All over again

Friday, May 23, 2008

It has been almost a year since my wife and I completed IronMan USA in Lake Placid, NY but the memories are still vivid and clear.

Excruciating pain in my legs as they tightened themselves into iron bars – cramping with every pedal stroke, trying to make it up the most feeble of hills.

Spooked by the bike accident I and several others witnessed (and subsequently provided aid to) while flying down the steepest descent on the race course.

Not feeling my feet for about two-thirds of the bike. Why? Because I was an idiot and bought new cycling shoes and only managed to ride once with them for an hour as a trial before the race. Not really a bright move. At all.

Forgetting our favourite race food (perogies) in the fridge at the cottage. Yes we had other food planned, but the perogies were our favourite, we’d ridden with them before, and knew how many we needed to maintain our nutrition. IronMan horror stories abound that let you know, with certainty, that if you “screw up your nutrition, you might not make it.”

Looking back at it, I’m actually surprised we made it :)

In the few hours after finishing the race, our emotions went up and down like a roller coaster. Laying in bed at 1am, not able to sleep, still wired on adrenaline, we questioned our sanity repeatedly and vigourously proclaimed that we’d never do IronMan again. We went to bed feeling satisfied that we’d done it once, thankyouverymuch, and that would be all, thanks.

Until the next morning.

With my left ankle the size of a small planet, we got together with the rest of our Iron Crew and headed to the athlete’s banquet where some 2200 athletes and others gather for a breakfast feast. The quality of the food just didn’t matter—we burned 8000 calories or more the day before.

We shared stories of our respective journeys, laughter, and even tears as the breakfast tent transformed into a theater full of sound, images, and video from race day—including a clip of Kathryn carrying our sleeping son across the finish line along side me as I finished the race.

It was at that very point that Kathryn and I looked at each other, and instinctively knew what each other were thinking: we will do this again.

Derek Featherstone
Derek Featherstone
Web Designer/Developer, Speaker, Trainer, Author, IronMan Lake Placid 2007
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