One of my favorite quotes from the 2008 Ironman World Championships goes:
"Then you start wondering, as you might every year, what did that person sacrifice to do this?"
There are a lot of things I sacrificed but more importantly, there are a lot of people who sacrificed for me. I can never say thanks enough, but I'm going to give it a shot.
Coach: I initially was hiring Elizabeth with the intention of doing Ironman a few years ago, but I got too scared to even sign up so I hired her to coach me to a better marathon time. And she did--a 6 minute PR. When Dave and I visited her a year ago she saw me swim and said she would make me a triathlete. She knew how important doing an Ironman was to me. She pushed me (gently) and now here I am. Thank you for helping me to believe in myself and making me the athlete I've always wanted to be. (The picture is a joke. I HATED to ride my bike when I started this journey.)
Dave: I'm not going to lie, training for an Ironman is tough on a marriage. Last year when he trained alone we fought a lot. This year we have fought less but it's still been tough. Nothing gets done around the house. We spend no time together, besides working out. And to add more stress, we got a dog nine months ago. But, I have really enjoyed having someone to train with on occasion and someone to commiserate with. We are not going to know what to do with ourselves when all of this is over. :)
My Family: I feel like I've lost a year in the life of my nieces and nephews. We have tried our hardest to attend at least one of their baseball/softball games, wrestling matches, basketball games, etc. We try to attend family functions, often rearranging our workout schedules. My family has been really accommodating in putting up with our training and realizing that we're just not that available. I'm looking forward to seeing them on the course this weekend. My mom had surgery on both her knees just a few weeks ago and will be on the course. My sister and I have had a rocky relationship our entire lives and she'll be there this weekend. I can't say it to her face, but it means A LOT to me that she'll be there. Thanks for putting up with me. :)
My Friends: My friends didn't really understand me with the whole "running thing." They really don't get me with Ironman. I haven't seen my "real life" friends in a year. It's a goal of mine after the race to get my friends back. Expect the phone calls soon. To all my real and virtual friends, thanks for supporting me. Your comments and encouragement mean the world to me.
My Clients: Had I known how quickly and successfully my business was going to grow, doing an Ironman this year may not have been a good idea. Many of my clients have no idea that I'm doing an Ironman. That's a good thing, I think; means I'm doing my job right. For all my clients, thanks for being patient with me. Thank you for leaving messages and emails and allowing me to get back to you on my time. I'm looking forward to seeing how the business grows without the stress of Ironman.
And to all of those who don't fall into those categories, thank you, thank you, thank you for putting up with me. I know I'm sick of talking about Ironman and I'm sure you're sick of hearing about it. Thank you for your patience, kindness, and encouragement. Thank you for sacrificing with me.