Friday, October 5, 2012

Ironman NYC through the eyes of the ever loyal sister.

As most of you may know I have two older brothers. And you may also know they are responsible for getting me addicted to running, and wanting to jump on the triathlon bandwagon. So my family is one of those close families. We are there for each other as much as we can be. We hang out even when it's not a holiday. And even though we are in neighboring states we try to see each other often. I am the only girl in my family and the youngest. But what really makes my situation unique is that my older brothers are twins. They are mirror images of each other. It has always been the twins and me. They were always kinda BFF's for life, and I was the annoying younger sister who followed them around. Even though they were kinda nerds growing up (wink wink) I still wanted to be just like them. Things haven't changed much as we grew into adults. They are still nerds and I still want to be just like them. Well this past August they became Ironmen. Since this happened about a month after giving birth my brain was not totally wrapped around the experience to put it into words quite yet. So two months later here is my recap of Ironman NYC through the eyes of the sister.

 The year leading up to IMNYC:
  Now I was prepared for them to train for "The Race", I was very happy when they decided to get coaches. I mean an IM is a big deal and you need to be prepared. I was however not prepared for their training to effect me at all. I mean they live a state away. I don't see them on a daily basis so really how could it effect me? Well I was wrong. Training for a IM is a pain for EVERYONE involved. They were never around and always out running, biking or swimming. Not that I was surprised by this. But I never really thought that meant they could not do anything else. "No Jyoti we can help you pack.", "No Jyoti we can't hang out.", "Sorry running for a 100 hours that day, I can't babysit.". "I know your Pregnant and about to give birth on the ground, but we need to rest that day so we can't help you move, but make sure you lift with your legs, not your back." I mean NOTHING!!! I was so not prepared for their lack of presence in my life the months before "The Race". I really couldn't wait for this shit to be over!

The day of IMNYC:
I had made the decision that I really wanted to be there for my brothers and not have to worry about anything or anyone else. So my husband and I ditched the kids with family so we could be the best spectators we could be. If that meant leaving my 4 week old baby for an over night with someone so be it. Did you hear that internet? I left my 4 WEEK old baby. With someone OVERNIGHT. Just so I could be there for my brothers. It's safe to say I might be their biggest supporter.

So from what I am hearing is that the logistics of IMNYC were worse them most other IM races. Being that this was my first time spectating a full IM race I was not aware that things were different. But I did know spectating this particular race was rather annoying and took some planning. We had to get up at 3:30am to catch a 4:30am ferry to transition or else we couldn't see the swim or bike start. We were all pretty tired to say the least when we arrived at transition. Race time was 7:30am so we had time to drink some gross coffee from the food stand and wake up a bit. I was a bit sad I didn't get to see them before the race and wish them luck and give them a hug. I mean this was a Ironman! A big deal! Some people get very hurt or even die. So yeah I was kinda a nervous wreck about it. As starting time got close I was almost crying. I wasn't sure what emotional roller coaster I was on but it was pretty unexpected. I was nervous for them, I was excited for them, I was scared for them. They were about to start a 12+ hour event of a life time, that not the average person can say they have done. When I saw them after the swim I was less worried. They were alive and smiling and ready to jump on the bike.

 The thing about being a Triathlon spectator is it involves a lot of waiting around. The short sprint ones aren't so bad. but once you get into the 70.3 or 140.6 the waiting gets way more involved.  We had to wait hours before we could see them again at transition. I mean HOURS!!! We made camp for a bit, but decided to take a few mile hike to catch them at the bike halfway turn around. It was a long all up hill climb that was well worth the effort. Although I found out later they didn't know we were there but it was really good to see them and see that they were doing well and not dieing. I mean not dieing is good. After that was a nice downhill walk back and more waiting. At least there was good vegetarian food to munch on.

We found a nice spot on the bike in run out rout to see them. We were cheering for all the racers, but there were point when I could taste blood when I saw my brothers I was screaming so loud. I also usually got a bit teary eyed. When they were running, well more of a walk/shuffle/crawl, we got to talk to them and find out they were doing okay. Luckily for us they had decided after meeting up on the bike to stick together for the rest of the race, making spectating for two racers much easier.

 After they went off on the run we had a few more hours to wait again. So we grab a ferry to NY to the finish line. We did take a brief detour to Starbucks to fuel up on more caffeine and sit in some AC for a bit.  It totlly baffled me that no one at the Starbucks we went to had a clue about the Ironman going on a block away. We had made bright yellow t-shirts to wear and show support for the Super Twins. So when the four of us wandered into the coffee shop we drew some attention and questions. One women in line with us went on and on about how some guy died in the swim of the race and how unsafe they are and people die doing IM all the time. I basically had to tune her out. I mean really lady? We have two loved ones in this race. Is it really the best thing to talk about people dieing in them? I kinda wanted to punch her in the face. After a couple coffees and some water bottles it was off to the finish line party.

The finish line:
Everyone in our huge extended family came for the end. No one wanted to miss out on them finishing this race they worked so hard for. Waiting for them to come down the shoot was a nerve wracking experience. At that point my phone was almost dead from the constant on line tracking and texting family and friends and of course updating Facebook. I was with the "older" twins son up against the barrier of the shoot. He was so excited to see his dad finish. And that alone had me almost in tears. When they finally came into view I was uncontrollably screaming and crying and flailing around. My poor nephew I think thought I had gone crazy. I was so happy, relieved and proud. I can't even put into word what was going on. Even writing about it now has tears running down my cheeks. Watching my two older brothers cross their first Ironman finish line together, accomplishing such a major goal together. It was amazing.

  I am not sure if all sisters are like this about their brothers. Maybe I am just crazy, or an extremely emotional person. Or maybe I am just your regular younger sister who idolizes her older brothers. But other then my children, I have never been more proud of someone in my life!