A HUGE congratulations to AOY athlete Deb Blair for completing her very first Ironman at Ironman Texas this year! Deb YOU are so awesome.
“I am already looking at which race I can sign up for next year. I finished in 15 hr 14 minutes and I had expected to do this in 16 hours and 45 minutes. I am a mother to five and grandmother to 3 and I wanted to set a good example for lifelong fitness for them.
I can’t thank you enough Kristen for preparing me mentally for this challenge. I owe a portion of my successful first time Ironman finish to the things you taught me in your AOY class. You provided the tools I needed to not just survive, but to thrive in the Ironman arena. Keep up the good work – you are AWESOME!!”
Deb shared a few awesome snipits about her Ironman experience ~ get ready for some laughs!
Brief Ironman recap to Kirsten from Deb Blair:
I had the time of my life at IMTX! Virtually no nerves whatsoever leading up to the start. The only problem was I swallowed in a bit of disgusting lake water on the practice swim which had me in the bathroom for 4 hours Friday afternoon. Even then, I was practicing my race mantra: “What’s fun about this that I am not seeing?” While being sick in the bathroom and saying my mantra out loud, I actually started to laugh! It was the turning point to starting to feel better. Very powerful questions you so expertly planted in my head.
During the swim while enjoying getting banged I thought of a line from the movie Days of Thunder, where a rookie race car driver was complaining to his pit crew about the other cars bumping into him on the track: “No, no, he didn’t slam you, he didn’t bump you, he didn’t nudge you… he rubbed you. And rubbin, son, is racin’.” I got out of the water exactly where I expected to be on the clock. T1 was fun and funny. Two women actually found live fish inside their suits when they stripped down to change clothes. Did I mention the water was disgusting and full of stuff???
The bike was awesome. I got the Mr Rogers song stuck in my head – ‘It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood’ on my way out of town. I found myself singing it. The course took us into Sam Houston National Forest which was magnificent. I talked out loud to myself quite awhile in there, commenting on how lovely it was and that I didn’t want the bike leg to end as I was enjoying it so much. At one point I started to laugh again because I was thinking, ‘Wow it smells like pine scented air freshener in here’, then I said no, wait – It’s FRESH AIR!! Ok, so I thought it was funny.
I finished the bike an hour faster than expected. No live creatures appeared in T2 that I heard about. The run was hot but the support was awesome. I ran/walked the first lap as planned. I met up with my partner who got violently ill after making the swim cut off and had to drop out at mile 30 of the bike. He told me I didn’t have to hurry as I had 8 hours to do the marathon. I decided to power walk for all of lap two. I was so excited to be taking part in my first Ironman I could not wipe the smile off my face. I danced with volunteers who were dancing and talked with so many of the spectators lining the run course. Everyone commented on the fact that I was smiling, and that I looked so strong – they remembered me each time I came around.
When I turned off the course after lap 3 toward the finish line, I could see the lights and hear the crowd. At that instance, I could no longer feel the blisters on my feet, or the aches in my muscles. They magically disappeared. I ran the last quarter mile and high fived every outreached hand. I made sure nobody was close behind me so I could finish alone. Hearing Mike Reilly say, “Deb Blair from St Paul Minnesota, another first timer – You are an Ironman!” was fantastic. An even more awesome experience was having Chrissie Wellington place my finishers medal around my neck and give me a big hug. It was almost surreal.
I am already looking at which race I can sign up for next year. I finished in 15 hr 14 minutes and I had expected to do this in 16 hours and 45 minutes. I am a mother to five and grandmother to 3 and I wanted to set a good example for lifelong fitness for them.
I can’t thank you enough Kristen for preparing me mentally for this challenge. I owe a portion of my successful first time Ironman finish to the things you taught me in your AOY class. You provided the tools I needed to not just survive, but to thrive in the Ironman arena. Keep up the good work – you are AWESOME!!