June 21, 2009. Ironman Coeur d’Alene Race Day. The race starts at 7am; a mass swim start. 2,000 athletes fight to get ahead. I start my watch, enter the 65 degree water and start swimming. The waves in the lake toss me around for 90 minutes as I swim into people. They swim into me, too. I think about all the lakes and oceans I have swam in throughout my life and the time just goes by.
I just keep breathing for 2.4 miles.
In transition two people strip my wet suit and point me to the tent where another volunteer puts on my socks and bike shoes. I put on my bike jersey and helmet. Another volunteer puts sun block on my legs, arms, and face. I walk to my bike and to the start; I just spin and follow my nutrition plan: drink every 15 minutes, wiggle tows every 20 minutes, eat every 30 minutes, stand up every 40 minutes. I think about all the road I’ve ridden my bike on in the towns I’ve lived in: Rye, New Hampshire, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and Granby, Colorado.
I just keep spinning and eating and drinking for 112 miles.
Back in the transition area, a volunteer takes my bike and I walk into the tent to get my run gear. I put on my visor and long sleeve shirt and I’m off to the run. I see my support team: Mom and Dad – I smile and wave; I feel amazing. The rain starts and it’s okay, I’ve trained in wind, rain, snow, and cold. I think about my training runs in the mountains and when I used to run by the ocean when I lived in New Hamsphire. I think about the finish and how happy I am that my parents came to Idaho to be with me.
I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, eating and drinking for 26.2 miles.
I look at my watch; I have been doing this for 13 hours and I am two miles away from the finish. A volunteer says, “Congrats you are soon to be an Ironman”. I smile and run towards the cheering crowd. I see the finish line. I pass over the finish line with the announcement to the crowd, “Kristen Lodge, You are Ironman”. He could have been saying, “Kristen Lodge, you can do anything”. I see my mom run to me and she hugs me for a very long time.
I am Ironman. I believe that I can do anything.
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