Kelly the Culinarian: What No One Tells You About Your First Ironman

Friday, September 26, 2014

What No One Tells You About Your First Ironman

It's been a stretch since I crossed the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin, my first 140.6-mile journey. I've been obsessing over this race for years. Thinking about it in quiet moments, pivoting my life around training for this seemingly impossible feat. I still can't believe I did it.

In honor of **finally** cutting the bracelet off my wrist, I thought I'd gather the facts that surprised me about my first journey to the Ironman finish.

Nakedness. I am not an overly modest person. I rock a bikini, run in a sports bra, blog about my IUD and post half-naked selfies. But. Even I was surprised with the blatant and abundant nudity in T1 and T2. Volunteers dump out your stuff, help you out of your clothes and get your dressed again, fast. But it's so much naked.

Aid station buffets. I've never seen aid stations as well-stocked as on the Ironman run. Someone said they were catered aid stations and I truly understood that on the course. At every station, there was: water, Perform, Bonk Breaker bars, chews, chomps, GU, oranges, bananas, cookies, chips, pretzel and flat coke. And I might be forgetting something.

Silly support. There are so many witty signs on the course, along with hilariously attired spectators. Drag queens, speedos, superheros, they're all out there. A lot of the signs were too inappropriate to share, but believe me, they helped.

M-dot obsession. I now own two finisher's jackets (thanks mom!), a pint glass, two hats, a backpack and a trailer hitch, all with the Ironman logo. Without the paraphernalia, how will anyone ever ask me about my Ironman?

Announcement. There is nothing more exhilarating than hearing Mike Reilly say "You Are An Ironman." Watch the videos on YouTube and you'll know what I mean. Don't be bummed when your name is announced wrong. You're still an Ironman.

Blues. I have post-race depression, no doubt. It's not a "I can't get out of bed thing" but more of a nagging "what do I do now" sensation. Don't get my wrong, I'm THRILLED that I was able to finish. But now my schedule is far more open and I wonder what the hell normal people do at 5 a.m. (I'm guessing it isn't bike on a trainer in the garage while watching trashy TV on Amazon prime .... )

Addiction. Once is not enough. Not nearly enough. I want to do all the Ironmans now. I lost an hour of time because of technical errors. I will do the Ironman and I will rock it. I won't be able to afford to do this again anytime soon, but one day, I'll be back. And I'll be awesome.


Unknown said...

I can't imagine what it must be like to be that naked in front of strangers, but I suppose since everyone's doing it it's no big deal. I'm sorry you've got the post-race blues! Hope you start to feel better soon!

Unknown said...

I read about your accomplishment... and loved it! Sorry I didn't comment!

What an amazing thing! You are awesome!

I run a marathon next week and already feel the 'what do I do with all this extra time' feeling! So excited to just run 10 miles tomorrow!

Unknown said...

The nakedness was way worse as a volunteer compared to racing. I was so focused on my own changing though so that made a difference.

You forgot the best part of the buffet on the run: CHICKEN BROTH! Seriously I still think about that sometimes. I can't even describe how amazing it tasted.

Kristina said...

Great reflections - I think that I apologized about 10 times for my naked state! And right with you re: the blues. I don't think that I had a TERRIBLE case, but I definitely felt them!
Good luck as you think about what's next.