I went to Ironman Arizona as a cheerleader last week. This was Heather's first IM, and Jon was also racing with his minions Gil, Jesus, Mike, and Franco. As an added bonus, my Ironbrother Rich and Arizona '09 racer Stephanie came out as volunteers.
I spent most of race day with Heather's mom and coworker Jen. Which was fun, but I have to say that Heather made the race kind of boring. We were phoning and texting updates back to L.A. all day long, and it was always the same thing:
"Heather is out of the water, grinning ear to ear"
"Lap 2 of the bike, all smiles"
"Starting 3rd run loop, still smiling"
Where was the drama? The pain and suffering? She hid it well.
Before I left Los Angeles, I asked Gerald if he had any ideas for making signs for Heather. He suggested "Aero bitch, aero!", which I guess was sort of a battle cry during their training. I thought it was a little offensive and completely inappropriate, especially since I was going to be spending the day with her mother. In other words, perfect. I found a picture of an angry Bolt (from Disney's movie) and made the sign. Gerald later told me he was only joking, but the damage was done.
Well I am proud to say the sign was a big hit. We had people laughing at it all day long and taking photos of it. And even though Heather was smiling all day already, I think she smiled a little wider when she saw it. Success.
I had a little more trouble with Jon's sign. I didn't make one for him at first, but then when I saw him the day before the race I thought "that evil man has been very good to me. He deserves a sign." Jon takes great pride in his heritage so I figured I would make him a flag. The flag of Denmark (don't jump ahead) is easy to make; it's a white cross on a red background. So the night before the race I drove to the nearby CVS and picked up some red and white posterboard.
When I got back to hotel I said to myself "Denmark? DENMARK?! Where did I get that from? Jon isn't from Denmark, he's from-". Total brain freeze. Sweden? Scandinavia? I had to phone IronmAnnie and ask where Jon was from.
Duh! Fortunately the Norwegian flag looks like a Denmark flag with an extra blue stripe. So I drove back out to CVS to pick up some blue posterboard. Even when we're not training, Jon causes me grief. But he finished in 10:42 and obviously my sign had something to do with it.
I ran into FORMER blogger IronMonica (hint hint) in the finishing bleachers and we cheered everyone in up until midnight. As we were leaving, she was telling her friends about my blog and pointed out my tattoo. Lesley (yes, I spelled it right) said "oh, you have a dolphin!" I snapped back at her "you just made the blog!" (My first dolphin indignity
For the record, again, it's a killer whale, the fiercest predator of the ocean! (and cute squeeky horn as well.)
I went to Ironman Arizona and Lake Placid before I did my own Ironman. Both times, I watched the runners turn into joggers, the joggers became walkers, and the walkers became staggerers. And I envied all of them. I envied their journey, both that day's 140.6 miles and the months of training that led up to it.
Well now I've done an Ironman. And this time when I saw the joggers, and walkers, and staggerers, my thoughts were "you poor bastards. What the hell were you thinking?"