The finish of the race is never the end of the day. Believe it or not, I not only need to keep walking, but usually spend an hour or more at the finish area. Standing up. And, we walked almost a mile back to the hotel! I am so grateful that Ace and Sunshine were there as soon as I walked through the finish area to pick up my medal, my tee, my hat, my aluminum foil cape and get my picture. I'm pretty sure that Sunshine jumped the barrier before I crossed the line. I hugged her and kissed him and made my way out of the barricades. I got a hug from Boss and Yoga Spice and they took care of me - wrapped me in warm clothes, found me a port-a-potty and followed me to the food tent.
The finish of the race is never the end of the experience. Hours later I remember what the lake tasted like, what the sun felt like on my shoulders on the bike, what the dirt tasted like in my gum on the run, what the finish chute sounded like. Days later, I am content and satisfied and wearing my medal everywhere I go. Weeks later I am giddy and proud and amazed (at even myself). A month away, I will dream of the hills or the peace at the swim start and I will relive my favorite parts of the day. I still dream of biking in France and running across the line with my two best friends - one in 2013 and one in 2016.
I get lots of questions as I return from the MDOT bubble. Here are a few, plus the replies.
WHAT DID YOU FEEL LIKE AFTERWARDS? Immediately after this race, my right shin was sore and both of my lifters (my hip flexors) were tender. But, I have never felt stronger after a race. I will say that I was I was too uncomfortable to get a good night's rest. My quads were puffy and sore to touch and my neck and shoulders hurt. And I was sunburnt. And chafed by the zipper of my tri top down the front of my body. And mini Wrunder Woman had scratched a hole in my spine from my back pocket.
HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU BURN? AND WHAT DO YOU EAT ALL DAY? My Garmin showed that I burned 6000 calories that day. I was in an aerobic heart rate zone most of the day and was probably on target. Once the race started, I ate: seven GU or CLIFF gels [Caramel Macchiato, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter, Raspberry (which eaten together is a PB&J), Mocha, Vanilla and Root Beer), 400 calories worth of my Infinit Custom mix (named GUSTO GRAPE), three packs of CLIFF chomps (new Gingerale is AWESOME), two bananas, one packet of Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter, 1/4 cup of Cola Gummies, at least two Red Bulls and some cola.