What an experience of a life time!  I’ll never forget it.  The best part of the day was seeing the finish line.  Thousands of people were cheering for you and little kids held out their hands to high five you as you went by.  As I crossed the line the announcer said “JoDee Peterson first time finisher, you are an Ironman”.  They held out the tape so it was like I had won the race.  It was really awesome!  We took our trailer over and stayed at an RV park just across the river from the race finish and you could hear the announcer say you are an Ironman all night long. 

 

The worst part of the day was leaving the trailer.  The nerves set in and I knew it was a matter of time I would be in the cold water with 2,000 others.  I lined up in the back on the far right hand side.  It wasn’t too bad of a start but as you got close to the first turn it was crazy.  Something I had never experienced before.  It reminded me of the titanic with arms and legs flying all around you.  I tried to keep calm and stay as wide as possible.  It was like they were sucking you in.  The second loop I thought I was going to freeze to death.  I had thoughts of not finishing.  My left hand and feet started to go numb.  I decide to count my stokes and focus on form and some how made it through.  As you got out of the water they had wetsuit pullers to help you get out of your wetsuit.  Wow that was amazing and fast!  The changing tents had heaters in them and hot tubs were just outside the men’s tent.  It took me awhile to warm up and I put on every stitch of clothing I had with me for the bike ride.  As soon as I was ready to head out of the tent the sun came out!  J 

 

The bike ride went well.  I kept my heart rate at the low end of where I was supposed to be and let everyone pass me and just tried to keep an easy pace.  I ate gels every 30 min like I was supposed to and drank plenty of fluids.  Mater of fact I drank so much I had to stop and pee 7 times while I was on the bike.  Guess I win the award for staying hydrated!  The last 10 miles into town we had a strong head wind and I was feeling wonderful.  I picked up the pace and found myself passing others all the way in.  I new I was ready for the run.  The first half of the run I felt really good.  I ate gels every 20 – 30 min and drank water at every aid station.  At mile 6 I felt like I was getting a blister so I stopped at the medic tent to get some band aids.  Time was ticking away but I knew if I didn’t take 5 min it could cost me a lot more later on.  I kept my heart rate between 137 and 140 and things were going well.  Half way through the run I was surprised to see my time and I thought I was going to finish under 13 hrs.  Everything was going as planned.  I was worried about mile 18 and how I would feel.  Finally I got there and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  I was still running but seamed to take more time at the aid stations.  I knew at this point I was going to finish.  I tried to break up the run.  It was only 3 miles out to the turn around then 3 miles back and then just 2 to the finish.  The last five miles were really slow.  But the crowds of people were everywhere.  Parties, bands, loud music, lots of encouragement all through out the race.  I kept going and ran the entire run.  I’m still in shock that I ran a marathon after all that. 

 

That night I couldn’t sleep that long.  I woke up at 4:30 and asked Tucker if he was awake.  He said no not really… so I let him sleep another 30 min then said “can we get up and eat breakfast?”  What a trooper he is.  No complaining ever.  Couldn’t ask for a better support person then him.  He was there for me all day long and though out all my training.  He even said I can do it again next year! 

 

Oh and my coach Rod, I'd like to thank him too.  I know I couldn't have done it without his expert advice and training program.  At the time I didn't think I was ready but the results show I was...

 

There were 72 in my age division and 2,000 over all?  Trace said I moved up like 400 spots on the run!  I do remember passing people all along the run but you never knew if they were on their first lap or second lap.  What fun!