We are on CBS news thanks to my Aunty Donna!
Below is the link to a quick slideshow I put together. View the compilation of photos I’ve taken from start to finish!
The post on the race is below the “Thank You” post!
As the adventure of my young life comes to a pause, I have many thanks to give to many many people. Steve and I have had helping hands this entire journey from those we’ve been blessed to meet.
Mom and Dad:
I respect you and love you with all that I am. You paved this yellow brick road I walk on today. Thank you for putting your faith in me.
I’ve only ever felt welcomed in your presence…you’ve been such a big encouragement in my life. I’d be lost without you now.
Coolest,toughest, bravest chick around…nuff said.
God sent me to you…so that we could change each others lives. I except to be close with you and watch the boys grow for years to come. Thanks for helping fund this wild adventure!
The Rest of my Family:
Thank you all so much for your initial donations, your words of encouragement and your devotion to the blog. I love you all so very much.
Thanks for the encouraging texts through this journey. In times of despair, I leaned on you. Love you guys.
Kim and Mike:
I fortunately got to know you a bit before the journey, but I feel as though we’ve gotten even closer in our absence. I feel a part of the group…and love it! Thank you so much
Everyone We Stayed With:
You kept us out of the cold, fed us, and kept us company…thank you so much! Sequioa, Michael, Kitty, Gayla, Levys, George and Jake, The lake house peeps, Donna and Al, Everyone from Cedar Key, Eric Allred, Desiree and ZaTch, Grandma and Grandpa Jennings, Grandma and Grandpa Fehser, Sekajipo and Sight (love), Everglades Hostel, Manhattan friends, Jordan Pihl and Kitty, Katie Kjellman, Mimi, Frog Crossing, Myrtle Beach hombres, Gabbi Mello, Joe Fiore, Grandma Idiot and Nicky Parks/Dana and the rest of you!
Mark, you showed us true generosity. “One day it will be your turn.” I’ll never forget you said that. I can’t wait for me to return all the love you showed us! I hope we meet again.
Uncle Ben and Aunt Jen:
Staying with you guys was amazing. I had never seen mountains like that before and never changed a diaper! Thanks Ben so much for letting me use your carbon fiber masterpiece! I hope it gets back to you in the same condition. Miss you Colin!
You could have kept driving, but you stopped to help us. Thank you forever.
Jordan and Avalon:
Your house has been the longest place I’ve stayed other than my own. You guys are the raddest people out there and I’m so glad we got to meet you. Thanks for all the great memories. You better come to Mass!
Thank you, Steve. Thanks for being the best friend I could ever have. We did this together. I’m so proud of you, man. Here’s to our future adventures! Cheers.
I can always lean on you even when I don’t deserve it. Thank your for giving me the gift of life and introducing me to all of the above people…might as well have been angels.
You all are a part of the story…you all aided in the success of this chapter of my life…THANK YOU SO MUCH
*BELOW IS A POST ON THE RACE. CHECK IT OUT! COMMENT!*
124 days ago with shorter hair, lighter skin, and fresh clothes free of rips and tears, we left our humble homes in Sutton Massachusetts. Over the last four months Steve and I have waged war against our simple suburban lifestyle. Heat, Wind, Rain, Snow, Hunger, Thirst, and exhaustion are all foes we have had to face.We’ve conquered every conflict…except one. As this journey ends, we approach the last battle. The climatic ending to this cross country epic. The battle that determines the outcome of this war. The Ironman. However, this isn’t just any ironman. This is the toughest the world has ever seen. So tough, that this is the last year St George will host one. Steve and I will make history. I am the 9th youngest male competing in this race. The only thing standing between me and the finish line is 140.6 miles of physical agony. I’m determined to finish. I will use all the mental strength I have gained on this trip as a lethal weapon to this race. I will not lose. It’s gonna be one heck of a good time!
My first road race was the Boston Marathon, my first bike trip was 4,000 miles across the country, and my first triathlon will be the St. George Ironman. Go big or go home.
With God at my side, there is no way I will fail.
Stay tuned for an after race post! Send prayers and positivity our way!
Taylor Thibodeau: future iron man.
Tomorrow is the last day standing between Taylor and I and the race. We are excited. Getting everything squared away beforehand has proven to be a challenge, and as such, hearing the gun go off will be a relief in itself.
One interesting puzzle we’ve been facing as of late is the inability to use bicycle transportation in the days leading up to the race, as we may need those muscles later. Finding transportation is a mystery yet to be solved. Of course, if it comes down to that, I will ride where I need to!
Here is my hand posing with the official Ironman wristband.
Other than the few remaining technical logistics, I need to take care of the food I will be eating for the race. Ironman has 5 bags that you fill (bike gear, run gear, morning clothes, etc) and they will supply them at different points throughout the race. It seems simple, but it’s not. Little known fact; brain function decreases roughly 80 Percent in the days leading up to an Ironman.
So I’ll be scrambling around for the next 48 hours!
With arms raised high and a look of shock and excitement, she jumps in front of my bike. I quickly veer left and pull firmly on the breaks. The old soft very very weak breaks I might add. She says something with a smile, but I can’t tell what. I turn my head around and smile back, “what was that?” I ask.
She pulls out her headphones… “I know you!”, she exclaims. “You’re from Trailing The Sun! You’re doing the Ironman. I added you on Facebook.”
I am now in a state of shock myself. I feel like a rock star. I’ve been recognized!
After our encounter, Erin Harding, the young vampire weekend-listening mom, went on to finish her 50k (31 mile run)
With one hand steering, I brush my hair back and readjust my earbuds. Pressing firmly and twisting until snug. I am now 30 miles into the toughest ironman course ever created. The majority of this course has been a gradual incline. I reach down and grab one of my two water bottles. Before I take a sip, I know by now the sun has surly had its way with my water. At 95 degrees in direct sunlight, it doesn’t take long for ice to melt and water to become stale. “Yup. Gross…gross, but necessary.” As I move, I find it difficult to keep my eyes on the road. Instead I place my vision to my surroundings. The red rock canyons cannot be compared to anything else. I lose myself staring at the bright orange menacing formations. I am an ant in a big big world. As I make a winding turn, I am presented with a great challenge.
Ahead of me is a mile long accent up a winding cliff. “You’ve got to be kidding me…”I think as I increase the volume on my iPod. “Good song” Beads of sweat roll down my cheeks collecting filth as they plummet to the tar. As I drop my head forward droplets fall into my sunglasses slightly impairing my vision. More of an extreme annoyance than a real hinderance. I take notice of my thighs as they tense up and enlarge while I press my feet down on rusted pedals. As I make my way up, I remind myself of all the other climbs I’ve made on this trip. I have never once gotten off my bicycle to walk up a steep incline. Never once. “I certainly won’t do that now!” I shift my gears. click. click. click. click. Four times. I hear the chain shifting. Clank. Clank. It gets stuck for a moment, but eventually corrects itself. I’m panting heavily as I raise myself off the seat to get a more efficient climb. Slow going. “This is harder than the big climb in Steamboat Springs”, I thought to myself. This was possibly the toughest climb I’d ever done. I’d have to do it twice if I wanted to be a made of iron. “I should have taken a longer sip”
Finally, after much exhaustion, I reached the top. Steve had done the course the day before and had informed me that there was a food mart not to far after the FIRST big climb. As I raised my bottle to my lips, I took a big gulp of warm water. “I need a cold gatorade.”
A couple miles later, I was inside an air conditioned food mart. While here, I talked with many other ironman competitors as they were training on the course as well. I also had a lovely conversation with my wonderful mother!
The smile left my face as I pressed my thumb and fore finger against my back tire. “No…not now!” Sure enough, I had severe flat tire. Just ahead of me was another mile long climb. “This is going to be fun.”
I spent the rest of the brutally hot day fishtailing and swerving my way home. I did make it though. SUCCESS!
I stumble into the house and fall on the couch. I press my finger against my red arm. As I pull away, I see a pale white fingertip-sized mark return to lobster red. The suns rays burn hot here in Santa Clara.
Things are all beginning to come together.
1)My tri suit and new helmet came in today.
2)Aquasphere hooked us up with some excellent free wetsuits which we will receive in a few days.
3)Steve’s Uncle Ben is shipping me his exctremely gnarly time trial bike to ride.
4) I bought new shoes.