how to train for an Ironman.” Now, a week later, I’m back to drinking coffee, eating cinnamon toast, and blogging with my feet propped up on the couch. We all have our talents, right?