Crossing the finish line was one of those moments I'll remember forever. I'll remember how I felt, the voice of the announcer and the lady chasing me down to grab my chip....and me telling her to hold on because I didn't want to stop and vom on her! It was a hell of an experience! But even more satisfying was walking down to the beach to find Alivia and Brian. I had my medal and hat in one hand and some water in the other. Every part of my body hurt and I just wanted to sit down but I knew that if I did I wouldn't get back up. I looked for the balloons, because I forgot to grab them for transition but B and Liv said they would bring them to the beach so I could find them. There ahead of me was my sparkly purple balloon. I saw Alivia get up and run towards me. It took everything in me to yell out, "No no! Don't touch me, I'm disgusting!" She looked confused but smiled none the less and I made a B-Line for the lake...where I promptly sat my sweaty self down in and just basked in all of the glory of being half of an ironman. Brian came and sat by me, and I started to take them through my 70.3 miles. It felt really good to have them there with me, knowing that they had spent the whole weekend there with me, for me, meant the world to me.
I went for a quick swim in the lake just to rinse off completely before we made our way back to the car. Actually, Brian being the gentleman he was walked to go get the car, while Alivia and I went to go retrieve my stuff out of transition. It was funny seeing everyone clearing out there stuff. With nearly nothing left, I looked at the faces of all the proud finishers, it was a great day.
Alivia and I made our way up and out of the race area, waiting for Brian to pack everything. Did I mention how amazing my friends were? I mean on top of everything else they also managed to pack up all of my stuff out of the hotel room and even put together a recovery drink for me...I was so spoiled! So we began the drive back to Chicago, I was curled up in my spandex and a hoody returning all of the calls/texts I had gotten.
We probably hadn't made it even 15 miles before my bladder was about to explode. So we pulled off into a gas station. As I got out of the car half of the beach we were on fell out. Whoops! Two hours later I found myself back at my dads house, showering, ordering pizza and throwing all of my reeking clothes in the laundry before passing out for a long nights rest. And the thought of how I can't wait to do it again next year!