I have a lot say since it’s been very busy the past few days! We left after breakfast on Friday morning to make the 12 hour drive to Panama City Beach. We caught a bit of a break since the time changes in our favor on the way down and got in at around 7:45pm. And since this weekend was when we all turn our clocks back, we didn’t have to exactly lose that hour coming home – I’m really trying to put a positive spin on that long boring drive :) When I drove we listened to music and some Howard Stern. When Marty drove we listened to Bloomberg radio and Sirius Patriot which was full of right wing conservatives. These guys scream their fool head off and belittle their callers. My ‘favorite’ was this guy Andrew who would end up shouting at some of his callers: “I’m right, you’re wrong, end of story!!!” All very entertaining to say the least.
So we get into PCB and our friends who had so graciously allowed us to sleep on their pullout couch were heading to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner. We didn’t realize that they would be eating that late – if we had known we wouldn’t have eaten at the Burger King attached to a gas station an hour earlier. UGH. After hanging out and having a few beers our friends were in no mood to hit the sack so we all stayed up way late telling stories. Our condo was very convenient to the race site, but not so conducive to sleeping as it was right next to Spinnakers and Club LaVela…and they were both throwing big, loud Halloween parties. Now Marty fell asleep instantly and was snoring away in baby dreamland but I was not so lucky. It sounded like the band was on our balcony and I kept hearing someone on the mic yell “Let’s make some noise!!! Somebody SCREAM!!!” No exaggeration, the last time I looked at my watch it was 2:15am. The alarm was set for 5:30am. Oh dear.
We all got up at 5:30 except for Dear Husband who decided he would rather get some extra sleep than watch the swim start. Yes, he was the smartest but I was not going to miss the start and not see my athletes embark on their first Ironman. This was the 8th Ironman I have spectated (IM California, Duke Blue Devil, Great Floridian, IM Arizona (2 times), IM Hawaii, IM Florida (2 times)! And the swim start is always an amazing sight to see. I saw my girls and both had great swim times for themselves. Once they go off on the bike you have lots of time to do whatever you want since you don’t see them again until they start the run.
Fellow blogger Marit
had driven over from Pensacola and we had tentatively planned on going for a run. I have never formally met Marit even though we’ve raced against each other a couple of times, but I feel like I know her through her blog and from exchanging a few emails. Our run was great and the conversation never stopped – it was so great to talk and get to know her better! Now she’s moving clear across the country to San Diego but I plan on visiting her there at some point (as I think a lot of people are planning on doing!) Even though we both proclaimed to be shy when first meeting people, you wouldn’t know it based off of the two of us together. I was going to run for 1:45 and tried to talk her into going that long with me but she was a good athlete and stuck to her own training plan and ran 1:15.
After Marty and I finished adding a little more time, we dipped our legs in the ocean which was, by the way, absolutely gorgeous!!! Beautiful colors, calm waters – so Florida. I love the Gulf. Since Marty had gotten decent sleep he got some lunch with our gang but I opted to try and relax and maybe catch some zzz’s before camping out on the run course. I was able to nap for about 30min, so that was at least something. I made my way out in front of the condo and we all set up our chairs and coolers to settle in for the remainder of the day.
Views from our room:
I love cheering for the athletes. I love that everyone wears their name on their number so you can yell just to them. A lot of people smile or even say thanks, and there are plenty who are so focused they don’t even acknowledge you. After cheering for hundreds and hundreds of people (and with it being a two loop course) you start to get a little loopy with your cheers. One guy ran by who’s name was ‘Alfredo’ so we were all, “All right, Alfredo! Keep it going! Stay tough!” .......“I love your sauce!” (groan!) Yes, we were that group.
Me and Christina cheering on the runners. I have to stoop way down so as not to look like Giant Woman next to her.
My girls did great! They both felt good (except for the last part of the run, but that’s kind of expected) and they finished with huge smiles on their faces. I teared up watching them finish because I know how hard they worked to get to that finish line. It was awesome. I don’t have any kids but I felt like I did on Saturday as I worried all day about how they were doing, feeling and hoping they were staying positive and enjoying the experience. Needless to say I was a wee bit exhausted that night.
Marty and I fell into our pullout couch and I had no trouble falling asleep this time around. We got up at 7:30 and briefly contemplated getting breakfast with our whole gang but realized this was going to be a big undertaking and we really needed to get on the road. We stopped at some greasy spoon on our way out of town before hitting the long road back up to NC. We were pretty much splitting the drive until the end when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Thank god for Marty! He is such a trooper for going down there with me and driving my tired butt back home. He’s the best.
I slept like a baby on Sunday night, skipped morning swim practice (which has become a habit I need to break to be honest!) and slept in. I felt much better after that. Then it was off to work, back home for a run, then coaching Master’s. Phew!!!