Friday, August 22, 2014

Family Pictures August 2014

For sake of fires, floods, and all things destroying. My blog can preserve. 
Our photographer is as always Julie, and she started with Miles' newborns, and she has never let us down. Despite Miles just wanting to run the entire time.....we got some good shots. Or should I say...she got some good shots. I want to blow up about 18 of them, so that will be tricky narrowing it down. Don't mind that some of them look like Brad and I's engagement photos-this is our new chapter with children who won't stick around for the pics. The first one he was just flat out confused, once he figured out what was going on-he was done. You will see that.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Running an Olympic Triathlon: My Side of the Story

So, lets start from the very beginning. I get a text from Sally as I am driving home from Utah around Christmas time. She says, "Hey we are doing a triathlon in August want to do it with us!?"
I respond, "Heck YES! That sounds like a blast."

STOP: I had no bleeping idea what I was agreeing to.

She then proceeds to tell me the distances-1 Mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run.

I still think its a brilliant idea. I think what made me think it was a good idea is the fact that it was so far away. I'm saying and agreeing to this in early January, right after I have eaten so many sweets and goodies I just look down at my bloated self and say, this will be just right to get me in shape.

STOP: I had no bleeping clue how much work it was going to be.

Around April I tell Sally to pass on a small 3 days a week workout to prep me for the real training starting in late May. I start running a mile here and there, biking 5 miles here and there at the gym, (I don't own a road bike YET) I get a gym pass that has daycare so I can work out during the day-kill some time while Brad is step studying. I tell people I am running a triathlon. I don't even know what I am saying, I just deep down am hoping I don't ever REALLY have to do it. Like I'll break my foot or something. Unfortunately and fortunately that wish didn't come true, and fortunately I did run the Triathlon in the end.

STOP: I did sports in high school, basketball, track, volleyball, dance and cheer. I like competing. I like working for things. This helped me have a goal.

So starting in May came the real workouts-which became quite difficult considering Brad was literally never home before dark, and I needed to start running, biking outside, and there is no pool here where there is daycare at an affordable price-so I swim at Texas Tech-when Brad is home. So Brad would leave 1 hour a day for Miles and I, and that was from about 5:30-6:30 to eat dinner. So I started to workout during that time. It was not fun on our family-at all. But somehow we did it. Sally found a bike for me in AZ, and shipped it to me, I cleaned out my special stash of savings money from little side businesses I do-in my Paypal and my bank account (Separate from Brad) roughly 1200 dollars for a bike.

STOP: Now I have to do this.

All the while Sally and Greg own like 6 bikes between the 2 of them, and they go on leisurely 50 mile bike rides EVERY DAY-well maybe once a week. But still-I wasn't a biker. They told me what to buy to fit my bike all up and ready, saddle bag (What the HORSE), water bottles, pump, helmet, pedals, biking attire, bike rack, and so that I could go alone-a bike trailer. There goes another $300 PLUS. So this isn't a cheap endeavor-at all. Now I'm really in this. Oh not to mention flights to Phx (Which I bought with Southwest points anyway ;) , and the hotel while we are there, and registration, and insurance in case I bail out.

Working out everyday Monday-Saturday was tricky. Sometimes I did a really hard workout, like running 4 miles, or biking 15 miles, or swimming 16 laps. Some days I didn't have time, I would run a mile in 8 Minutes, or bike 5 miles with the bike trailer. I did what I could providing I really didn't have a spouse during that time, and I had a toddler.

June we went on a cruise, then we went to Utah, then Seattle & Portland, then back to Utah. My working out during that was sporadic and maybe 3 times a week. We came back to Utah beginning of July and that is when I was really able to work out hard. Brad was in school but he was home at 5 most days, and I got in a couple long bikes, and really long swims, and runs in July. Again, working out everyday for 2 hours is difficult when you are single and have no obligations. I had Miles, and a house and husband to take care of, and like 15 side things going on-businesses and what not. But somehow I was able to get the job done. Probably my house was a disaster, my child neglected, and frozen meals a go to, my husband and I off of sync. But we did it. There were times when I wanted to give up, stop working out, spend time with my family instead of swimming, biking and running, but I didn't I kept at it. And it paid off.

Brad said to me at one point, "You know Brit, I am really surprised-when you said you were going to do a triathlon I didn't think you really would do it. But you are, good job."

Talk about motivation right there. Well thanks honey, you think I'm a lazy pants, but I gave you a startle when I actually got off my bootie ta frutie, and did this. I'm so glad I could impress you so easily.

We visited Dallas about 3 weeks before my triathlon. We were staying with friends in Ft. Worth, and I decided to go on a 5 mile run that morning. I got up before everyone else and started off. I ran for a good 4 miles and the last mile of it was off the road on bumpy uneven grass. My ankle started searing with pain. Shooting terrible pain. I just started to bawl. I couldn't even walk. All I could think about were the hours and hours of training, and sacrificing, and money I had put into running this tri, all to be thrown away with an injury.

I kept trying to walk on it, and walked on the road instead, it started feeling better, not so terribly bad. I texted Brad to come get me, but he didn't respond, so I just kept walking. I was only a mile from home.

STOP: I have had several ankle injuries throughout my life, and once in college I injured it during an intramural basketball game. Thinking it was a sprain I just continued throughout my life, icing and bracing it but still playing on it. After about 6 months it still had shooting pain, so I decided to see a surgeon about it. Turns out it was fractured, and the ligaments were/are badly stretched and he suggested surgery to fix them. I wasn't on board so we decided to do 3-6 months of physical therapy. I did the therapy and exercises at home and didn't have anymore problems with it.

Running on the uneven grass, must have knocked something loose, undoing all of my PT. I took it easy for a few days, soaked it, iced it, biked instead of running or swimming (ankle movement in swimming killed it). Then I started up again running, and it seemed ok, but it burned like fire, so I just took it easy again. Two weeks before the Tri when I was supposed to be training REALLY hard, I was basically biking 18 miles at the gym, and running/walking here and there. Not sufficient. I wanted to get in at least a 25 mile bike, 1 mile swim, and 6.2 mile run before I actually did them all-back to back!

Circumstances would have it, that I wasn't able to do that. Also I was asked to be a team member for a consignment sale that week, so that meant 8 hour days on my feet-which left little time for training.

My mom convinced me to go to Utah/Idaho to a family reunion right before the Tri- which allowed me to be at a higher elevation for a few days. Get used to it a little bit before attempting a tri at 7000 feet. So, that basically was selling my sleep to the devil, going on vacation alone with a toddler, who JUST decided he is morally opposed to sleeping in pack n plays, and HAS to sleep with mom when traveling. And really there is no fighting that, because he can climb out of the pack n play, and run screaming out of the room only to sit on your lap like nothing is wrong. Not to mention he REFUSES to sleep on planes, or in cars, unless he has been without sleep for over 12 hours. Even then it is a COMPLETE gamble if he will sleep or not, and you must allow him to SCREAM bloody murder for at least an hour before he gives up and falls asleep due to exhaustion. He's a blast to travel with.

We went to Lava Hot Springs for the FAM reunion (that will have to be a separate post). He was wonderful but I think he drank too much from the kiddie pee pool that always has about 30 kids in it around the clock. Because upon returning home he vomited in the night several times, and the diarrhea came after. This is 3 days before the Tri. I was up half the night cleaning up vomit and giving him baths. And doing laundry. That next day, we (Sally Miles and I) jumped on a flight to Mesa from Provo. He held it together on the flight, he had been eating and drinking great all day.

I thought he was better, but deep down I knew that was too good to be true. We just had some pinch of miracle during that plane ride. And as soon as he got in my sisters car, he let loose. So much vomit. Such an awful smell. Vomit doesn't usually bother me, nor does poop, but something in that bug made it smell so awful. I have no words.

Hannah (my sister who lives in AZ with 5 girls) sprayed out the car seat. I took a shower with the culprit, and he continued to diarrhea through all of the diapers I brought. Between Thursday & Friday I had changed 18 diapers.

STOP: You may wonder why I am explaining my child's sickness to you. I just want you to see this triathlon through my eyes, feel what I felt while crossing the finish line. It was greater and bigger than the distance, it was much more achievement than swimming, biking, and running.

I told my sister I was going to lay down by Miles at 7:30 PM to help him fall asleep. We both crashed and slept until 7 the next morning. I am glad I got sleep that night-although he slept on a twin on the floor and I slept on a twin on a bed frame, and at one point I checked on him to make sure he hadn't puked or pooped his pants, and he was gone. My heart panicked-this having a child not in lock down during the night was new for me. He was completely gone, I searched everywhere in the darkness. My hands patting down the entire bed and surrounding the bed. My heart was seriously beating out of my chest, then I felt a foot. I followed the foot to find that his entire body was under my bed his body smashed between two large boxes under the bed. I was sure he was suffocated under there. Nope still breathing. I decided I would lay by him to keep him on the bed, but after several times of putting him back on the bed, I left him on the floor partially under the bed. (Those of you who ran the tri and sleep soundly through the night with no disturbances-good for you. Just good for you).

That day we drove to Sally's in Glendale, where Miles continued to poop his way through diapers upon diapers. Not to mention every time I changed him it had to be a 3 person job because his poop was 3rd degree burning his bum and an entire tube of Desitin could not stop that determined acid poo.

We decided we needed to swim in a lake-so we drove to a nearby lake, I tried on a borrowed wetsuit, and wahlah! Swam-it felt great, I felt confident, and non concerned about the swim. Miles slept next the the truck the entire time in his carseat. (we took it out of the truck and rested on the tire in the shade) (I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS ABOUT TO COME)

During the night Sally keeps her house at a cool 85 Degrees so we pretty much sweat to death. Miles slept on the floor and I slept on the couch. Miles pooped 4 times in the night, and I was awakened by the smell and pooping noises. So imagine me, and screaming burning butt Miles going through that night (Friday night 2 nights before the Tri). Oh not to mention he vomitted again all over Greg and Sally's workout mats. Now-how can a person be puked on 7-9 times, change 89 diarrhea diapers, and come out without a scratch?????

They can't.

Saturday Morning: 1 day before the Triathlon, it hits.

Flu for me.
Puking and diarrhea like you would not believe-while trying to take care of my child's sickness-at someone else's house.

Somebody describe a version of hell, and I will help you.

No sleep, diarrhea everywhere, puking everywhere, on someone else's turf and terms, need to pack and leave, and acid bum for a baby.

Luckily my cousin Tawney decided to stop by. Some sort of angel she is. She started packing my bags, bringing me sprite, cool rags, taking Miles while I vomited and he tried to repeatedly put toilet paper in the toilet while I barfed.

STOP: How am I going to swim a mile, bike 25, and run 6.2 in less than 20 hours, when I can't stand?

We drove to Flagstaff from Glendale. Roughly 2 hours. Greg and Sally pretty much did everything for me. I just felt like I was managing, managing my body and child on a very low level. Miles fell asleep instantly-I mean come on our night was atrocious. It took me a few minutes before I was also out. Arriving at the hotel I felt better. I could stand-without feeling like I was going to vomit.

Brad was there, man that felt good. Whenever I go through anything hard, its easier if Brad is around. He calms me down, he makes me see the silly in the bad. He makes everything  better. It wasn't even for the help with Miles. I had help (not in the night of course) but I was being helped by angels around me I'm sure-because my body had just been through a lot, and Miles was a sick tired traveling baby. We were exhausted, and it was such a relief to see him there, riding my bike around the hotel parking lot- he brought my bike-drove from Lubbock on Saturday only to drive back with us Sunday.

(Takes an army to change a burned diaper bum)

It feels good to be loved, and have support, and he is the person that loves me the most and supports me the most. The worst was over, that was for sure. Well minus the swim. That thing tops the charts for the worst.

We went to Olive Garden and I ate for the first time in 24 hours. I felt ok, not great but okay. I started feeling better by the minute. I could do this in like 12 hours. We went back to the hotel and got ready for bed at like 6 PM. We all crashed at like 8 PM because we were all exhausted.

STOP: Sally got locked in the bathroom for 30 minutes-doorknob broke. Makes me cry laughing to think about it. She texted us, "Would one of you please let me out of the bathroom." We were all outside working on my bike. (CRY LAUGHING EMOTICON)

STOP: Greg is by far one of the best guys that I know. And I'm very glad my sister married him amidst much adversity. (That is a personal story not fit for my blog)

Greg worked on my bike for a long time, making sure it was fit just right to me-I had been riding it completely wrong, and not to mention he thought it was so funny after he raised my seat 6 inches watching me mount my bike from behind and then try to get off it as it crotched me. He even felt so inclined to reenact my predicament of crotching myself. PS Crotched is a word, Crotching isn't. Crotch most definitely is a word, and I became very aware of the capabilities of pain in that area after a 25 mile bike ride with no padding.

We fell asleep, and around 10:30 PM which felt like the middle of the night, Brad sat up in bed, and was pointing and yelling. He seemed fit to function. You know his eyes were open, he was sitting up yelling. Something had to be wrong. He was pointing at something saying,"STAY AWAY FROM ME!!!!!" Mixed with some NO NO NO NO NOs and some UHHHH and AHHHS. I was in a panic. I don't do well in panic situations. I was clasping his shoulders saying, "What's wrong?! What's wrong!?" Greg and Sally were both awake, dazed and confused of course. I was sure someone was in our hotel room, but after a quick observation I saw nobody was there. I pulled him back down on his back and he said. "That was a really scary nightmare." All of us could not stop laughing, and once Brad came to, through his laughter I made out that a possessed baby was crawling up the wall and then onto the ceiling coming towards him, and that sent us into a hysteria of laughter. He assures us that it was a terribly scary baby with weird eyes. Greg assumed this was a normal occurrence, but no-Brad has never shot up in bed thinking a baby was going to get him.

We fell back to sleep, giggly our way into a nervous, gut wrenching sleep the night before the main event. Our alarms went off at 4 but, I was already awake. Miles slept great but I just couldn't relax. I mean, had I trained enough? Was the elevation going to kill me dead? Was I going to be able to run post flu. I mean it was still present flu due to my multiple episodes during the night. The nerves are enough to send a person into complete shock and confusion. And it was only a matter of time before I was there.

We reached the spot where we were running in the mountains in Flagstaff, AZ. I visited the nasty bathrooms a few times due to emergency release of my dinner via diarrhea. Greg instructing me to take as many pepto chewables as I could stomach, as to avoid that problem during the race. (Don't mind my oversized fleeze pullover-I was under prepared for the chill so borrowed a jacket from Greg.)

STOP: I am sorry this story involves so much diarrhea. But, it is my side of the story.

Greg was doing the half ironman so, 1.2 mile swim, 50 mile bike, 13.3 run. So he left first. We watched him get into the water, we were happy and laughing. 

Then we realized we needed to hurry and get our wetsuits on. We got those on and ran back to the dock for our entry. We got in the water and I still felt great. 100 people surrounding me as we were the last wave of tri-athletes to go. You know all the women, all the men over 50, a lot of relayers, etc. They blew the horn. All the sudden it was mayhem. People hitting me every which way, I can't keep track of Sally, the water is cold and murky is an understatement. I put my head in to swim a stroke and someone kicks me in the forehead. I come up for air and doggie paddle. I try again and come up for a breath and someone splashes a wave into my face and mouth, I come up coughing, and really the elevation has me thinking I'm suffocating. My heart is beating out of my chest, all my nerves are hitting me, the first buoy is so far, and that's just the starting point for swimming across the entire bleeping lake. Panic sets in, panic like I have never known. I mean, I've been stranded in basketball shorts and flip flops in the middle of winter with a truck that won't start in a snow bank after dark, with no means of communication, at 14, with my little sister who is 8. I know what panic feels like. I wouldn't say I have ever had a 'panic attack'. Until now.

I have most definitely experienced a panic attack. I see Sally just a few strokes ahead back stroking as people pour water over her face and swim viciously by her. I am doggie paddling as she gets farther and farther away. All the swimmers keep going, all the while I am drifting in this lake. I try to swim, my legs feel funny, my arms won't move, my breath is choppy, my heart won't stop beating in my neck below my ears. I see a kayak ahead, and I see about 5 women gripping it. I swim to it. I clutch the side and joined 5 other women who were also experiencing a panic attack.

"It's too far."
"Oh my *&!"
"Oh my *&%^&*$  #&!"
"I can't breathe."
"I can't do this."
"My legs are cramping."
"I can't breathe, Oh my *&!"
"I just want to be on my bike, I can't do this!"
"This elevation is making me not be able to breathe!"
"I can't do this!"

Surrounding myself with these women wasn't my choice, it just happened, and it facilitated my panic. I pretended to be the strong one.

"Ok guys we can do this."
"Lets make it to the first buoy."
"Lets get in a rhythm, 1, 2, 3."
"We have trained for this."

As I let go of the kayak, I continued to try to freestyle, I backstroked, I breaststroked, I backstroked. I couldn't get in a rhythm. They were right, it was too far. My heart wouldn't stop beating, I could hear it in my head, I felt like I was choking on my heart beat. I couldn't even see the buoy we were supposed to swim to, I knew it was there, so I kept swimming. I wonder how far actually I swam. I kept looking up seeing that I was going in the opposite direction. I would say about half way done with the swim, I talked and prayed myself into a calm collective state, where I could get in a rhythm. I thought of Brad waiting for me, proud of me, I began to cry as I swam, thinking of all that I had accomplished up to this point. I thought of Sally, looking ahead seeing white goggles and a red swim cap, telling myself it was her, that she was just right there ahead of me. It seemed like forever. It seemed like I thought of everything to calm myself. I thought of Miles, I thought of how he has chubby fingers and how he grabs my face to kiss me. I thought of how he says, "Please BABA, instead of Please mama." I thought of having another baby, how I can't wait to see another baby, what will they look like? What will the baby's personality be? I got in a rhythm and I knew it was going to be fine now.

That swim, changed me, it showed me that I really can overcome anything. I was in a lake. A muddy murky lake, and I had a panic attack, and I made it out. I reached the 2nd buoy, and now to swim back to the dock, I could do this. I was almost there, I swam and swam and realized I was swimming in 2 feet of water, I stood up and undid my wetsuit as my legs tried to run, they wobbled, and I stopped myself from falling back in, I decided to walk and not run. I started to speed walk, the rocks and pavement poking and prodding my feet was nothing in comparison, and I was finally at my transition area. I took off my wetsuit, fumbled with my biking shirt, tried to put granola bars in the back of my shirt, put my shoes on, put my sunglasses on, put my helmet on, and walked out of the transition area and onto my bike. I began pedaling and it felt like my legs weren't there. I think I even looked down once trying to tell them what to do. As I looked down I ran off the pavement into the grass on the side of the road, like in the first 3 minutes of riding. My legs couldn't be steady, I was all over the place. My bike swiveling into the road and back again.

I began to bike, and drink gatorade as fast as I could, I scarfed down a granola bar because I remember Greg saying we needed to eat for energy, even if we didn't feel hungry. I ate one, then stumbled with the wrapper and as it flew out of my hands I felt guilty for littering. 

My phone was attached to my bike and after trying to get it on Cyclometer I gave up and just took a pic of myself.

I kept pedaling and I heard a "To your left" as the lady who was sharing my panic passed me on the bike. I was proud of her. Proud that she made it out, she really was hauling, I still couldn't fathom what was going on, I was keeping a 14 mph pace. I was in no hurry. I remembered my goal was to finish. And I think was in a trauma state. I just had been through a lot ok, and I am going to enjoy this bike ride. I felt like I was completely alone. I couldn't see anyone ahead or behind me. I kept going. I tried to eat another granola bar but couldn't finish it and rather than mess with putting it back in my bike pocket I tossed it into the bushes. Thinking a hungry bunny will enjoy that. I started passing people that must have beat me in the swim, and from their body type I have no idea how they were ahead of me. But then I remembered I panicked and they probably swam with no problems at all. At about 7 Miles I thought I saw Sally biking back and I yelled, "HEY I KNOW YOU!!!" And she turned and looked at me but with no response. Then at about 10 Miles I really did see her, and I said, "SAL!" She yelled something about good job, love you, keep going. I started crying, wow, we were doing this and she isn't THAT far ahead of me, only about 4ish miles. I started my mile counter a little late so I wasn't quite sure how off it was until I hit the turn around.
STOP: Sally had an excellent bike time and that was for SURE her strong point. I guess it helps if you have been doing it for years, and bike long distances with your husband on a regular basis.

I passed a younger boy who was wearing high top converse white shoes, and riding a mountain bike, he looked as if he was struggling up the hill. I passed quite a few unlucky souls on the hill. For some reason it wasn't hard to me, probably biking in Lubbock wind helped me there. One girl shouted out, "THIS HILL SUCKS!" as I passed her. I laughed and kept going.

The boy that I passed on the mountain bike, said, "This is my first one." As if to explain why he was struggling. I just replied with , "Me too! Keep going!"

Maybe that pissed him right off, a girl is beating me, and its her first one too! I thought of that as I rode on. But, honestly bro, my bike is meant for the road-hence why I am passing you-trust me, these jello legs would not be able to had you brought a road bike.

That bike felt long, and my foot was cramping on the outside of it, the entire time, that maybe slowed me down a little but mostly it just bugged me.  But, honestly the bike was nothing compared to the swim I nickednamed 'swim of death' or 'panic attack central' or 'death by swim'. Right after the turn around, I heard a "Hey!" And saw Greg coming up behind me, we biked together, he gave me tips about going down the down hill, keep my legs in, keep going if the bike feels shaky, duck my head down to gather more speed. We chatted about how far he had, he seemed happy, he had to turn off to go around the lake again before heading back. I was sad when he turned off, I needed that though, and what a little miracle that we happened to match up at the perfect time to ride together. I passed a few more people on the way back, mostly on the downhills, maybe they were scared about going fast, I loved it. I wanted to go faster, when I saw I was going 28 mph I wanted to hit 30mph. It felt good to cover ground with no work. Just tucking my legs in and flying. I was not a fan of biking on the right of the white line, it was rocky and bumpy, and I didn't mention that the tri shorts I was wearing were a poor excuse for bike shorts. NO padding in comparison to what I have been biking with. I mean Sally and I did the dirty when we vasolined our lady parts, but that wasn't good enough for me, it was rip roaring pain in the downtown by this point. So I stayed to the left of the white line, there weren't many cars so I didn't feel it was a problem. A few times I felt that I could have grabbed on the mirror of the car like an action movie and left my bike behind they got so close to me.  Once a classic car truck flew by and the man yelled at me, MOVE OVER! Well, sorry fella, I have some throbbin crotch right now, I am NOT ridin bumpy. I need this smooth road for my future babies sake.

The last few miles felt long, I was just staring at the mile counter (I cannot think of its name at this point). Finally I rode down and saw the transition area. They coached me to get off my bike, I heard a distinct, "BRIT!!" Then I saw Brad holding Miles. I couldn't look at him, and even now it chokes me up. Why is this so emotional to me, I do not know-I am giving it my all, alongside much adversity, and I am actually doing it-thats why the tears are flowing. And he is here supporting me, he loves me, and he is proud of me. Miles started crying and reaching for me, as I changed out of my helmet. I put my sunglasses away, then realized I needed them while running. So I got them back out, I was just all over the place. Felt like I was in a daze.

I started jogging, they called my name as I crossed out of the transition area. That felt good. They handed me water, I tried to run and drink, but couldn't. I kept running until a cramp of all cramps hit me in my side. I walked, then made goals to run to the sign, run to the mile marker, run to the tree, walk again. Run again. Then I hit the uphill and I knew I was 1.5 miles in. I was walk running up that hill then I saw Sally, we embraced and cried, and told each other we loved each other, I screamed at her that she only had 1.5 miles left. She was so far ahead of me. I tried not to think about it. I was trying to do this run in an hour. My ankle started to burn. I kept drinking this Heed stuff they kept handing me hoping it will kill the cramp, I took Ibprophen for my headache, and cramp meds for my foot right after the bike. The foot cramp went away but was followed with this side cramp-or side ache, but it didn't feel like a side ache-it was a definite side CRAMP. People would yell at me, "GOOD JOB 36!!" That was my number pinned to my front. "Keep going 3-6!!!" It felt good to hear that.

I kept thinking about how far ahead Sally was, then somehow I reached the dirt road, where I had to run a little further. I turned around and was so excited to almost be done. I ran the downhills so fast, and passed several more people. I finally was at the 1.5 miles left mark. I walked a little here and there because I still had that awful cramp in my side, I met up with an elderly gentleman and I said, "We are almost there, we can do this!" As we ran side by side. He said, "You be my rabbit." I laughed and kept going. I wanted to walk again because this last mile felt like forever. I kept reminding myself it was just like running to the park and back, which I had done so many times in 8 minutes. I can do this in 10, I can do this mile in 10 minutes I kept saying to myself. I was just about to walk, then I saw Brad about .5 miles from the finish line. He had come out to cheer me on and run with me. I am so glad he did, I would have walked I'm sure of it. My legs and body had nothing left. We ran together and people were cheering for both of us. Haha, he liked that. He liked getting praise for something he didn't do. I told him I was going to speed up, and I started running as fast as I could to the finish line. It felt like sprinting but I need to watch the video it is probably a slow jog a Grandma could outdo.

As I crossed the finish line they said, "Brittany Clark from LUBBOCK TEXAS!!" Then he said, "You ran all the way from Texas!?" I saw Sally holding Miles and heard Miles crying for me. I hugged Sally and shortly after Brad came. Sally talked about how she vomited during the run, and I told her I puked a little during the bike, we talked about the swim, how we panicked.  She told me she got stung by a bee on the bike ride, and later she would send me pictures of the large welt.

We talked about how happy we were when we saw each other on the bike and run.

It all seemed surreal, surreal that my body was able to do it, and that it was such a fulfilling experience. Amidst all of our trials Sally and I finished. Injuries, puking, cramps, headaches, panic attacks, diarrhea, and no sleep.

We took pictures, I felt okay, I was walking talking laughing, you know just the usual Olympic Tri-athlete post race behavior. We needed to wait for Greg to finish, and he was supposed to finish around 12 noon or so. Sally was worried about him so she biked to find him on his run. She took him food and drink and found out he was cramping in his feet really bad. We sat as Brad ate the snacks for the athletes pretending they were for me. He would say, "Brit you want a cookie?" Then as I started to say no, he would say, "Ok you want 2? Okay I'm grabbing them for you." Then he would eat them.

We watched the winner of the half iron man waltz around in his bikini bottoms like it was no big thang. Finally Greg came across the finish line with a smile on his face. That finish line represented a lot that day. It is much more than completing a race. It is months of trial, and training that is crossing the finish line. Hence for the smile, hence for the tears.

Brad and I drove home, and I needed to stop to go to the bathroom-I got out of the car and couldn't walk. My body hurt for a few days. Sally's too, it kicked our trashes, but it felt so so good.

It was a remarkable experience, and Sally and I are already planning our next one this year. Stay tuned for many more triathlons from us.