It's official...I'm a Redman Finisher! Well, it's about time! It was 8 hours 27 minutes to be exact! Each segment of the race was more difficult than what I had planned. I remember being in the first quarter mile of the swim wondering if I might drown and how long I should struggle before I should panic. Now, let me tell you that swimming is my strong point! I had to basically give myself a pep talk that included the kind words of, "Put your big girl panties on, shut up and start kicking those stupid legs!" It was the nicest thing I could think of to get myself to focus. I did have random thoughts of Titanic and found myself humming the theme song and thinking about how stupid Rose was. Before long I was out of the water and headed to the bike.
The bike is the part I feared most. That's probably because I fell off my bike numerous times, forgetting to unclip my shoe before trying to step off. Let me tell you that there is nothing more boaring than riding a bike 56 miles with no music or anyone to talk to. 56 miles is a long way! During the ride I had to find things to occupy my mind so I wouldn't look at the mile counter every half mile. I started naming fruit and vegetables that match the letters of the alphabet. I went as far as having a debate, with myself, as to why or why not I could use french fries for my "F" because techincally they are made with potatoes and a potato is a vegetable. You will think of the weirdest things when you're lonely!
After nearly 4 long hours I was finally off the bike! But at that point I had to start running and the temp was reaching 90 degrees! I really struggled with how I would be able to finish with it being that hot. At the first water stop I was handed the wet Redman sponge, it's made to cool you off, so I shoved a few in my shirt, poured some water on my head, drank up and decided I would let nothing keep me from finishing! It took me a long 3 hours and 25 minutes to run that 13 miles. It was hot, my legs were worn out and my back was killing me. It was a long day but I finished! Apparently I drank the Redman kool-aid along the way because I am already planning on what I will do different next year!
There are several people that I need to thank for making this race so memorable! First would be Dave Wood, he's the Race Director, and he was the first bright shinning face I saw after crossing the finish line. He was smiling and cheerful despite the fact that he was probable worn out and was running on about 3 hours sleep. I also need to thank Sarah Bell, I did some training with her this past summer, she competes in the full and has more heart and endurance than I have ever seen in an athlete. I also want to thank Robert and Rita Flagler for all the wisdom they passed on to me while we were swimming and riding bikes during the summer. I really could not have done it withouth them and I truly mean that! I also have to say thanks to my husband and kids for all the evenings of eating sandwiches because mom needed to go swim and ride her bike. I will be back next year, stronger and faster!!