T2 was quick - 4:33. I changed shirts, shorts, socks, and shoes. The volunteer who helped me was great. She made sure I had everything I needed and sent me on my way quickly. I headed out of transition running. I was wearing my Garmin and was happy to see I was holding a 9:33 pace. I saw Jarrett and smiled and waved. The first aid station was about a mile into the run, I grabbed water and ate some Honestingers. My stomach immediately started to bother me. I had to walk for fear of puking again. I knew that I was probably going to end up walking the marathon. My left knee had been bothering me for about two weeks and my left hamstring had been bothering me the entire year. I was being held together with Kineso tape (Spidertech is the shit. I highly recommend it.). I also had an odd pain on the top of my right foot. At this point I just came to terms with the fact I was going to enjoy a long walk with friends.
The run course was lovely. I watched the sunset over Lake Coeur d'Alene. I met a ton of interesting people. I enjoyed all of the aid stations along the course and danced with the drunk guys who were partying by the lake. I knew that I was going to finish but it was going to be 30 minutes slower then I wanted. About 6 miles in to the race I decided to try and eat something. I managed to keep downs chips and a cookie. After that, I was able to rotate between cookies and chips the rest of the race. Just a bite or two each mile. It was enough to keep me going. Starting the second lap of the run, I saw Jarrett. He walked with me for a few blocks and I told him about the bike and let him know that I was fine but the marathon was going to be walked and it was going to be slow. I also told him to get me macaroni and cheese for after the race. He was heading out to pick-up my bike and bags and would be waiting at the finish line. Jarrett was also keeping my family and friends back home updated on my progress via Facebook. At Mile 20 I thought about Sarah, a fellow triathlon blogger who attempted CdA last year. She dropped out at Mile 20. The last 6 miles were slow and sometimes lonely but I just kept smiling.
When I got to mile 25 the excitement started to build. You could hear the music from Sherman Avenue and Mike Riley announcing finishers names. A volunteer came up to me and said "One more turn and you are an Ironman!" I cried. I started to run and could hear the crowd screaming. The lights on Sherman came into view and the crowd was buzzing. I high fived my way down the finishers chute. Jarrett was there and I told him I loved him. I saw that I was going to finish in under 16 hours and just smiled as I crossed the finish line. Meaghan Meyer from Indianapolis Indiana - You are an Ironman!
Total Time: 15:57:24
My finish line catchers were great. I felt fine so I didn't really need any help. I just had them hold my stuff so I could get my finish line picture taken. I got my medal, finishers shirt and hat and headed out to find Jarrett. He met me at the fence and gave me a huge hug and kiss. I was hungry so I went and grabbed two pieces of cheese pizza and some water. We headed back to the hotel so I could get clean. I could not WAIT to take a shower. My feet were in pretty bad shape and my legs were sore, but overall I felt pretty good. Jarrett managed to convince the hotel to make me macaroni and cheese even though it was not a standard item on their room service menu. They brought me a huge hot plate of the best macaroni and cheese I've ever eaten. I had about half a plate and then I just crashed. Sleep was instant and deep. I woke up the next morning around 7:30 am and although a little stiff, overall I felt okay.
We stayed in Coeur d'Alene until Tuesday morning. Monday was just a nice relaxing day to enjoy the area and nap. The trip back on Tuesday was uneventful.
Overall I LOVED this race. The area, the atmosphere, the people - everything about it was a little magical. I can now officially call myself an Ironman. Jarrett asked me if I wanted to sign-up for next year. I'm still on the fence. I loved the race. It was hard but I had a great time. I am just not sure I want to commit...yet.
I want to thank all of my family and friends who put up with me over the last 28 weeks of training...especially Jarrett. He is my loudest cheerleader and biggest supporter. When I didn't think I could do it - he knew I could. Not only did he haul me all over the country to race this year, he also did all of my long training bike rides with me. Now that is commitment! I am looking forward to taking a few weeks off from serious training before I figure out what's next.