After handing off my bike to a volunteer, I took my bike shoes off and ran through the transition area toward the tent. My legs felt so heavy, and I was worried. Thankfully, it seemed like the rain was going to let up a bit.
When I got into the changing area, I put my run stuff on quickly and then walked out toward the run course. I had no idea how the rest of the day was going to go, but I was determined to try.
Heading out of transition
Mike's parents did cheer me on as I left for the run, and then as I was walking/running away I heard my mom and dad cheer for me. They almost missed me, because of where they had been on the bike course and how fast I was in transition, but I turned around and waved to them.
I started running and as I turned I saw our friend, Andy. He cheered me on and I started to utilize ultra running strategies. I knew I was going to walk up the majority of the hills, but I tried to keep running as much as possible. My brother and sister-in-law cheered me on as I started the rest of the run, and I tried to stay positive. I knew it was going to hurt, but as long as I could walk I would make it.
The run course is a big out and back with a small out and back and a slight diversion from it on the way back. I was just focusing on walking up the hills as fast as possible and then utilizing the downhills and flats. Eventually someone tapped me on the shoulder, and it was our friend Ricky! He was on his second loop (I was jealous) and we talked a bit before he got ahead of me. He did use a port-a-potty so I got ahead, but then he passed me again.
I also saw, on the way back, another person from Rochester who we had met at the athlete meeting on Friday. We high-fived and I kept going.
The bike path portion of the race was a bit congested for me, and I kept looking for Mike (I must have missed him while he was either on the small out and back or the deviation from the out part of the course). I was holding decent enough paces, considering how shot my legs were from the bike and lack of training, and I just kept giving myself goals to reach.
Mike heading out for his second loop
Right before the turn around on the out and back, Ricky passed by me again! He must have used another port-a-potty and I passed him. He made his way through the turn and I made sure he was alright, which he said he was and told him to go finish it (he did great!)
As I made my way along the bike path, I reached the one aid station before the small out and back. That's when I saw Mike! We high-fived, I told him this was hard and then he yelled at me before I walked away and he continued on to finish up his second loop. He signed "I love you" to me and I signed it back, and then we went our separate ways. I hoped he would finish up strong, he did look a little pale to me (and he said later he felt great the first 10 miles and then it was a little bit rough).
I enjoyed the small out and back because it was on a dirt path and then I started to go back on the main out and back. I also liked the small deviation from the main course because it was almost all downhill, and at this point I could still run the downhills.
Running by my mom and dad back toward the ski village
As I made my way back to the ski village, I saw my brother and Hanna. I was walking, and my brother told Hanna to keep up with an Ironman walking pace, ha (I guess I was walking faster than she was)! He then told me that my mom and dad were a bit further up, and I said I guess I should start running. I ran by my mom and dad while they cheered me on and then I got to the hills again.
As I walked/ran up the hill, a spectator said something to me in French. I said, "maybe, English only". I had been mostly smiling whether people were cheering in French or English. I got closer to special needs (which I bypassed) and then I ran through the ski village.
This experience was amazing. I was able to pick up my pace because of all of the people cheering, but unfortunately I had to go right for my second loop rather than left for the finish.
I saw my mom and dad and brother and sister-in-law again and kept going. I was definitely walking a lot more the second loop, but I was just focused on getting it done. I told my dad that even if I had to walk until midnight that I was going to finish.
I was hoping that I would see Mike again, but I didn't. We must have missed each other while he was doing the small out and back or the deviation. I hoped he would finish, and just focused on my own race.
I was really hoping for a faster marathon time, but my legs and hips were shot. I had to walk a lot more and kept negotiating with myself for how long I would run. Sometimes it was only for a tenth of a mile, but it was better than nothing.
After I made the turn on the main out and back, it was starting to get dark. Luckily, there were some lights set up on the bike path but it was really dark in some spots. One time another participant going out asked me something, but in French. I said, "English only" and she must not have known English because she kept going. I felt bad!
I made it to the one aid station before the small out and back, and knew I didn't have much longer to go. I had already been counting down the kilometers. The small out and back was a nice break from pavement, but it was really dark!
I'm pretty sure I saw the final participant out on the course, since he had a cyclist with him. One other guy, still heading out, looked at his watch and said, "only 3 hours left"! I was getting tired and was a little out of it, but I knew I would finish.
The small deviation from the course hurt more this time because of the downhill, but I got it done. I didn't have much further to go and I just tried to run as much as possible.
As I made my way up those final hills toward the special needs area, I made the turn toward the ski village. As I walked a little bit, my brother and Hanna were there! They told me I was so close and where my mom and dad were along the finish line (although I still missed seeing them) and that they didn't know where Mike was. I must have looked concerned because my brother said, "oh no he finished, we just don't know where near the finish line he is!"
I started running, and they started running toward the finish, and then everyone was cheering for me. I high-fived so many people it was crazy.
As I neared the finish, I tried to find my mom and dad but I missed them. I did see Mike and we high-fived. As I neared the finish line I heard Mike Reilly. He was saying, "and here is Jamie, from Rochester, New York. You ARE an IRONMAN!"
Ironmen x 2!
After all the adversity, the struggles, the doubts, I was a two-time Ironman.
It may not have been faster than the first time, but finishing was just as sweet.
I know we have more Ironman races in our future, and I am so thankful that I get to do this with my training partner in life and triathlon, Mike. I am so thankful for my family for coming to cheer us on and being there for us while we do this crazy thing we love. And for my friends, near and far, who support us no matter what, I couldn't ask for better people in my life! You are my friends who have become my family.
Ironman Mont Tremblant, you were good to us!
Run Leg (26.2 Miles) - Jamie: 5:40:27, Mike: 5:33:23
Finishing Times - Jamie: 14:41:19, Mike: 13:20:21