Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ironman Florida Part #3: The Final Push (like childbirth)

This is a LONG post, so I hope you are hydrated and fueling well.

Let’s see. Where were we? Oh yeah. I was doing a little race. You can read Part #1 (swim) HERE and Part #2 (bike) HERE.

I come out of transition from the bike and at this point I have been racing for about  7 ½ hours. The longest race I’d ever done before this was a half ironman and that took me 5:43, so this was a bit excessive. AND, I still have a marathon to complete. Whoever invented this race (Mr. Ironman? Sir M-Dot?) must have been drinking heavily at the time.

My nephew, J.J., takes this picture as I am starting the marathon. I am having a grand time. I am in denial.

This is some little jig I like to do while double-fisting Dixie cups of water.

I have no strategy for the run except to run as much as I can while staying aerobic and keeping my heart rate under control. I plan on walking through all aid stations, which will be every mile. This plan works pretty damn well for the first half of the marathon. I cruise along, not very speedily mind you, but still running, if you can call it that. I alternate Perform and water. I try to take a GU around mile 8, but realize I am done ingesting any solid foods. My stomach just can’t handle it and I’d prefer not to crap myself.

I do my fair share of farting and it isn’t as if I can control it. They just squeak out and those behind me just have to deal with it. I’m kind of nervous to trust a fart at this point, but with each step my ass is a motor and I can’t stop it. Plus, it makes me feel better.

At mile 2, I come up on Mirinda Carfrae (aka Ironman World Champ- even if she is hours ahead of me passing her was kind of surreal) who is on her second loop. She is walking and eating a bag of potato chips. Love her. I say “hi” and try not to crop dust her as I shuffle by. A mile later she blows by me doing at least a 7 minute mile. Those chips must have done the trick. I think her marathon was 3:30 and she wasn’t even “racing” that day.

The marathon is two loops. Basically racers go out and back twice. This makes it easy to break it up in my head into 4 sections and keeps the distance manageable in my brain. After about 2 ½ hours I am back at the half way point. That’s when I see my family and friends. I get to hug them and get a little boost.

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I’m not happy at all.

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Big Jim is pretending he is on a balance beam or something. He’s such a gymnast.

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I get so excited from seeing those guys that I pick up the pace. Only 13 miles to go! I’ve got this! I’m cruising! Life is good! Oh God, I think I’m going to puke.

Mile 14 brings me to a standstill. I am so nauseous I can hardly move. Maybe I am pregnant. My lower lip is buzzing, trembling and vibrating (weird, I know!). By this time lots of spectators in the neighborhood are drunk and dancing around me as I come through. I am not in the mood for this shit. Some girl with a whip wants to have her way with me, but I give her the look of death. Move or I will puke on you.

It is all I can do to keep from hurling. I start walking. I see some girl in the same condition I am standing by the side of the road with her finger down her throat. I remember what Sharpie said, “If you feel sick or really low, do something different. Dial it back a bit.” At the next aid station I try some Coke. Nope. Didn’t work. Still sick. At the next one I try a few sips of chicken broth. Within 2 minutes I am better, just like that. I start to run again.

I’m not going to lie. The last 10K of the marathon is kind of brutal. The nausea has returned, but not quite as badly. My feet are killing me. It is pitch black. A guy beside me stops on the side of the road and hurls his guts out like nothing I’d ever heard before. You all know I have  a total vomit phobia, so this kind of takes me to my edge. People are moaning, talking to themselves, limping. Even then I can totally grasp why this day has the reputation it does. It breaks you down in every way possible.

At mile 24 I can hear it. I can hear the announcer telling people “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” as they cross the finish. I knew I was close. I let myself believe for the first time that day that it is really going to happen. I am going to finish. And, in under 13 hours. I always thought I would do somewhere between 12 and 13 hours, so this is good news.

I round the last corner, a ½ mile from the finish. Some crazy lady I’d never seen before jumps onto the course screaming my name. She tells me “I have Sharpie on the phone!” No shit. I take the phone in time to hear Sharpie howling in my ear, “You’re doing it! You had your perfect day! I cannot believe this. Oh my god, oh my god!” I hand the phone back and make my final sprint to the finish.

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I spot my mom, dad and friends along the side and hear them screaming for me. As I approach the finish I see Ken and the kids right by the end in the VIP tent.

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Finish Time: 12 hours, 50 minutes.

43/120 in 45-49 age group
272/743 females
1457/2891 overall (keeping in mind 2,100 of them were men! Go vagina power!)

I do look a little green if I say so myself. These two are the most welcome sight after almost 13 hours. My offspring! Their patience with me on this journey has been amazing. They “get” what it means to me.  I am thankful for them and to them.

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How do I put into words this experience? It is more of a feeling than something that can be contained to a few sentences. The greatest lesson has been in learning that I don’t have to be afraid of anything. And, that I can do anything.

Almost every step of this journey was a leap into the unknown. The unknown can be terrifying, but you know what? It is also exhilarating and makes you feel alive. The unknown is a thrill in its own way. I suppose the Ironman is not simply a bucket list item. It is the opportunity to look at yourself differently and to know what you are truly capable of.

GRATITUDE

Where to begin thanking all the wonderful, “it takes a village” supports in my life? First and foremost is this guy:

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Having a spouse who is training for an Ironman must suck at times. You are tired, distracted, overwhelmed. Ken never waivered in his support of me. He ran and biked along side me. He never questioned that I could do it. He was there to come get me on the side of the road when my bike broke. He rubbed my feet. He made me popcorn with lots of butter at night. Quite simply, he was always there. My rock.

This cute couple, aka SUAR’s parents:

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My mom and dad (aka Big Jim) never failed to check in, to ask how my training was going, to make me huge meals and to step in to help out when I needed them.

These two girls, Clair and Erika.

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Good friends are hard to come by, and these two are as good as it gets. I don’t have a sister. But, they are the closest I will ever come to that. I love them both more than I can say.

My in-laws, nephew and his wife, Ashley. They made the long drive to be in Panama City and seemed to be more excited for me than I almost was for myself.

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My X2 Performance Team:

None of this would have happened if X2 hadn’t accepted me onto their team. They’ve been a great support along the way and I have met some incredible people. For 4 ½ months I drank a 2 oz bottle of X2 every morning. I know without a doubt it helped with my energy levels, performance and most of all recovery.

Coach Sharpie!!

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She pushed me. She gave me detailed, customized and tough workouts. She listened to me freak out. She talked me off the cliff when I was doubting myself. She made me laugh until I nearly peed myself.

PT Bob:

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Mr. Bob became a mentor to me. He’s been doing Ironmans since before it was cool. He put me back together when I was injured, but more importantly he gave me so many nuggets of wisdom to take with me on the course (the best being – when things get tough, do not always assume they are going to get worse).

All those people at home (you know who you are!! xxoo) who spent 4 ½ months checking in with me, running with me (Joie!), biking with me (Leigh and Barb!) and pushing me along with words of encouragement. 

Lastly, YOU GUYS. Seriously. You built me up, kept me honest, made me laugh and believed. I feel like you are all my giant support group. Thanks for taking the journey with me, for stalking me on race day, for your comments, your messages…all of it!!

God, I sound like I just won an Oscar or something. Self indulgent a bit?

Thanks for reading this long and drawn out series of reports. Now go do something you are terrified to do and BE ALIVE!

SUAR

167 comments:

  1. Awesome job! Major congrats. I'm sorry you felt so bad on the run, but you made it!

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  2. Great job! I knew you were going to be great and you were. Loved the recap. Congratulations!

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  3. Yay! Love this! All of it! Way to go!

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  4. I have no words, just...
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You Did it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And now, this really makes me want to do one, too!

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  5. Congratulations! That's so awesome! I teared up looking at your finisher photos. My husband thought I was insane on the day of your race when I checked FB for an update and screamed out "she did it."

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  6. Thanks for sharing your wonderful and impressive experience. If I can get over my swimming issues, maybe someday I will be thanking you for your inspiration. God bless!

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  7. ok. A few things...

    1. " I am so nauseous I can hardly move. Maybe I am pregnant. " I died laughing...all I could think of is somehow you got pregnant during the tons 'o bodies in the swim. Literally laughing so hard...

    2. Then I am totally crying. Your words are so moving...and your sense of gratitude is awesome.

    3. I am grateful to you! I don't even know you...well, ok, I read your blog...but I don't know know you...and yet you have given me (and everyone) the privilege of going along for the ride. I don't see an ironman in my future (of course, never say never) but I feel like I have a 1% view of it. Thank you.

    4. Wow..you are amazing.

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    1. That was me too! Laughing one minute and crying the next! Congrats! You did it!!!!

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  8. Congrats a million times over! Your determination and hard work payed off, and you are so inspiring! Thanks for sharing your journey along the way.

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  9. You had me laughing out loud and in tears in this post. So happy for you and all you've accomplished. Love your new moto.. Be alive!!! A huge congrats!!

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  10. Simply inspiring. I laughed and cried as I read this. You are a HERO!

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  11. I followed you all day, for real, you are AWESOME!!! congrats :)

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  12. So. FREAKING. AWESOME! I loved this recap. Brought back SO many memories. It's amazing how messed up your body can get by the time you hit the marathon. On my second one I had so many stomach issues I never knew what was going to happen when I farted. I am pretty sure I stopped in every single porta potty on the first loop of the run course and then I just gave up. I couldn't shit so I figured I'd better get off the pot and just keep going, ha ha.

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  13. Simply put, my husband and I are SO FREAKING PROUD of you- and we don't even know you! We both were checking your times and praying for a strong finish.

    You did it. YOU did it, Beth! You are an IronMan!

    Congrats!

    Sarah

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  14. GAH I'm crying because I'm so moved and inspired and happy for you! Congrats just doesn't begin to cover it!

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  15. So first off - I literally found your blog awhile ago by asking Google "How to not crap myself during long runs." Seriously. Ha. I am so thankful that Google led me to you, Yoda of Bodily Functions. I have loved your Ironman breakdown. I hope you are basking in the afterglow because you are a total BAD ASS and deserve it!!

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    1. That's exactly how I found this blog!

      I've laughed, cried, and been totally inspired and in awe of you, Beth! I'm another one who checked your results throughout the day and shouted "She did it!" when I saw your finishing time, resulting in a "who did what?" from DH. Thank you for the detailed recap!

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    2. That is how I found this blog too! I'm so glad that I did and I am glad you shared your journey with us.

      Congratulations!

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    3. I found this blog that way too! So thankful I stumbled accross it as Beth is such an inspiration! Congrats, Beth! What an accomplishment.

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  16. I was cheering you on throughout the training and especially on race day. HUGE congrats. Amazing and awesome. :)

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  17. Awesome recap - all three parts. What an experience! So, so proud of you! It's been such a thrill and pleasure to follow along with your training, hearing all the ups and down, and then to see the fabulous result - an Ironman Finish! I knew you could do it, and do it WELL. Can't wait to hear what you tackle next!

    Congratulations again !!

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  18. This is sooooo awesome!!!! Congratulations!!!! I want to do an Ironman so bad!!! You are awesome!

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  19. Congrats on an amazing feat. In the words of "Wayne's World": We're not worthy, we're not worthy, we're not worthy!!! *bows at your feet*

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  20. You are a FRIGGIN ROCK STAR! So, what's next? ;-)

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  21. Love this! And for the record...i may have puked on whip-lady just out of spite.

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  22. You absolutely brought tear to my eyes...So proud of you and thank you for sharing your journey with us! Congratulations - YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

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  23. buzzing, trembling and vibrating ..... sounds like my night last night!!!!! I AM AN IRONMAN!!!

    oh wait, this is a PG site. Sorry.

    Anywho!!!! Congrats my friends and welcome to the club.

    The feeling is so surreal when you cross that finish line and you are right in that you get addicted and want that feeling over and over and over (wait am I talking about last night again? WTF?!?!?!)

    So, when is the next one?

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  24. I have the biggest Girl Crush on you right now. I went from laughing (pregnant! farting!) to crying in this post. At 43 I thought I was as good as I was going to get but you inspire me to do more, be more and grab life by the balls because isn't that what it's all about?

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    1. YES, exactly!! Why not? There are no limits to what you can reach for.

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  25. You're amazing - and I totally cried at the end!
    Would you consider doing a post about your fueling through training and through the race and how it affected your other eats too?

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    1. Yes, I think that would make for a great post...mostly because the fueling part is so HUGE and the key to a successful training cycle and race.

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  26. I'm crying! You're amazing. I am so inspired by you and loved reading your race reports and tracking you on race day. Your honesty is the best part. Crop dusting. Awesome! Congratulations!!!!! Enjoy your recovery and whatever lies ahead.

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  27. Congratulations!! So happy for you! Really enjoyed reading about your training and the big day itself. You are truly an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. So... I am with all the other criers... WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are amazing! I am inspired! XO

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  29. What an incredible finale to an incredible journey! I'm so glad I got to read your story every step of the way. You and your family are all awesome!! Huge congrats to all of you!!!!

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  30. I am crying too! You are wonderful!
    Yah! :)

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  31. AWESOME!!! Thank you for sharing the experience.

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  32. Utterly AMAZING to have watched you on this journey!!! Thank you so much for sharing and continuing to inspire all of us...and to show us that ANYTHING can be achieved! Congrats on this hug accomplishment!!

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  33. I should be working but instead, I am laughing and crying at the conclusion to your incredible posts on the Ironman. I have been cheering for you along the way as a faithful reader and am as proud of you as if I knew you personally! I was excited to see your son's tweet that you made it and to see the pride in that simple action from him! My husband and I are about to adopt a baby girl (early December--our first child) and we are so scared and uncertain about the 'unknown'. Your words really inspired me at the end of the post. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us! And always be wary of a fart :)

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  34. CONGRATULATIONS!! What an amazing journey!

    Crop dusting will now be part of my running vocabulary ;-)

    FYI - Hines Ward, former Pittsburgh Steeler, competed in Ironman Kona. His total time was 13:08:15. One more claim to fame - SUAR is faster than Hines Ward!!!

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    1. Haha!! I didn't know that...now I feel REALLY good. Did he crop dust?

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  35. Chills/tears overcame me while reading part 3! You are an Ironman and a true inspiration to so so many. If I ever make it to CO we will hook up and drink buckets (and buckets) of wine to celebrate. Carry on. You're amazing!

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  36. I could read this 100 times over. What an accomplishment and what a support team you have! Congratulations just doesn't cut it but it's all I got. You are amazing. You are an IRONMAN!

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  37. Congrats again!! So much inspiration and gratitude in this post -- great recap!

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  38. I have loved following your journey! I am running my first marathon two weekends from now... thank you for the inspiration!

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  39. Congratulations doesn't seem like a strong enough word!! You rock!

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  40. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! I have been eagerly awaiting each IMFL installment like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. Congrats again on your first IronMan. That is so badass! Thank you for being such a funny, entertaining and wise inspiration to all of us.You rock.I can't wait to see what you do next. (No pressure there or anything. haha).

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  41. Great recap. It made me a little misty, but maybe it's just dusty in my office. You've inspired me want to do an IM. Congrats again. It's a HUGE accomplishment and you deserve to bask in it.

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  42. AMAZING!!! Congrats on such an courageous journey. YOU DID IT!!!!!

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  43. you are awesome and inspiring, I got cold chills reading this

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  44. After just about peeing myself about your ass being a motor, I had tears in my eyes when I go to the end of your race. What a great story, great experience. Congratulations.

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  45. You are such a ROCK STAR BAD ASS! Not to mention that you make me hoot and holler out loud and shed a few tears during this post. Congratulations and if you ever see someone lumbering up to you (I'm not nearly as fit as you are) in the Boulder area, it'll be me. I'd FOR SURE want my picture taken with SUAR!

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  46. You're an inspiration Beth! So proud of you:)

    Megan

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  47. Now those are some finisher photos worth paying for! It's all really wonderful Beth. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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  48. Absolutely amazing. Congrats to you! You make me want to be a better, stronger athlete. Enjoy your recovery!

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  49. Amazing! funny, courageous and tough, you did it.

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  50. Weren't you the one with peas down your pants like two weeks ago?! Now you're IRONBETH.

    I'll admit- I first found your blog because of the crap post, but I'm glad I stuck around. I think of you while in like at a portapotty, because I gots to use my total empty technique, but now I'll also think of you when things are really hard and I'll go, "You can do this. Just keep moving."

    Awesome job!

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  51. What a great race report (and I hate to read race reports)! I got teary eyed at the end when you thanked everyone. What an awesome team you had behind you. Congrats, congrats, congrats (one for each leg). You did it and you did it well!

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  52. Amazing!! Simply amazing!! You are such a badass and truly an inspiration. Way to go!!!

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  53. You are amazing!! Congratulations for doing it!!! How awesome! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!!! Inspriring!

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  54. HUGE HUGE HUGE congrats to you, Beth! I, too, am totally teary-eyed over your posts on this experience. This is what I truly love about your blog (and why I don't read any other running/mom blogs anymore): the way you encounter these challenges without making it seem so easy and showing off that you have talent. You're a mom first, and you juggle a lot with doing both things well, and you lay it all out there that it IS a daily struggle. You don't brag, you don't brush it under the rug as you're some sort of mutant super-athlete; you're just real. You accepted this huge IM challenge and took it one step at a time, one day at a time, and share that all with us. We are all so proud of you! I also love the part about your kids getting it: I think showing them what you've done is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give them. I only hope I'm doing the same for my kids.

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  55. LOVE this...love.it. You done good Opie. :) What amazing support too!

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  56. To echo all of the above, Just freaking awesome and super congrats on your journey to becoming an Ironman. Loved it all!

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  57. Great race reports and might I add...you are truly a gifted writer/storyteller. Many times I read your blog and push just a bit harder. You are real and you know how to connect with other people. A rare, very genuine quality. Congratulations! - Julia

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  58. You are AMAZING!! I loved reading every word of these posts & got all teary with this one!! So so great!! Congratulations!!! YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!

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  59. Congratulations Beth! Great race and race report! Rest up and enjoy your finish!

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  60. I told you the chicken broth was the bomb.

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  61. You are just FREAKING AWESOME! (And I totally just got teary reading your report) Congratulations and THANK YOU for sharing your journey with us!

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  62. Really proud of you. But you know that. c

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  63. Congrats on such a great race. You are amazing. I have loved all your posts but this one is especially exciting. Rest, eat, drink and rest some more. You deserve it!

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  64. AHH all teary at work!! WTG, you are awesome!!

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  65. Thank you so much for sharing it all with us! CONGRATULATIONS!

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  66. I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
    Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
    Louder, louder than a lion
    Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar...I believe this song is about you lady!

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  67. I have loved the race reports and am thankful that your share all the details, even the not pretty ones. You keep it real and remind us all that we can do anything we set our minds to. You inspire so many people, but most importantly you're inspiring your kiddos!

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  68. That was so touching. You did great.

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  69. Beth, you persevered and made us want to be there with you. You are right, do something you never thought you could.....I recently ran my 7th marathon in Toronto (at age 50, yes you can still compete at this age!) and ran a PB which was enough (3:27) to qualify for 2015 Boston. This is a smaller scale than an Ironman but your journey was actually a driving force during my training and race day - believe it or not. Your dedication, great attitude and comical way to overcome an obstacle helped me BQ !!

    What;s next for you??

    Rick Boudreau

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    1. Wow, a 3:27 at age 50????????? Amazing.

      Not sure what is next...I'm sure there is probably another IM in my future at some point. Did I just say that?

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  70. Congrats! What a huge accomplishment:) I love all the great pics and how happy you seem to be in all of them!

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  71. Thanks for being so open and sharing it all - the good, bad, poop puke and ither ugly....you have inspired us all to push beyond self-imposed limits and take some risks!

    Cheers,
    Kathy

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  72. Big, big Congratulations Beth!!! Did my first two weekends ago, so I can relate to so much of your recap. Hope recovery is quick. Awesome job!

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  73. YOU are an IRONman! Congratulations!

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  74. LONG post?! This post wasn't *nearly* long enough!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing! I've been off the grid for quite a while. In July I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a Double Mastectomy in September. Since then, I've been fighting to get back in running shape. Last weekend I ran my first 5k in many many months! Didn't get to PR but it felt like it!

    Reading this post made my day!!! I can't tell you how inspiring you are! Getting to see pix of your support crew was great!! I was grateful to my support crew too! Thanks!

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  75. So encouraging to read all this... brought tears to my eyes and I'm so happy for you that you accomplished this!!!! Glad you can now bask in this and every conversation you can bring up that you finished an Ironman competition. When I did my first half I told everyone I was so happy/proud I did one!!

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  76. Congrats!!! Ive been reading your blog since before you started your IM training but this is my first comment. You have a Brazilian fan down here, way to go and keep following your dreams! They do come true with hard work, and you are the personified proof of it!

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  77. Ah, reading this report made me cry. I hope someday I can conquer such a huge feat as this. You deserve every ounce of chocolate coming your way. Congrats!

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  78. I couldn't wait til each installment of your race report came out! Congratulations on a fantastic IM! I love how real you are and that didn't waver through this 4 1/2 month training adventure.

    GO YOU!

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  79. Congrats! You rock as an Ironman!! Is it too soon to ask if you will do another one?? :)

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    1. Well let's just say I haven't ruled it out...

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  80. I've enjoyed this so much! You are amazing!

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  81. Congratulations!! You are amazing. Couldn't wait to read the race report.

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  82. You did so good...amazing.Congratulations Ironman!

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  83. Congratulations!!!! You rocked this! You are a huge inspiration!

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  84. I know you are resting and reconnecting with friends/family etc, but I am interested to know if you are sore in any way after that huge race? What is next for you? After an ironman, seems as though you have really pushed sthe ultimate limits. Go vagina power!!

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    1. It is the weirdest thing, but the day after the race I hopped out of bed early and had no aches or pains. I totally expected to be sore. My energy was even pretty good. I thought maybe it was just a post race high, but in these past few days I've continued to feel really good - I am sleeping really HARD, so I know my body must be trying to recover.

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  85. Loved reading about it. Way to go

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  86. This totally made me get teary-eyed. But I'm a crier, so don't get a big head. ;-) What an amazing accomplishment - you are a freaking rock star. Totally in awe. Congrats on a fantastic race, and powering through despite the rocky stomach.

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  87. Congrats on your finish...great time btw.
    I have completed two IMs and 6 70.3s, a double GC, Pikes (that should be your next event), and over 100 tris. I still feel that walking into a classroom full of 3 yr. olds with special needs to be terrifying at times and I will probably never fly a jet either. So everything? Probably not, but I am doing Escape from Alcatraz this year. That kinda gets me nervous. Good job.

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  88. Wow, what an accomplishment! Congratulations, you are amazing!

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  89. Awesome....been following your posts for a few years...love your sense of humor re: farts...great job and way to go!!!

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  90. You are amazing!!
    I loved reading every second of your race recap! I'm so very happy for you!
    Thanks for sharing it all with us!

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  91. I just love you suar! You're so inspiring. Gotta go grab a tissue. :)

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  92. I ran my first marathon last weekend. It was terrifying but I am so happy I did it.

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  93. Wow! Congrats! I was there for my first this weekend too and it was an awesome day for us all. That's an amazing time, you rocked it! I have to say, as a reader I was super excited when you signed on for this journey too. I am upset with myself for not recognizing your family out there cheering with your name on their shirts until I saw these photos! I saw them multiple times on the bike and the run and they were amazing, so pass along my thanks to them as well for being out there and supporting all of the athletes, as their energy was contagious! Thank you for sharing your story with us all!

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  94. Let me pile on with everyone else. A-MAZ-ING. So proud of your accomplishment and inspired by your dedication and (as always) your attitude. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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  95. because I read your blog and get inspiration to run myself, and have followed your training and races I feel like I know you as well! I followed the IM & watched in Australia your crossing of the finishers line, I was yelling at the laptop 'she did it' & 'you are an Ironman!' like an idiot. Well done Beth you are an inspiration, x

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  96. So awesome, so so so awesome. You did great! I was doing ok until the paragraph about Sharpie being on the phone, I then cried through the rest of your post. So, thanks for that ;)

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  97. This is an awesome post! I cried while reading it. Congratulations!

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  98. You are an Ironwoman! Thank you, Beth, for sharing your race report. You are amazing and an inspiration.:-) Now off to face something that scares me, except a spider, those things are evil. Congrats again and don't ever stop believing or KNOWING you can do ANYTHING! Because YOU CAN!

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  99. Really amazed and happy for you! Congratulations.

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  100. You are so amazing Beth! You should be so so proud of yourself! I hope I can one day do an Ironman. Congrats Congrats Congrats!

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  101. Totally amazing and inspirational, well done! And thanks for that bit about the farting, at least now I know it's not just me!

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  102. Congratulations! That is incredible!! Each of those legs (swimming, biking, running) are hard enough on their own! You are totally badass!

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  103. Dear Beth!
    I'm writing from Austria/Europe.
    I love you and your blog, you are a wonderful person who inspires me so much.
    Congrats! Great, great job!
    The unknown is a thrill in its own way....I'll remember that!
    Gabrielle

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  104. You rock, Beth! Congratulations on a great race. YOU DID IT!

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  105. To be honest, I usually don't read running blogs where the writers are way better runners than me (which is not hard to do), but you are so relatable (in your farting and pooping and being a mom) and funny! I love what you wrote, "I suppose the Ironman is not simply a bucket list item. It is the opportunity to look at yourself differently and to know what you are truly capable of." Even when the day itself may be over and your loved ones start getting sick of hearing about it, the experience and the training changes you forever.

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    1. Exactly. Even when I finally stop talking about it, this accomplishment is something that I hold onto inside and will pull from often. And..thank you for reading!

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  106. Congratulations! I am so impressed and inspired. What an amazing accomplishment!

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  107. I don't know you and you don't know me but I have to say I am kind of sad to see this end I am sure you are also. I have loved following your training and stories! I always get into a deep funk after one of my marathons I can't imagine what it would feel like after an Ironman. My bucket list has always been running Boston. I kept missing the time by seconds or a minute and it became an obession with me. Finally last year I crushed it and got my BQ with 8 minutes to spare! Now as I look forward to Boston 2014 I am so excited but at the same time I will be weirdly really sad when it ends. I think you get what I mean. Congratulations and I am looking forward to your next running (or swim/bike) adventure! Are you changing the blog name to Shut up and swim, bike and run? Lisa

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  108. Laughing and crying along with the other readers! Thank you so much for sharing your training and race journey with us! So motivational (and entertaining!!!).

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  109. I LOVE IT - all things I experienced along the way (a few I forgot about, a few my mind probably blocked out to protect me). Great job and great recount of the day!!!

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  110. SO. COMPLETELY. AWESOME. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your journey!

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  111. Oh, and just for the record, as I read this in my office, I laughed out loud so hard I'm sure to be fired.

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  112. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    SO, SO PROUD of you BETH!!!

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  113. Congratulations. Following you on this journey has been a blast. You are incredibly inspirational. Thanks for sharing it all with us!

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  114. Wonderful recap- I felt I was right there with you. How does it feel to be back and not training for this? I am 60 and considering doing "something" that pushes me. You inspire me to reach farther than I ever have. I don't know what the something is yet. Seems you found yours. Thanks for all the emotions along the way.. So proud!

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  115. Simply wonderful. Thank you for sharing the journey. I also have this on my bucket list. I've got a long way to go.

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  116. You're such a bad ass! Huge congrats. I'm a new runner and watching your journey has made me strive. I also tend to think of you during races when I feel the need to crop dust. Sorry for that! :-)

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  117. You are not being self-indulgent--you are awesome!!! Congratulations on your amazing finish!

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  118. IMFL: IRON MAN FOR LIFE!!

    You are awesomely inspiring!

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  119. thank you SO much for sharing your journey with us!! I'm so happy for you and amazed at what you accomplished. I remember that feeling of "anything is possible" after finishing my half ironman... I wanted to take on the world after that. You just rekindled that feeling for me.

    So grateful!

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  120. Congratulations!!! Thank you so much for documenting everything so diligently (and hilariously). I was training for my first marathon and relied on your blog nearly every day to pump me up for the day's workout -- "SUAR just biked 10 million hours today, so you should run your 10 miles without complaining". My marathon (NYC) happened to fall on Nov 3, the day after IMFL, so the timing worked out perfectly. I had a great run and am so glad you had such an awesome Ironman! Congrats again!!

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  121. Wow, just wow. Thank you for sharing the journey with us and making us feel like we were a small part of your support group.

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  122. OMG you had me at mile 24, I was eating lunch and couldn't breathe cause I was crying so hard. What an accomplishment! You hearing the crowd, I'm sure you had goose bumps and the feeling of knowing you got this must of been something unexplainable. You are an inspiration to all. Thanks a bunch :)

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  123. There it is, bodily function. Worth the wait, and I'm glad your gas stayed gas! I too am crying like everyone else. Way to go.

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  124. You are probably much more of an inspiration than you even realize (I have a friend who is an Ironman and I know SHE doesn't think she's inspiration, but she is). Congratulations are meeting most of your goals (you DIDN'T puke, right?) and on being an Ironman. You're amazing. For some people, you might inspire them to get off the couch and run a mile. You helped inspire me to run a half marathon (so far). You have probably inspired at least one person to TRY the Ironman thing. That's amazing! WOOT!

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  125. Andddd I cried. I wanna climb into the computer and hug you and all of Team Risdon. Such a huge accomplishment, you SHOULD be incredibly proud of yourself.

    I am running 26.2 next Sunday and this was just the feel-good read I needed right now.

    GO SUAR!

    xx
    Jen

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  126. LOVE IT!!!! You are so inspirational...thank you for sharing your journey.

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  127. Congratulations and I love the 3 part story. I was hooked through all 3 and nearly cried at the end. In fact, I did choke up and almost lost it when I read your son's tweet. Congrats Beth. Well deserved. Awesome journey. PS: I am a puke-phobe too.

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  128. I totally teared up reading this! How exciting! I'm so glad that even though the run was tough, you kept it together like the rockstar you are and got it done. You are such an inspiration!

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  129. Congratulations! Love your blog..and now you got me thinking I need to do this someday....

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  130. This made me cry! So beautiful! The experience (minus the nausea and witnessing of others puking), the amazing finish, the gratitude - all of it. Just wonderful! Amazing! Inspiring! And totally loved the tweet from Sam! #badass is right!

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  131. We did in fact STALK you on race day. :) I bet SUAR wins a prize for having the most people tracking her in the FL Ironman. There were probably more people tracking you then the pros!! You ARE an IRONMAN! Yippee.

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  132. Congratulations. You inspire me, even if it is to keep doing nice short sprint triathlons.

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  133. So inspired!! Yes, I stalked you shamelessly on race day, but since I've been following you since you started training it didn't feel that crazy.

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  134. Like so many others, laughing and crying reading this. WOW. Congratulations!!!

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  135. You're the effing bomb. Amazing! 'Nuff said.

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  136. Wow! I got chills reading this...amazing and inspiring! Congratulations!

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  137. What an inspiration...I'm super happy for you, well done!!!!

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  138. Congratulations on your IM! I was looking forward to reading your recap after following your training these past few months, and it did not disappoint. I hope you are enjoying your well-earned rest and relaxation.

    BTW thanks for being so gracious when I randomly accosted you at the IMFL expo. You were so kind and it made me feel a lot less dorktastic than I had any right to feel.

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  139. Beth - You are amazing! I'm so impressed by your accomplishments! Thank you for sharing with me (and the rest of readers). I've been reading SUAR for a few years and this post is bringing me to tears with alternating laugh out loud moments. Congratulations and thanks again!

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  140. Huge congrats!!! You rock Beth!!! I knew you would do it, and so well! You know you inspire people, right? I'm thinking of starting with triathlons and I don't know if I will ever do a whole IM but reading your recap just makes me fantasize with it. And I thank you for that...!
    Have a nice recovery!!!

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  141. Amen Sistah! All so well said and Congratulations! What a huge accomplishment, but what is funny is I had no doubt you were going to finish this all and finish strong! I had so much fun following your progress, and getting the 3 day play by play! I almost feel like I am at the end of a good book & what will I do with myself tomorrow?? I guess you have to just do another one :)
    Time for you to celebrate with some well deserved wine and cheese popcorn!

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  142. So weird to see these comments. It sounds like you just discovered the cure for cancer or won the Nobel peace prize or something. It was swimming, biking and running. Cool if you raised $ for a cause, but other than that it doesn't really mean anything in the scheme of things. I have done many tris, marathons, ultras and long open water swims. Do I talk about it? no. Do I blog about it? no. Do people at work even know about it? no. Doesn't count.

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    1. I feel nothing but sadness for you Anonymous. What an empty life it must be only feeling worthy to celebrate or acknowledge events that happen once in lifetime if at all. I highly recommend you attend an IRONMAN event. If you still feel "it doesn't really mean anything in the scheme of things" I can only suggest you get to working on that cure for cancer. Quote from Nelson Henderson, "The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect ot sit."

      Go BETH! Thanks for sharing things that COUNT!

      YOUR BFF, Erika Sandsted

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    2. You didn't obviously read my post. I have completed two IMs and have volunteered at many events and have put on races for kids and coached. I have done a dozen marathons or longer. I swim from Alcatraz every year and do other long distance 2 mile open water swims. I have completed 6 70.3 races and countless 5, 10Ks and longer. It's fun. It's self-absorbed activity and if one thinks that's the greatest thing that you ever do in a lifetime then I feel sorry for those kind of people. My "trees" are non-verbal preschool kiddos with disabilities. I may never see them reach adult hood as many won't live that long, but I will be much prouder leaving that legacy than any stupid race I have completed. My "shade" are those kids that are now adults and seek me out to verbally thank me. You had better look up the word "counts" as in "importance"...

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  143. Congratulations! You are so inspiring. I actually had tears in my eyes when I got to the end of your post. What a huge accomplishment!

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  144. Proud to say I stalked you all day. Congrats Beth.

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  145. Congratulations from a stranger/fellow IMFL13 finisher who randomly came across your race report! Great report, great race.

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