When I told a friend recently that I had 17 hours to complete a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run-he informed me he didn't even want to do something PLEASURABLE for 17 hours..let alone swimming biking and running.
But in some twisted way, this is a pleasurable thing for me. As I ran this weekend in my neighborhood, I went by landmarks of my life. At mile 1.5 is the first house Steve and I owned as newlyweds. It is now expanded and beautiful and the people that own it know that I run by it all the time just to see it. They wave and smile. They think I'm crazy too!
I then run around Dartmouth Park where our old home faces. Its a beautiful little park where Steve and I use to walk three times around to do a mile. I remember those walks because they hurt so much. Just walking at over 325lbs was painful. Doing a mile was agony. Now I run..and I usually pick up speed here..just to prove I can.
Then its down to Lake Silver Elementary where I went to 1st grade. I attended a private school from 2nd grade to 12 grade that my father help start here in Orlando but Lake Silver was where it all started and it still looks like a very cool place to learn.
Then its down to Par Avenue where the old Daniel's Supermarket use to be. Its a Walgreens Drug Store now but I can still smell fresh baked bread as I run past that building as if the bakery was still in that store.
Then at mile 6 its Florida Hospital where I almost lost my battle to live. After my gastric bypass revision surgery that help correct the errors in my 1st surgery (it was a clinical trial in the beginning..they did the best they can), the doctors and nurses at Florida Hospital brought me back from a heart attack, potassium poisoning, and dehydration.
And then at mile 10 I pass my high school where no one would ever believe that the "fat girl" in class who did play volleyball well would ever survive an Ironman. I run the track every time I go by the school just to celebrate the fact that I CAN .. Even in high school at 230lbs, I wasn't able to run around the track in P.E.
So, even with the miles I HATE and the hours invested that I could be shopping or just hanging out with my friends, I celebrate. Right now is my Ironman...not November 1st. November 1st is just the victory lap. For now, I need to celebrate the fact that I have come so far. From barely being able to walk around the local mall to traveling 140.6 miles in 17 hours....that's a long journey. You gotta look up, look around and say : WOW!