Last August, in case you don’t recall, the huzband had an all of a sudden trip to the emergency room. He ended up having his appendix and some of his guts removed. (You can read about it here.) The same weekend as his surgery, he was supposed to compete in his very first half ironman. Obviously that didn’t happen and the road to recovery began. Thankfully the huzband recovered well, largely in part to his really good health. Now we find the huzband smack dab in the middle of his training for the Lake Placid Ironman (yah, the WHOLE ironman) having never really done a half. So it was decided that he would ‘compete’ on his own and this past Saturday he completed the whole distance. We used this time to invite friends to come cheer him on as well as have one last goodbye as we leave for Alaska on TUESDAY!! (Yah, that’s a whole other post!)
the swim :: 1.2 miles
The swim portion took place at Eisenhower Park Aquatic Center. There was a swim meet that morning so the place was packed! We got there early in case the huzband had to wait for a lane. Instead, he quickly found a lane and had to wait for the clock to strike 8 am – the start of his half Ironman.
a little pre swim instagramming
and he’s off :: a very different kind of start to your typical triathlon release of the sardines
watching daddy swim….for about 20 seconds
not your typical transition area, the back of your car
the bike :: 56 miles
Oh good lord, just typing 56 miles makes my legs shake. In retrospect, the huzband and I realized he chose a pretty difficult bike course. There wasn’t much flat in his path, just plenty of hills. He rode along the north shore (of Long Island) finishing the 56 miles with a few loops at Old Westbury College.
I found him along the loop at OW and could tell by his grimace that he was in pain. He mentioned to me later that towards the end of his bike, his legs were so tired and in pain, that he was ready to just quite and get off the bike. He felt like he was done. He wanted no more. He also mentioned to me later that not only were his legs in pain and tired, but it was lonely out there. When in an official race, there will be pockets of spectators and other riders all along the way. Majority of the time Saturday he was by himself. He was thankful whenever I showed up out of the blue!! Yah, I do bring sunshine with me wherever I go!! (ha ha)
part of the loop at Old Westbury College
there’s that grimace
the run :: 13.1 miles
When the huzband came in to transition from bike to run (once again, back of the car in a parking lot), I asked him how he was feeling. He replied his legs were shot. Not a feeling you want to have when about to embark on a half marathon. However, around mile 2, his legs got their energy back and he was good to go the rest of the way. He stopped mid run to say hello to everyone who had showed up and then continued on his way. He finished strong.
I am proud of the huzband, his dedication and hard work. When he felt like he couldn’t go anymore, he dug deep and pushed on. It is hard to persevere when facing pain and it takes a lot of energy and guts to keep going. Between the hilly bike course and the lonely road, the huzband faced some unexpected challenges. However I think they were challenges that will help prepare him for the full Ironman in July. It was a reminder of how important his training is, areas he can work on, nutrition he can tweak and just a taste of the mental focus it will require to cross that finish line. The huzband has 15 weeks left till Ironman Lake Placed!!!
the huzband’s unofficial official half Ironman medal : a mustache!!
Later as the huzband and I were recapping the day, I pointed out how we had friends show up from so many different periods of our life. Friends that used to be in our youth group, friends from our old church HSCC, friends from our church home now, friends from my days at Starbucks, friends through Team World Vision, friends Juan has had from the early days of when he first came to the U.S. and more. How beautiful it is to see your friendships that cross different aspects of life all come together. We are both so thankful for everyone that showed up to cheer him on and say goodbye!! We are also thankful for all the encouraging words near and far. I know there were so many more people with the huzband Saturday then could physically make it!! To each and every one of you, thank you for your love, encouragement and support.
It was a beautiful afternoon to celebrate all the huzband’s hard work, but more selfishly, it was an afternoon to spend just a few more moments with the people whom we cherish so dearly! All the goodbyes have not fully sunk in yet. I know there will be a moment where it will all hit me like a ton of bricks. However, I am so thankful for my heart is so full of love for each and every one of you!