I knew my husband was pretty athletic when I met him. He was on our college swim team prior to us meeting, but being “D1” doesn’t mean much when you go to UB and I don’t even know the difference between a backstroke and a butterfly. I was more impressed by the way he looked in his beaters and even agreed to gym dates in the first few weeks. Ha!
He’s always had an intense work-out regimen, but a few years later when he told me he wanted to spend $3000 on a bike so he could train for a race with 70.3 miles of torture, I literally coughed out my coffee.
Seeing him at his first 1/2 Ironman was exhilarating. I admittedly even shouted out, “that’s my husband!!” at one point. Placing at the top of his age group within finishing times among professional athletes, I was floored that my “swimmer” boyfriend was actually THAT good.
Race after race we traveled the country watching him compete in sprint triathlons, olympic distances, and marathons. I never fully understood why someone would dedicate so much time to training for full days of exercise, but seeing him finish was just as addicting for me as the training had become for him.
Last year, I agreed to block off a wedding weekend for the Lake Placid Ironman, but as the race grew closer and closer I began to question his sanity and worry about whether he would make it or not. I truly believe that no one in their right mind would choose to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, or run 26.2 miles let alone do it all back-to-back in one day. But if there is anything I’ve learned in my marriage, it’s sometimes you just have to have faith.
So we trekked up to Lake Placid (after shooting a Friday wedding in Boston and driving over night, stopping in Albany) for the big race.
We were able to see him pass through about 4-5 times throughout the day, but because of the length of the event, while he was racing his heart out ,we were able to eat breakfast, edit photos, play on the bounce house, have a beer, take a nap, and still watch him finish.
As I watched him turn the corner towards the ticking clock, his back covered in white from the salt stains of dried sweat, I could hear my heart pounding through my throat. He did it. He’s alive. He’s definitely crazy, but he’s alive. And not only did he finish, he killed it. He made it the full 140.6 miles in less than 10.5 hours, a race that takes most men his age over 12 hours to finish, landing him in the top 10% of finishers.
While all the numbers are astounding, what impressed me the most was his dedication to the training while still balancing a full time job, a family, running a business and making it all seem like it was easy. He will probably be mad at me for sharing last year’s stats. This year with a busier wedding season, busier kids, and a new house, he hasn’t had as much time to train and is hoping for a softer finish. As we prep our weekend plans for his second Ironman he says to me, “you’ll enjoy this race, you’ll have time to get lunch, let the kids nap, explore Mont Tremblant…” Even when he’s putting is body to the ultimate test, his first concern is making sure his family is happy.
Good Luck this tomorrow David, I have no doubt you’ll make us proud, just try to enjoy yourself. We will be on the sidelines cheering you on!!
xoxo your support crew, #teamHarris