Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ironman Texas 2015 Race Report: The Finish

You hear it long before you see it.

The cheers are unmistakable. The music is pumping. And if you listen really closely, every little while you can hear the faint sound of those coveted words: "You are an Ironman!"

The finish line.

It had been a long journey to get here. Not just on this day, in which I'd just swam, biked, run, and powered my own body through 140.6 miles. No, the journey started months before with a dream and a commitment (and an expensive click of the mouse). Thirty weeks of hard work, of sacrifice, of frustrations, of triumphs, of growth. Thirty weeks of juggling being a mommy with supporting Matt's training with fitting in my own workouts. Thirty weeks of learning to swim, of becoming a cyclist, of improving as a runner. Thirty weeks of picturing this finisher's chute, of longing to have those words said to ME.

64 hours of swimming, 158 hours of cycling, and 109 hours of running -- all for these few seconds. All for this finish line.

It was here. It was now. It was real.

You couldn't dim that smile on my face if you tried. The happiest tears came to my eyes when I saw my mom standing with my babies at the beginning of the finisher's chute. I tried to take it all in, and after a long, hard day, suddenly wished I could slow time down to sufficiently ingrain this experience in my memory forever.

There really isn't a way to adequately describe what that Ironman finish line feels like from the red carpet. All the literal blood, sweat, and tears required to get to this place, and all the emotions wrapped up inside every aspect of that training, all coming together and validated by these few ticks of the clock... The deeply-rooted sense of fulfillment and overwhelming joy that comes from working for something so hard and finally seeing it pay off all at once...

There is nothing like it.

It is the happiest blur, but the video tells me there were high fives, a celebratory fist pump, an almost-crying hand over the mouth, and the highest-wattage smile you could imagine.

And there were those words:

"Ashley Davis ... You are an IRONMAN!!!"

Official chip time: 12:54:05. Goal: sub-13!

A cool shot my brother took early in the day. You approach from the right, then turn right and make a U-turn toward the finish line. It's fun because it makes that finisher's chute feeling last that much longer!
Finish line in my eyes!
I spotted this sweet boy with down syndrome so I detoured for one last high-five. :)