A lot of people have asked what I did to celebrate after finishing. Late dinner? Clubbing? Celebratory drink? Heck no!
When I crossed that finish line almost every single part of my body hurt. All I could think about was plopping my tired body in an ice-bath in the hopes that an ice-bath would somehow prevent the pain that would come the day after.
As I crossed the finish line a doctor asked me if I wanted to sit down. I think the thought of being able to sit and relax made my head spin because I began to stumble. He grabbed my arm (my friend actually caught this on camera) and directed me toward a seat. I put it bluntly:
“Look doc, if I park myself in that seat I won’t be able to get up…I’ll walk around.” He suggested I eat some food and relax.
I managed to eat a little and very very slowly made my way toward the parking lot. Thank Oprah for my two friends who ensured I didn’t tip over from not having any balance along the way.
It was weird, I was perfectly capable of carrying a conversation but then all of a sudden one of my legs would give out! The feeling was like that of when someone pulls the chair out from underneath you. Completely unexpected! One minute I’m talking about how I’d prefer a slice of pizza over cookies and the next my right leg buckles!
Back to my friends. Thank Jesus they were there. I literally posted up against a car in the lot (exactly as you would if you wanted to post up at a party) and graciously waited for them to gather that god forsaken bike (that will remain nameless, thank you very much), and random bags here and there. I would have probably left it all there (not expecting to ever see my belongings again) and hitched a ride home, but again I am ever in their debt for being there.
I borrowed one of their phones to call family and friends and I’d like to share the conversation with my dad. Granted it was midnight on a Saturday night (not that I expected him to be painting the town red) but here it went:
Me: Hey Pop! I finished
Dad: Big deal, I knew you would. How long it take you?
Me (with excitement): 15 hours 30 minutes!
Me (again with excitement): I know! 30 minutes ahead of the deadline (remember the challenge centered around the 16 hour mark)
Dad: What took you so long?
Me (sarcastically now): Oh well you know, spending 8 hours and 30 minutes on a bike probably had something to do with it.
Dad: You never knew how to bike properly. Talk to you tomorrow.
Click. <<call ended.>>
thanks dad. good bye to you too, jerk.
Anyway, I did take an ice-bath that one fateful night (or that one fateful morning) since by the time we got back to the hotel it was well over midnight. I wobbled my way into bed that night at around 2am. I popped some advil, shut my eyes and hoped to wake up around 10. My legs were throbbing, my lower back aching, my feet bleeding, and my palms had ballooned to the size of golf balls. My legs were throbbing – expanding then contracting, expanding then contracting, acting out that sound of a poor radio signal when you are looking for a frequency on an old time radio.
Well I was certainly disappointed when my eyes saw the clock read: 6:05am. I slept for four hours. Awesome.
At 6:30 I rolled out of bed, literally. I had slept (if you call 4 hours sleeping) on my back and I physically had to lift my legs to a tuck position using my arms in order to get on my stomach. Once there, again using my arms I lifted myself out of bed and onto my feet. Only with great pain could I walk but I filled a bath with Epsom salt and tried to soak the pain away.
30 minutes later I limped to breakfast. I knew I only had one chance to get everything I needed – since once I sat down to eat it would be extremely difficult to go for seconds. My friends still asleep, I stuffed my face before heading back to bed to lay down.
Everything was a process now and a 50 yard walk took me 5 minutes. Sitting down in a chair took 30 seconds, getting up took about 45. Getting in a position to lay down took almost a full minute. Getting up from that position took almost 2. When I say it was miserable, it was miserable. I mentally prepared for the race but I wasn’t ready for this!
Up next, the pool.