Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jasen's Ironman Recap!

Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life! Therefore, this may be the longest post in my life! 

 We woke up at 4:15am and left the house by 5. Once we got down to Tempe Town Lake, I had to go volunteer "Body Marking" and Jasen went to drop off his bags and get ready.

In order to guarantee entry into next years Ironman race, I had to volunteer at the this years event.
When I signed up for 5am shift of "Body Marking", I didn't really think much of it (I mean how hard is it to write a number a someones arms and legs with a sharpie?!) Let me just say, I don't think I will be doing body marking again...

Everything started out fine, I waved my sharpie in the air and waited for athletes to come over and tell me their number. I wrote their number on both arms and  their age on their left calf. (For some strange reason, instead of pulling up their left pant leg, most men would just drop their sweat pants down to the ground? Is this normal?!) And if I had a dollar for every time someone would make a joke about "I don't typically drop my pants this fast..." or "I can't believe I'm dropping my pants for someone I barely know..." I'd probably have about 50 bucks!

So there I was, marking bodies, pretending to laugh at the 'pant-dropping' jokes- when an older athlete, with a really thick accent came over and asked me to mark him. He had a really bad runny nose (like it was running down his chin) and was only wearing shorts. I quickly marked him and moved on to the next. (Business was picking up since it was getting closer to the start time and more athletes were arriving) I was able to mark Jasen and chatted with him in between marking athletes. Next thing I know, the guy with the runny nose and accent is back with an industrial size tub of Vaseline...?! His accent was thick all I could make out was him shoving the tub at me saying "Do my back?" 

I about died. I looked over a Jasen, but he was trying not to laugh and avoided making eye contact with me. I was a VOL-UN-TEER, so I couldn't really say no, could I? So, there I am rubbing Vaseline all over Mr. Runny Nose with no glove or anything. (Did I mention I won't be doing body marking again?!) 

Shortly after I was done with the Vaseline, it was getting REALLY close to the start time. I had to make a mad-dash to the truck to get my camera and then come back and find Jasen (in a sea of 2,000 athletes all in black wet suits with the same colored caps on!) We had just enough time to take a couple pictures and I gave him one last kiss before he made his way to the water.

I know I look weird, I had the car keys, my phone, and my (Vaseline-covered) Sharpie all in my jacket pocket

Then I made my way through the ridiculous crowd to try and get a couple pictures of the swim start. I knew I wasn't going to see much (and I sure-as-heck wasn't going to spot Jasen out there) so I left and waited where the athletes would exit the water. Since it's a 2.4 mile swim, I had plenty of time to eat the bagel I brought and hear the entire life story of the lady next to me.

This is the crazy swim start, also known as "The Washing Machine"

I knew about what time Jasen was going to be finishing the swim, and I was ready. I saw him and started screaming and taking a million pictures. I was screaming "GO BABE! GO JASEN!" so loud, I was sure everyone there could hear me, and Jasen was literally a foot in front of me and never saw me or heard me- even though I was jumping up and down, ringing a cow bell, and screaming my lungs out.
Can you believe he didn't see me?!
Once he passed me, I rushed over to the bike exit and waited for him to change and grab his bike. I was able to climb onto a semi-truck's bumper and get some pictures of him running out. This time Jasen actually heard me screaming and waved!! :)

Since the bike portion is 112 miles I knew I had some time to kill. Luckily for the spectators, they do three 38 mile loops, so you are able to sit in the same spot for 6 hours and see them quite a few times. Luckily for me, I have the most amazing friends, and one of them came down with her daughter to hang out with me. We walked  a part of the run course so I could write more "GO JASENS!!" along the way. I am so grateful they were able to come for a couple hours, it really helped the time go by. 

Shortly after they left, I found a spot along the bike course and ate the lunch I brought. Not long after I finished Jasen came flying by on his bike. I rang my cowbell SO hard and screamed at the top of my lungs! Once again, he saw me and smiled and waved. 

I saw him again, on the second loop, and then made my way to meet another friend and find a spot along the run course. Again, luckily for the spectators, the 26.2 mile run course was three 8.5 mile loops around Tempe Town Lake. We were lucky enough to find a pretty open spot right next to the a bridge that crossed the lake. That meant we got to see him run by, then we would walk across the bridge and see him run by again on the same loop.

Still looking awesome after 100-something miles....
Since it was getting closer to him finishing, a couple more of our friends showed up to cheer him on and watch him finish. 

Ironman races, have the best website that allow you to track your athletes along the course and see where they are. For the run portion, there was a check point every 1.8 miles. Once he passed us for the last time we made our way to the finish line and got a pretty good spot right at the last corner before the finish line.
Happy to see his friends
At this point I was checking the tracker website every 2 minutes. It said he was still at mile 22. I kept checking it and it still said mile 22?! I was getting worried after it had been over 20 minutes and it still said mile 22. I checked it again, for the millionth time in the same minute, and it jumped to him passing the 26 mile mark! I kept yelling "He's coming! he's coming!" to all of our friends there and got the camera ready. 

A couple minutes later he turned the corner and came down the final stretch and crossed the finish line. He finished in just under 13 hours. I got a video of him running by us, lucky for YOU, everyone else is screaming like crazy so you can't really distinguish which crazy-scream is mine. ;) Once he passed us we all rushed over to the finish line to find him and congratulate him. 

I was BEYOND excited to finally see him, and the second I finally saw him coming out I ran through the crowd to gave him the biggest hug. I was so incredibly proud of him and amazed at what he had just accomplished. 
We hung out with our friends for a little bit, had to get all of Jasen's stuff together, and then went and got some food. When we finally got home at about 10pm, I was so tired. I went straight to bed, since I knew we would be waking up at 5am the next morning (more on that in the next post...) but Jasen was still so pumped I think he stayed up all night? Once he finally did lay down, it was 5am and  time to wake up again!

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