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Ironman Florida 2013 Race Recap

by Meghann on November 5, 2013

Both mine and Kelly’s alarms went off at 4:30 and we both sprang out of our beds. It’s amazing how easy it is to jump out of bed when you have a race to get to.

A couple of minutes later there was a knock at the door and Ben was greeting us with the BIGGEST smile on his face. He said the four words I’d been waiting to hear for the last 48 hours – the. water. is. flat. Thank goodness. That was all I needed to hear. I was ready for this.

I had a pre-long ride tradition of making Chobani pancakes before each and every ride. I knew there was no way I was going to get through my Ironman without my traditional pre-long workout pancakes, so I brought my griddle, my spatula, and all the ingredients I needed for my pancakes all the way from Tampa. On race morning I sat down and made my pancakes as planned right on the hotel floor.

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They. Were. Awesome. I topped them with almond butter and raspberries – yum. My sister even brought her mini Keruig and we all enjoyed quick and easy coffee before the race. Gotta love the perks of driving to the race and being able to pack your car with all the “essentials,” right?

After we registered for Ironman Florida last year, we immediately turned around and booked our hotel room at the host hotel. We had to put down a lot of money for a hotel room we wouldn’t be staying at for another year, but it was worth it with the killer location we had. Transition was literally right outside our door, which was AMAZING on race morning.

We only had to walk downstairs to get body marked and set-up our transitions. Heck, we didn’t even have to worry about standing in line for the porta potties – we just needed to walk back upstairs if we needed to go. Beautiful.

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We quickly got body marked and made our way to our bikes. I pumped my tires and loaded my 4(!) water bottles. I borrowed an aero bottle from a friend (which ended up being the best thing I’ve borrowed from a friend… ever) which I filled with Gatorade, I had a second bottle in the back filled with Gatorade, then the other back bottle filled with water, and the bottle between my legs filled with water. I also attached my fuel box, which contained little ziplocs of Gatorade (that I didn’t end up using), salt capsules, and a granola bar.

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When we were heading out of transition Ben spotted Miranda Carfrae setting up her bike and debated asking her for a photo. He was like a little school boy who was seeing Britney Spears in person for the first time.

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After transtition, we dropped off our special needs bag. I didn’t have much in mine. For the bike special needs I had some Advil, extra hair tie, pumpkin bread, and a spare flat kit just in case I needed it. For the run special needs I had more Advil, another extra hair tie, extra socks, and a long sleeve shirt.

We went back to the room one last night and finished getting ready with the rest of the family. We had ordered Iron Sibling shirts for everything. I think the green shirts were a big hit!

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At 6:30 we all started to panic we were running late. Ben, Kelly, and I threw on our wetsuits and headed to the swim start. As we walk, I began to generously apply myself with Body Glide around my neck, arm pits, and shoulders – I did NOT want to chafe!

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This was it!! The next time we’d all be together would be at the finish line!!

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Ben was so worried about being late that he took off pretty quickly for the start. Kelly and I took our time making our way through the start arch and to the beach.

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We were still having the traditional mass start at 7:00am, but they had corralled everyone on the beach and instructed us to line up at our predicted finish time. Kelly and I both headed to the 1:30 sign, thinking that was a good guess on when we would finish.

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At 6:50, the pro males took off, and 5 minutes later the pro women were off. They played the National Anthem and instructed us to take our marks. Kelly and I wished each other luck and promised to see each other at the finish line.

BANG!!

The gun went off and, unexpectedly, we all slowly made our way to the water. I was expecting this huge rush of people running, but it was actually pretty mild. The waves were still a tiny bit rough at the beach line and everyone was taking their sweet time getting past the break.

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I lost Kelly when I finally put my head in the water and decided to start swimming. It was such a cool view being in the middle of everything. Every time I looked up to sight, all I saw were arms and caps – it was surreal.

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I felt good as soon as I started swimming. People were climbing over me, trying to get pass me, but I was passing just as many swimmers that were passing me. I got hit in the head, my legs were swatted at, and I fought through it all. I felt strong and began making my way close to the buoy line. The thousands of swimmers that surrounded me created this amazing draft and I felt like I was flying out there!

The swim course was a big rectangle with red buoys marking the turns. The first red buoy came up fast, really fast. I made the left and I think that was the first time it really hit me that I could do this – I could finish this race. I tried not to get too ahead of myself and focused on making it to my next turn, then back to the beach. I hung on to everyone’s draft and fought my way through.

The water was perfect. It was a cool 74 degrees, which was more refreshing than anything. It was nice having the wetsuit for the extra floatation. The wetsuit, mixed with the salty ocean water, was the perfect speedy combination.

I made the final turn back to the beach and rode the current in. I could see the crowd on the beach, which pumped me up even more. Holy cow – I was almost done with my first lap!

The waves got ahold of me around the final buoy and I did some bodyboarding into the shore. I stood up and started my run to the timing mat. I looked at my watch and cheered out loud – THIRTY-EIGHT MINUTES!!!! WHOA!! That first lap pretty much exceeded all of my expectations. That’s faster than my last 1.2 mile swim for Miami 70.3. I didn’t just beat that time – I killed it. Talk about a huge boost going in for round 2!

The crowds were going CRAZY! I looked for my family, but couldn’t spot them. I did spot a co-worker and waved at him. I also grabbed a cup of water on my way back to the second lap.

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Going back for the second lap was a little rougher than the first. Without the thousands of bodies breaking up the waves for you, they were a little harder to get through. I dove under the big ones and worked my way past the break, where it began to smooth out again.

I spent my second lap still on cloud 9 from my first lap. I thought about all the training I did at the pool this past year and how it was all worth it. Every single practice was worth it. Here I was on my way to completing 2.4 miles in the open water for the first time and I felt freaking incredible. I thought about my coach and my amazing friends and how I wanted to dedicate this entire swim to them. They’re the ones that got me here and I can’t thank them enough for it. I owe them so much for supporting me along the way. I’m the slow one in the group, but they never called me out for being the slow one – I was just part of the group and I love them for it.

I took the second lap one buoy at a time and knocked one off after another. Unfortunately I got a little too close to one of them and ended up getting some rope burn under my arm – that hurt. Before I knew it I was heading back to the shore and on my way out of the water.

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Just as I was taking my final strokes, a big wave came up from behind and caused me to do a forward barrel roll. In the process of rolling forward, the wave took my goggles clear off the top of my head. I popped up and said the wave just took my googles. The guys next to me said “Who cares? We’re done!” Oh, yeah. Good thing I lost them on the second loop and not the first.

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I made my way out of the water and looked at my watch – 1:18!! That time was way, way faster than any goal time I would have ever predicted for myself. I headed towards transition with the biggest smile on my face. I was doing this! I was going to be an Ironman!

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I saw my family, squealed with excitement, and dropped to my back at the wetsuit strippers.They handed my wetsuit to me and I made my was through the fresh water showers. The showers were a nice touch, but way too brief. They told us not to stop, so I’m not convinced the water helped in getting any of the sand off.

I ran through the opening to gear bags and saw a sea of green watching from the balcony above. My family erupted in cheers and I cheered back! I grabbed my bag and made my way to the changing tent (which was really a curtained off conference room).

I found an empty chair and emptied the contents of my gear bag on the ground. A volunteer immediately came over and started helping me (p.s. all the volunteers ROCKED!!). I whipped off my tri shorts and put on my bike shorts. The volunteer grabbed my shirt from my bag and helped me put it over my head, she also grabbed the towel and helped me wipe away the sand on my back. I put my shoes on, grabbed my helmet, and sunglasses. The volunteer handed me my nutrition and I loaded my pockets. I downed a Powerbar Blend and threw the wrapper in my bag. The volunteers took the rest of my scattered contents and put everything in my bag. I thanked her repeatedly, forever grateful for all her help. I took one last look around the room, hoping to see my sister, before heading out the door (little did I know she was right behind me out of the water and was somewhere in that room that very minute!).

I went out the door and straight to the sunscreen volunteers. The slathered me with sunscreen and wished me lucked. I circled around transition and headed to my bike. Several volunteers were shouting “539! 539!” and when I made it to my rack a volunteer was waiting for me with my bike. I grabbed my bike, thanked her, and headed to the bike exit.

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I saw my friends as I mounted my bike and gave them a big wave as I headed out for my longest bike ride ever – 112 miles or bust!!!

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I recently bought a Garmin 910 (I’ll write a review of it soon) and thought race day would be a good day to test the “auto-multisport” feature. You could basically set up the watch for a triathlon and press lap for each section of the race. I’d never tested the feature before, I’d only figured out how to do it the night before and thought I had it figured out. WRONG.

I wasn’t concentrating on anything but time during the swim, so I didn’t realize my Garmin was only tracking time and pace (not distance) until I was on my bike. Basically my $400 watch had turned into a glorified stop watch. Crap. So I completed my 112 mile bike ride never knowing exactly what mile I was on (only knowing for sure when I hit the mile markers every 10 miles) or what my overall pace was (only seeing what my pace was at that minute). Oh, well. It actually made the ride a little more interesting as I spent my entire ride doing rough pacing math in my head. Heck, it may have worked in my favor because my rough math had me averaging a lot slower than what I actually was and inspired me to ride faster to catch up!

The first 20 miles of the ride SUCKED. We had a headwind that slowed me down and I kept thinking how they all lied when they said this was a flat and fast course. It may have been flat, but the headwind made it anything but fast.

I started eating 30 minutes into my ride. I tried to eat 100 calories every 30 minutes and drink an additional 50-100 calories every hour. I started out feeling good, but it quickly became harder to get the solid food down – I was forcing Clif Bars down my throat for a while. Around mile 40 I got a headache and immediately started taking salt capsules. I started feeling weak and was so scared I was getting dehydrated. I refilled my aero bottle with the Perform on the course and just tried to fill my body with liquid.

The horrible headwind stopped around mile 30 and we had awesome wind conditions for the rest of the ride. I seriously could not have asked for better conditions out there. Hundreds, upon hundreds of fellow cyclists passed me, of course, but I still felt good holding my pace. AND each time someone passed me I couldn’t help thinking that if they’re passing me now, that means I beat them on the swim! Yippee!

Fellow racers are always really nice when they pass us slow folks. I got a lot of “Looking good!” “Keep up the good work” and “Great job” Of course, they’re saying this as they’re passing me, so obviously I’m not looking as good as they are, but at least they’re being nice as they’re passing. I also had at least a dozen compliments on my shirts (the polka dots were a hit!) and a few “Isn’t this fun?” (said very sarcastically).

I turned at mile 50 and headed down the out and back stretch to special needs. I’d read stories about how awful this stretch of road was and they weren’t kidding! It was nothing but solid bumps for 10 miles and it was brutal! It was also a mine field of spare tires, water bottles, nutrition, and everything else you could think that could be flung off a bike.

About halfway out I heard my name and saw Ben waving on the other side of the road. I had no clue where he or Kelly were so it was nice to see him looking so strong on the bike. I guessed he was about 7-8 miles ahead of me at this point.

I hit the turn around point and headed back down the road to special needs. I found my box and the great volunteer handed me my bag. I took out my Advil and took two with water. I also grabbed my pumpkin bread and shoved it in my back pocket before handing the bag back and getting back on the road. I’m guessing I lost maybe 2 minutes at special needs. Not bad.

As soon as I was back on the bike I grabbed my pumpkin bread and ate one of the two slices inside. It was amazing and exactly what I needed at that point. I was still feeling pretty crappy, but I definitely started improving almost as soon as I left special needs.

I saw Kelly on the way out. She was maybe 6 miles behind me and looking strong. We waved and gave some cheers.

I felt like I caught my second wind after special needs. I think all the salt capsules were finally starting to take effect and I was able to get solid foods down a little easier. My headache was also gone and I felt good. I was guesstimating a 7:30 bike split at this time and was really happy with that.

Oh, almost forgot to mention – I started my bike ride with gel nail polish on my nails. By the time I got off my bike, it was all gone. I had nothing else to do, so I spent 112 mile picking the nail polish off. At least it kept me entertained!

I rode through an intersection just past mile 70 and heard someone on the corner go “Wait a minute, that’s Meghann!! GO Meghann!!” It was Steph and Jess on my right, and Chris, Felipe, and Bill on my left! Talk about a rush!

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I was only sad that I went by them so fast. Luckily, they drove a couple miles ahead and then cruised next to me for a couple of minutes. My speed picked up, I was so excited to see and talk to them!! I immediately asked if they saw my swim time and told them I was still in shock over it! I also said I was feeling good because I really was at this point. They took off and I yelled that I would see them on the run.

They even got a video of the exchange!

There were a few rolling hills from mile 80-90, which helped break the ride up a little bit. Once I hit mile 90 I realized I was definitely safe from the 4:30 cut-off at mile 88. Huge relief there! I also did a little more bad math and predicted a new finish time of 7:15 on the bike – holy cow!

There’s an out and back section in the 90s and I spent the whole time looking for my brother going one way and my sister going the other. I didn’t see either of them. I was dying to know each of their progress!

I hit the final bridge back into Panama City Beach and took my time getting up it. I was rewarded for my efforts with a lovely 100 mile marker waiting at the top – yippee! I enjoyed a nice tailwind for the next 6 miles and felt like I was flying.

I had planned to take my final PowerBar PowerBlend at the 7:00 hr mark, but as soon as I made the final turn on to Panama City Beach Drive, it hit me that I might arrive before 7:00 – umm… what? Who the heck was I on this bike? I was flying!! Obviously all of my guesses of my average pace and bike time were way off.

The final stretch felt like it went on forever – so close, yet so far! I kicked it up a notch and gave it all I had in those last few miles. I was so excited to be done with the bike and knew the faster I got to T2, the faster I could get on with my run. For the first time since I’d been on my bike, I actually started to pass people.

A couple of miles out I began to recognize my surroundings and landmarks that meant I was getting closer. Finally I saw my final turn on St. Thomas Drive and back to T2. I’d done it! I’d rode 112 miles with only one short stop at the halfway point for special needs. Whoa!

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I got to the dismount line and tried to get off my bike. Apparently my legs forgot how to bear weight in the last 7 hours and I immediately stumbled. A volunteer grabbed me and helped hold me steady as I cautiously swung my right leg over the bike.

Once I regained my balance (and remembered how to walk again), I handed my bike off to another volunteer and told her to keep it. I was so happy to be off of it.

I headed to the gear bags and heard a dozen volunteers yell “539! 539!” My bag was waiting for me at the end, I grabbed it and made the turn to the changing tent. Another super helpful volunteer led me to an empty chair and immediately emptied my bag and asked how she could help. I changed my shorts (BEST IDEA EVER), took off my cycling shoes, and put on my socks and running shoes. The volunteer snapped my race belt around my waist and picked everything else up. I thanked her profusely, grabbed a cup of water, and headed out the door.

My left foot was numb from being in my cycling shoe for so long. I tried to ignore it, knowing that it would fade as I started moving (it did).

Outside the changing tent I’m covered with globs of sunscreen thanks to an awesome volunteer (surprisingly I managed to finish without getting burnt – score!). I also spot the porta potties on my way out of T2 and decide to make a pit stop before heading out on the run. Turns out I never had to make the decision to pee on the bike because I ended up never having to go. The T2 stop was my only bathroom stop of the day.

Right before I went in the port potty I heard a familiar voice talking to a fellow participant – it was AMBER! She was volunteering in T2 and managed to spot my siblings and I as we all made the same pit stop.

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Epic.

I gave her a BIG hug and took off for the run.

The crowds on the run course were amazing. As soon as I made that first turn onto the course everyone was cheering and screaming my name (woo hoo for personalized bibs!). I was so happy to be on the run that I pretty much gunned it the first mile and immediately began passing competitors. I gave high fives, I threw my hands in the air, and I just enjoyed being 2/3 of the way done with this thing.

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I saw my parents on the right and began waving at them. They started hollering and began pointing to their right to get the rest of the group’s attention. Suddenly a sea of green erupted and I ran by the Iron Siblings support crowd. They were laughing, drinking, and just having a great time. It was so great to see them, their high energy definitely rubbed off on me.

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I had a simple plan for my run: ride my adrenaline rush for the first mile or two, then switch to my 1:30 run/ :30 walk method I’d been training with. My watch was still a glorified stop watch so I had no idea what my splits were or my exact distance. To be honest, at that point I didn’t care about my marathon time. I knew I had over 8 hours to finish my marathon and that was good enough for me. I was just going to run by how I felt and see what happened.

I started walking at the first aid station about a mile into the race. I made the huge mistake of taking a cup of pretzels, which dried my mouth out. It took two cups of water just to get the pretzels down. I didn’t carry any nutrition with me for the run, so I was completely relying on the aid stations for substance. I took a cup of perform, a cup of water, and a cup of grapes at almost every station.

After the aid station, I pretty much lived and breathed by my watch for the rest of the race. I would run 1:30 and walk :30. I was averaging about an 8:30 min/mi pace during the run and 12:00 min/mi during the walk. I felt really, really good out there, but I didn’t want to push myself too hard.

After being passed so many times on the bike, it felt good to finally get my passing in on the run. I got a lot of compliments from fellow competitors on the pace I was keeping. I told them I was only holding that pace because I was doing a run/walk method –without the structure of my run/walk, who knows what would have happened.

My legs started chafing a couple of miles in. It. Was. Painful. And the worst part was I knew I still had 24 miles left to run – this was not good! I passed a couple of aid stations, but didn’t immediately see any Vaseline out there. All I could think about was how my legs were rubbing and it was only going to get worst. Luckily I remembered I still had a little packet of Chamois But’r stuffed in my sports bra from the bike. I had completely forgotten I stashed it there and was thankful I didn’t end up using it on the bike. Since I was already chafed, it did sting a little, but once that faded the but’r was amazing. I stopped feeling the rub and could instead concentrate on my race.

The run is a 2-loop out-and-back course that takes you through the neighborhoods and into St. Andrews State Park. I’m not sure I would have liked the course for just a regular marathon, but it was perfect for an Ironman. I liked seeing the other runners going back and it gave us all a chance to see our spectators a handful of times.

I saw Ben where the course goes around the pub. He was going back from the turn around point and I was heading towards it. He looked strong and gave me a high five.

I began looking for Kelly after I made my own turn around and found her at an aid station a couple of miles away. I gave her a hug and told her “we’re doing this!”

The sun was starting to go down and the aid stations started breaking out the hot chicken broth. I’d been eating nothing, but sweets all day and was dying for a cup of the salty broth. It. Was. Amazing. However, I had two cups at back-to-back stations and immediately felt it sloshing in my stomach. Whoops. After that I held off and just had a cup every 5 miles.

I saw Ben again on the final stretch of my first lap. He was on his second lap and reached under his hat for some pumpkin bread to share. I turned the bread down, but did cheer him on for being over halfway done.

I saw my family again right before the halfway point. They cheered and hollered, and I smiled and let them know I was feeling good.

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When the time came for the turn around, I decided to bypass special needs. It wasn’t cool enough for the long sleeve shirt I had in there and I wasn’t cramping, so no need for the Advil. I felt great and wanted to push through.

On the way out I saw my family again and handed off my sunglasses. I told them I would see them at the finish line!

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My coach, Felipe, caught up with me and ran with me for a beat. I couldn’t stop smiling and told him I thought I was going to run a 4:30 marathon! I also told him I thought I could finish under 13:30. He looked about as shocked as I was! Then he asked me what my race time was. I hadn’t checked my race time since I got off the bike, so I had no clue. I switched the screen on my Garmin and saw 10:44. What? 10:44?! We both realized right then and there that if I kept up my current pace that there was a chance I could finish under 13 hours. I almost started crying tears of joy right there. I was nearing the end of finishing a race that I wasn’t even sure I would make the cut-off times for, and here I was suddenly realizing I could finish HOURS before any of goals I had set. Whoa.

I told Felipe I felt great. No cramping, no stomach issues, and no weird pains. I was going to stick to what I was doing, because it felt like it was working. He told me to keep it up and he’d see me in a couple of hours.

I left Felipe on cloud 9, believing I could finish sub-13. Of course, that idea changed a couple of miles later when my legs stopped moving as quickly as I wanted them to. Eh. What can ya do – at that point I was so under my goal that I was just happy to be close to done.

I saw Kelly and our friend Eric on the way out. Kelly was finishing up her first lap and Eric was closing in on his second. Eric had a KILLER race and finished sub-12. Go Eric!

My walk/run slowed down, but I still tried to keep it as consistent as I had in the beginning. I took it one walk break at a time and spent the majority of the run staring at my Garmin.

I started looking for Ben a couple of miles before the turn around point. I figured I would see him where I saw him previously, but I never did. Then I headed to the pitch blackness of the park and still failed to spot him. Little did I know that he did spot me during the pitch blackness, but refused to make his presence known for fear I would try to catch up to him. In fact, he told me later that he skipped aid stations just so he could stay ahead of me. Man, my siblings are competitive!

I saw a volunteer doing the FSU chop at the turn around and asked him if the game had started yet. He told me it would in about 10 minutes. Good. My husband would be happy I was heading back early, more of a chance he could catch the second half on tv. ;)

I was so happy to hit that turn around point. I had a little more than 6 miles to go. I was sooooo close to being done! I was also hungry. I wanted real food. There were cookies at the next aid stations and they were amazing. A-ma-zing! I spent the next 6 miles trying to hunt down more cookies. How come none of the other stations had cookies?!

The last 6 miles weren’t painful, but they were definitely tough. I’d been moving for the last 12 hours and was tired. I was ready to cross that finish line, put my feet up, and just be done. It would have been so easy to just slow down and walk the rest of it. I had plenty of time, I could have easily walked the last 6 miles and still finish under my goal, but that isn’t me. I had my notes in my pockets from my friends. During my walking breaks I would use my Garmin to shine a light on them and read them. They were just the words I needed to keep me going.

I saw Kelly when I had a little more than a 5k left. She had picked up a glow necklace from somewhere and still had a smile on her face. We cheered each other on and I wished her luck on her final loop.

The last 5k was the longest 5k I’d ever run. It felt so far. There were less people lining the course and all the spectators on the final stretched had moved to the finish line to cheer on their finishers. My family’s tailgating spot had been packed up and moved. They were at the finish line. They were waiting for us.

I turned the corner for the last mile and started tearing up. I couldn’t believe I was this close to finishing. All the training, all the hours on the bike, in the pool, and on the road – it was all building to this. This was it. This was my finish. This was my goal. This was my gateway to sleeping in, getting my weekends back, and the ability to tell people I am an Ironman. This wasn’t just any finish line I was heading towards, this was THE finish line.

I circled around special needs and the volunteers were yelling “finishers to the right, finishers to the right.” I was a finisher! I was heading right!

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I went right and saw Amber. She took my photo, gave me a big hug, and told me everyone was waiting for me at the end – go get them.

There are no words to describe just how amazing the finisher’s chute was. Hundreds of spectators lined the entire chute and they were all cheering and putting their hands out. I ran through, giving as many high fives as I could.

I saw my family and waved frantically to them.

I saw my friends and cheered.

Then I heard the announcer say my name…

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“MEGHANN ANDERSON-RUSSELL YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”

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Derek was waiting for me at the finish line. He dropped to his knees with the medal in his hand and kept repeating,“I am not worthy. I am not worthy.”

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He made me laugh, which stopped me from crying. I was still in shock. I didn’t even know my finish time and I didn’t care. I did it! I completed an Ironman. Holy crap – I finished an Ironman!

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Derek guided me through the finish line, where I was handed a finisher’s hat, shirt, water, and a heat blanket. To my surprise, we got to the end of the line and my brother was talking to our family.

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I wanted to ask him if he went sub-13. I could have sworn he was going to do sub-13!

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Ben had a solid 30 minute lead on me coming off the bike, but it turns out I had made up some solid time in the run. I crossed the finish line only a minute and a half after my brother – insane!

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I was so honored to have my XP Teammates waiting for me at the finish line. I owe so much to them for getting my butt in shape for this race. They’re not just my training partners – they’re my best friends!

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I was STARVING after I finished. While I waited for Kelly to finish, I couldn’t shovel the chicken and mashed potatoes in my mouth fast enough.

Kelly came in a little more than an hour after Ben and I.

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She crossed the finish line with tears. I was so proud of my little sister. She hit a few rough spots during her training, but seeing her cross that finish line let me know that she knew it was all worth it. She did it!

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I was so thankful to have my siblings to share this experience with. Without them I would never have had the guts to sign up or train. I dedicate this race to both of them, for believing in me and pushing me beyond what I ever thought was possible.

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I was so high on my adrenaline rush that I didn’t want the party to end. I quickly showered before returning outside to watch the final finishers come in.

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It was a pretty epic ending to an amazing night.

{ 218 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katy Widrick November 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Friend, I am so incredibly proud of you. I don’t have the words to express how this recap made me feel…

…I cried while tracking you. And I’m crying now. You are amazing.
Katy Widrick recently posted..Hurt People Hurt People

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2 Misspinkkate November 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Yay!!! What a great recap. Thanks for giving insight on what goes through a person’s head during such a long race!

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3 Steph November 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm

I followed your stats all day, and I watches you cross the finish line live. I had tears for you then, and tears for you now – CONGRATS!!!!!!!! Amazing, amazing job!!!!

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4 Selin November 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Great job, IRONMAN! :) Congratulations!

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5 Liz November 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Wow, I am absolutely speechless after reading this post. I’ve been following your blog since the beginning and have never posted a comment before, but I just have to say how incredibly impressed I am with your determination, motivation, and follow through. This post actually made me cry. You should be incredibly proud of yourself for this accomplishment. Congratulations on such an amazing feat!!!

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6 Krissy @ Shiawase Life November 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm

amazing!!!!!!!! i smiled thru the entire recap :)
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7 Rebecca November 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Congrats agains!!! Ironman!!

I had fun tracking you on Saturday! Watching the finishing chute for hours was lots of fun too! Luckily I saw you and Ben finish – the feed crapped out on me about 2 minutes after you finished.
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8 Shannon May November 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Amazinggggg!

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9 Samantha Rininger November 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm

That was an amazing post. I actually cried. Congratulations. You are an inspiration to us all.
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10 sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com November 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm

wow wow wow !massive congratulations. what an awesome accomplishment!
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11 Steph November 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm

This brought tears to my eyes! Congratulations!!!! You are amazing!
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12 emily November 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

You are such a bad ass! :)
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13 Rachel Wilkerson November 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Omg ALL THE TEARS reading this.

Congrats!!!
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14 Kate November 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm

seriously the tears!!! if i had a dollar every time i got the chills reading this i could pay for your next iron man ;) congratulations, so so so proud of you!!!!! you and your siblings deserve to ride the high of this race for forever

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15 Cate November 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Gosh – so freaking awesome! All three of you are amazing and Ironman Finishers!! Thank you for sharing your training and race – very inspiring! Congrats Congrats Congrats!! :)
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16 Lauren November 5, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Goosebumps. What an awesome, inspiring story. Congratulations!!!

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17 Ashley November 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Woo iron siblings!!! This seriously had my husband and me in awe. You three are amazing :-)
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18 Katrina November 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

What a great recap! You did amazing and what an incredible experience to share with your brother and sister! I love what a big support group you guys had out there cheering for you. Congratulations!!

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19 abby r November 5, 2013 at 10:49 pm

congratulations! reading your recaps seriously brought tears to my eyes. something about ironman races makes me emotional! it is now a goal of mine to volunteer at some form of a race. congratulations!!!

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20 megan November 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Wow great recap Meghann! So happy for you and your siblings, it’s an amazing accomplishment!!
Also it as great seeing you fly by at the Bikes Special Needs. I’d recognize your polka dot top anywhere lol

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21 Ashley November 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

You are your siblings are amazing. Plain and simple. Amazing.
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22 Allie@LiveLaughEat November 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

CONGRATULATIONS, MEGHANN! It’s been so inspiring to follow your journey this year. Absolutely amazing.
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23 Emily Malone November 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

I am so so proud of you, Meghann! I tracked you all afternoon, and can’t believe what an incredible day you had! Memories to last a lifetime, for sure. xoxo
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24 Jenny November 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm

What a great read! I teared up at the end. You guys are inspiring… I wonder what it would take to convince my siblings to do something like that? ;) Can’t wait to see what is next for you! CONGRATULATIONS!

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25 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian November 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Congratulations! This is getting me super pumped for my own Ironman attempt. I’d love to hear all about what you learned and what you’d do differently.

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26 Amy @ Run Write Hike November 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Such an amazing recap! I am so proud of you. And the fact that you did not pass out and collapse at the end of the race is so incredible. Congrats, Meghann, Kelly, and Ben: Iron Siblings for life!
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27 Kate November 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Amazing recap! I still think all of you Ironmen are totally mad, but in a very cool and inspiring way.

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28 Carol November 5, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Meghann, I just started reading your blog during your training. I just want to say…you are amazing! What an inspirational recap! So happy for you and your siblings!

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29 Shauna@Pleasure, not Punishment November 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm

GAHHHHHHHH SO AWESOME. This is so unbelievably inspiring. Congratulations on a phenomenal race.
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30 Kayla @ Fit Life Forward November 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I am sooo impressed and inspired!!! This really makes me wish that I could swim! WAY TO GO! You are so incredible!
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31 Sarah November 5, 2013 at 11:51 pm

You and the other Iron Siblings are SO amazing and inspirational!!! Congratulations, what an awesome race!!! You are amazingly strong and I hope you always remember that :)

Would Kelly and Ben be interested in writing race recaps for your blog? I’d love to read theirs. Also, will you have an Ironman Q&A post? You have seriously inspired me to start looking into triathalons!

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32 Rebecca November 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm

You guys are all amazing! To watch (read) you put in all that time and effort in the training and then see it to full fruition literally made tears roll down my cheeks. I just can’t imagine all that biking and swimming before a marathon! Congratulations!

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33 Sybil November 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Holy cow, this sent shivers down my spine. So incredible! I am in awe that you and your brother and sister were able to do this all together, what an inspiring family you have.
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34 heather November 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Wow. What an amazing experience. Congratulations! You’re awesome. And how wonderful to share that with your siblings. I also cried reading this! ! Enjoy tons of well deserved R&R!

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35 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep November 6, 2013 at 12:01 am

Don’t mind me. I’m just in a puddle of my own tears. Congratulations!!! What a spectacular race you had!

Now I’m off to buy a bike so I can sign up for a triathlon.
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36 Jessica November 6, 2013 at 12:08 am

I rarely comment but I loved reading the detailed recap. And the volunteers sound absolutely amazing… I didn’t realize they helped so much. It sounds like it would be a lot more difficult without them.

Its so great that you sacrificed, trained hard, and had a great race. You also seemed to have tons of friends, family and support along the way which is SUCH a blessing. Congrats again.

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37 kris November 6, 2013 at 12:10 am

Congratulations!! You and your siblings are such an inspiration! Loved reading this!
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38 Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 6, 2013 at 12:22 am

So proud and inspired! You are awesome :)
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39 Ali November 6, 2013 at 12:23 am

Un-freakin-believable! I’m so happy for you! Look at you smiling in all those pictures–I’m so glad you were able to soak in all of the excitement! I loved reading this. :)
Ali recently posted..This Week in Training: WC 28 October

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40 Megan (The Lyons' Share) November 6, 2013 at 12:26 am

You are SUCH an inspiration, Meghann! I can’t even imagine how emotional this was for you – considering that I was emotional as a random reader who doesn’t even know you! An Ironman has always been on my “maybe” bucket list (I’ve done a half Ironman duathlon, and several Olympic tris/ marathons/ half marathons/ etc.), but I think you’ve pushed it over the edge into the “definitely” bucket list. THANK YOU for sharing your inspiring journey! (ps – the fact that you picked off your gel mani during the bike ride was hilarious!)
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41 Amy November 6, 2013 at 12:28 am

I’m in tears reading this. How freaking awesome!! You rock Ironwoman!!

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42 Liz Morris November 6, 2013 at 12:32 am

What a wonderful read – simply amazing! Congratulations Meghann, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really want to do an Iron Man now! I hope you enjoy your very well deserved rest. Congratulations. Liz
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43 Annie November 6, 2013 at 12:44 am

Totally ugly crying over here reading this haha!

Congrats Meghann!

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44 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs November 6, 2013 at 1:07 am

So amazing! Congrats again to you & your siblings on such a fantastic accomplishment!
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45 Laura @ Backstage Balance November 6, 2013 at 1:18 am

Great recap! You’re incredible :)
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46 Mary November 6, 2013 at 2:00 am

An AMAZING recap! What a race! Massive well done on becoming an Ironman finisher and for smashing all of your goals!!! :)
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47 Kt November 6, 2013 at 2:02 am

Wow this is an amazing story. I’m crying! Way to go – you and your siblings. :)

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48 Samantha November 6, 2013 at 2:06 am

An amazing achievement, I can’t imagine the kind of high you’re probably still riding. Something you’ll be able to look back on with pride for the rest of your life, well done!

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49 Elisabeth November 6, 2013 at 2:29 am

Amazing! I was in tears reading this. So proud of you, Ben & Kelly :D

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50 Kate November 6, 2013 at 3:37 am

Wow!! Congratulations – you did amazing. So happy that you completed this so strong. You have inspired me to really think about entering a race and fulfilling my dream of someday runnng a marathon.

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51 Vicki November 6, 2013 at 4:17 am

Meghann – I’ve just read your recap for the 2nd time – I’m so inspired and in total awe of your achievement! What an amazing time and an amazing race! I’m running my first marathon this weekend and I’m sure you’ll be on my mind as I tackle it. Massive congratulations – you deserve it!!

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52 Kim November 6, 2013 at 6:27 am

Congratulations on your Ironman finish! Great race report!

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53 Michele November 6, 2013 at 7:00 am

I’m sitting here with my coffee, crying. You are amazing. I loved reading this. Congratulations!!!
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54 Cindy November 6, 2013 at 7:05 am

Wow. Just wow!!! I read every word and it almost made me want to do one! Almost. But then I remembered your training. ;)

Your finish time is AMAZING. I was tracking you along with a couple of other friends. You had the fastest marathon time out of them all!!! (and one finished in 11:30). I was tracking your brother too and was thinking you might cross the finish together.

Congratulations!!! You are an ironman!!

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55 Caroline November 6, 2013 at 7:10 am

Actual tears at the end of your recap. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I had such a great time tracking you throughout the day, and I’m so happy that you had a fantastic race!!!
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56 Lindsey Hein November 6, 2013 at 7:18 am

Congratulations! Loved the marathon pics- you looked so fresh and happy & it’s crazy to think you’d already endured 2.4 swim & 112 bike! And what an amazing finishing time!!! Great recap!
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57 sarahf November 6, 2013 at 7:25 am

CONGRATULATIONS! Well done to you and your siblings. What an amazing accomplishment! I’m in tears reading this! So inspiring!
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58 Jessica November 6, 2013 at 7:28 am

Amazing recap! You should be so incredibly proud of yourself! I teared up reading this for sure… What an emotional journey!

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59 Victoria November 6, 2013 at 7:44 am

You had SUCH an awesome race; I loved tracking you and seeing you blow away all of your goal times all day.
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60 Karen November 6, 2013 at 7:47 am

Meghann…. I was so very proud of you… We tracked you along with a few of our friends. It was an honor to enjoy your successes. Don’t know if anyone told you… but right after your brother finished… they said… Look out… your sister is RIGHT behind you… AND… you were! So very cool! CONGRATULATIONS…
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61 Amber November 6, 2013 at 7:48 am

What an amazing time for your first Ironman! Congrats!!!!!

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62 Kristen November 6, 2013 at 7:49 am

Congratulations! What a strong race – seems like you had a practically perfect day. I hope you are still riding the high of finishing your first Ironman!

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63 Debby November 6, 2013 at 7:50 am

Amazing recap! Congratulations to all 3 of you!

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64 Caitlyn @ City and the Cubicle November 6, 2013 at 7:52 am

haha I am tearing up! I amSO happy for you and can’t even imagine how it must have felt! you did it!
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65 Anne November 6, 2013 at 7:53 am

What an amazing and inspiring recap! I got chills just reading it. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. Your hard work and dedication paid off big time – SO proud of you. <3
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66 Carly D. @ CarlyBananas November 6, 2013 at 8:01 am

I am so happy for you, Meghann! Congrats!

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67 Elizabeth @ Positive Change November 6, 2013 at 8:01 am

I am so proud of you! Reading your recap made me tear-up and feel so much happiness for you! Congratulations! You are an Ironman!!!!
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68 Courtney November 6, 2013 at 8:10 am

Oh my, this recap led me to tears. Congratulations times a million! What a wonderful day that you will remember forever.

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69 Eric November 6, 2013 at 8:20 am

Congrats on the Ironman and destroying your original goal. Every time I saw you on the run, you looked like you were flying. I got worried that you were going to bet my marathon run time. Great Recap.
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70 Robin November 6, 2013 at 8:22 am

Great job, Meaghann! You are awesome and so inspiring. I kinda want to be a volunteer, I’d love to help out the racers!

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71 Heather November 6, 2013 at 8:23 am

This is awesome! Congratulations! Like so many others, I had tears in my eyes too. I thought my coworkers were going to ask what was wrong as I read this.

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72 Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing November 6, 2013 at 8:32 am

Meghann – I absolutely loved reading this recap! I watched you finish on Saturday with tears and had tears again after reading this. Congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment!!!
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73 Molly November 6, 2013 at 8:32 am

So so so inspiring!! I loved that you didn’t sugar coat your experience. There can be some rough time during endurance races.
Also it was so awesome to hear about your volunteers experience. Volunteers probably don’t even know how much we appreciate them.

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74 Beki @MissWheezy November 6, 2013 at 8:35 am

I’ve been reading your blog and following your training for a while, and I just had to comment on this! You are such an amazing and inspirational person! Congratulations on achieving an awesome goal, and what a great recap post :) Beki x

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75 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun November 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

Wow Meghann!! You are amazing! I can’t imagine the feeling when they announce “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!” Congrats!! YOU trained hard and you did!
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76 Reenie November 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

I’m in tears reading this. You killed it. So proud of you, Kelly and Ben. Congrats!!

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77 Kelly Steinhilper November 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

What an accomplishment! What an inspiration!!! Thank you so much for sharing – I just teared up at my desk reading this post!! So happy for you!!!!

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78 Erica November 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

Just in reading your recap, you had me cheering and wiping tears!!! I am so proud of you! All your hard work paid off big time. I can’t even imagine the runner’s high you are still riding on right now!! So happy for you, Ironman!!!! Congratulations!!!!

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79 Jenny November 6, 2013 at 8:45 am

This brings such a big smile to my face.
Congratulations! Very proud of you.
What a great feeling!

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80 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast November 6, 2013 at 8:47 am

Wow!! So incredibly inspiring. Way to go!! I love those last few pictures of you at the finish- you look SO happy! Huge congratulations!!
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81 Grazia November 6, 2013 at 8:54 am

Love your recap! I can feel all the energy and joy that you felt that day! It gives me goosebumps!

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82 Michelle November 6, 2013 at 8:57 am

WOOHOO! Congrats lady you are an absolute rockstar!

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83 Amy November 6, 2013 at 9:00 am

Fabulous recap! I really enjoyed it-Congratulations again :)

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84 Susan November 6, 2013 at 9:06 am

Congratulations! I’ve been reading your blog since 2009! This is my favorite!! YOU are such an inspiration! Enjoy the high……

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85 Kelly November 6, 2013 at 9:06 am

Way to go! So happy for you and your siblings. What an accomplishment!
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86 Melanie November 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

Wow congratulations!!!! I teared up reading the announcer saying you are in IRONMAN! how exciting!! so much hard work! amazing job!

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87 Lesley November 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

I got a lot of goosebumps reading this. Congrats!!
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88 Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete November 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

I’m in tears. YOU are an inspiration, my friend! YOU DID IT! I am so incredibly proud of you. And I have to admit I chuckled at the FSU reference. I did say to Nate while I was watching the Ironman and he was watching the FSU game that Derek was a good husband for being out there instead of watching the game. I’m not so sure my hubby would have done the same. Haha.

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89 Ari @ Ari's Menu November 6, 2013 at 9:42 am

This totally made me cry like a baby! Congratulations!!!!
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90 Jill November 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

Congratulations!!! What an amazing accomplishment earned through hard work and dedication. Your recap is epic as well. I felt like I was there. I love the “I had nothing to do so I picked my nail polish” Nothing to do you were biking a 100+ miles! Beyond inspirational. Thank you so much for being so open and honest in your work.

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91 Laura November 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

I teared up at work just reading your recap at the finish. Such an awesome accomplishment!
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92 Beth November 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

Best. Recap. Ever.

Congrats to you and your siblings! Seriously, all three of you did so so so amazing! I’d be happy with a 16:59. LOL! You blew your goals out of the water and I am so happy for you Meghann!!!

P.S. The gel nail polish part made me crack up. Congrats again!!!

P.P.S. I need a coffee date so I can hear it again in real life!
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93 Ashley @ This is the Place November 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

This makes me so freaking happy!! CONGRATULATIONS on an awesome race!!

You’re making me want to sign up for one….
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94 Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages November 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

Congratulations! You are so amazing. I’ve been reading your blog for 4+ years and all your accomplishments are really remarkable. I spectated the NYC Marathon the day after your Ironman and I’m always amazed watching marathoners and I just kept thinking, “Imagine if they’d swam and biked before this like Meghann.” :) Also your family is sweet, I’m lucky to have a great family, too, but I don’t know if they’d be willing to watch me run a race all day long!
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95 Jules November 6, 2013 at 9:55 am

That has to be the best recap I have read in a long, long time. It was fantastic and you are amazing! Just reading it made me feel emotional so it must have been unbelievable to have been there and done it. Well done to you and your siblings…great job!
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96 Dori November 6, 2013 at 9:59 am

I teared up when I got to the part where you crossed the finish line! Meghann, I am SO impressed and so happy for you. I don’t know how you could make a marathon AFTER that crazy long swim and run seem like it wasn’t even that hard! I mean, I know it was tough but it sounds like you never hit a wall or experienced any significant pain, which is amazing. Seriously amazing! You are such a strong athlete and an IRONMAN! I’m excited to find out what your next goal will be (after a nice long period or rest and relaxation of course). Congrats!
Dori recently posted..Richmond Marathon Training: Week 17 – My Intimidating Tempo

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97 Dori November 6, 2013 at 10:00 am

Also – you look so ecstatic in every photo. I love it!

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98 meghan November 6, 2013 at 10:03 am

Oh man! You had the race of your life. I loved this recap and teared up through the end. Congratulations Ironman!
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99 colleen November 6, 2013 at 10:06 am

wow! chills and tears over here. congratulations again on your amazing and inspirational accomplishment!

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100 Maria November 6, 2013 at 10:11 am

Oh the chills!!! And tears!! Congrats you did an amazing job I was tracking you all day! Your amazing!!!!

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101 JB November 6, 2013 at 10:12 am

Not gonna lie, not a huge fan of your blog, however I still do read it. I must say that your recap here was awesome. I actually cried reading it. Congratulations; well deserved. I had my doubts about whether or not you were gonna complete this. Your blogging write ups of your training was less than stellar; which kinda makes me wonder if you left some things out along the way. Eh, doesnt matter really. But yeah, great job!

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102 Julia November 6, 2013 at 10:12 am

Congrats – You are amazing!

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103 Christyne November 6, 2013 at 10:16 am

I’ve been reading your blog for years, back when it was graduate meghann and I have to tell you that this post was incredible!! it honestly took lots of strength not to cry while reading it. I’m sure I’m not the only one that felt that way. Congratulations on being an Ironman and how amazing that you were able to share this experience with Ben and Kelly.

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104 Beth @ 990 Square November 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

Congratulations!! What an amazing accomplishment!
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105 Christina November 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

Meghann, you have a lot of natural talent, which is evident by this race. Many congratulations on a well-run(swam/cycled) Ironman! I can’t wait to see what you do next.

Also, I thought it was great that you brought your griddle to make pancakes.

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106 Katrina November 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

Thanks for making me cry…at work…and someone stopped by to talk to me, saw me wiping my eyes and asked what was wrong. Ugh…how do you tell them you’re reading a stranger’s recap of running an Ironman and it made you tear up??? lol

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107 Katie @ running4cupcakes November 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

Thank you for sharing your ironman experience. You wouldn’t believe the huge smile I have on my face from reading it! I am so excited for you. I have been following along your training and everything you put into this race and I am so happy to see the end result was so amazing!! Congratulations!!!
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108 Joy November 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

Crying as I read this!! So inspiring. Congratulations on your hard work and dedication!!!

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109 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions November 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

Oh man, Meghann, this pretty much brought me to tears. I am just over the moon that your race went SO WELL. Seriously, it sounds like you had an absolutely picture perfect day out there, and I couldn’t be happier for you. I’ve said it a million times before, but you are truly SUCH an inspiration! Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment! We are all so, so, so proud of you.
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110 Heather November 6, 2013 at 10:47 am

Aww that was awesome to read Meghann! So proud of you, Ben and Kelly! xo

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111 Katie November 6, 2013 at 10:54 am

What an inspiring story, Meghann! Thank you so much for sharing it in such detail! Are you still planning to run the Disney Wine and Dine this weekend?!

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112 Cat Melnyk November 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

I am in tears. So so proud of all of you! Absolutely incredible journey and finish!

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113 Heather @fitncookies November 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

Amazing race and amazing time! I had tears reading this!! So proud of everything you accomplished! Hope you are enjoying a much deserved break from workouts!
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114 Holly November 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

You are amazing! What an inspiration!! Congrats! :)

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115 Kelsey November 6, 2013 at 11:21 am

Congratulations!! You three did amazing!!!!

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116 Taylor November 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

Do you realize how amazing and inspiring you are?!? Congratulations!! I may have only teared up a few times watching this! You have inspired me so much!

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117 Mary November 6, 2013 at 11:29 am

SO proud of you, girlfriend! (Kelly too!) I tracked you all afternoon and teared up even while I read this! Even Brian said : Wow, They’re amazing!

You guys are definitely an inspiration to me and I can’t wait to meet up with you guys again! : )

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118 Jill November 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

Congrats! What an accomplishment!

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119 Natalie @ Free Range Human November 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

I think this may be the only recap I’ve ever read word for word! I’m so inspired by your journey. WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!
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120 Melissa @Tryingtoheal November 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

I can’t even express how proud I am of you for finishing this ironman. I’m with Derek, “I am not worthy!” You are awesome Megs. :)
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121 lauren November 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Congrats to you – great recap! All the training and preparation was impressive to read and now to see how much it all paid off…huge accomplishment.

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122 Steph November 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Love the recap, congratulations Meghann!!!

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123 Marci November 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

What an awesome accomplishment. So cool to read. So proud of you. And how cool to do it with your siblings!

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124 Chatelaine November 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm

So INCREDIBLY PROUD OF YOU!! I logged in this weekend to see how you’re doing and was just happy to read your times! The whole recap I had goosebumps and got teary when you crossed the finish line. I’m so amazed at your determination and strength. Your support group is awesome and your spirit is inspiring! So so happy for you and big huge CONGRATULATIONS!

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125 Kaitlyn November 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Such an incredible story! You are amazing. How have you been feeling in the days following?! :) Still on cloud 9, I’m sure!

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126 genna November 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm

You’re amazing! I will leave it short and brief for now :)

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127 hannah November 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

so awesome and inspiring. enjoyed reading your journey! congrats!

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128 jillian November 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

WOW, incredible recap and such an accomplishment. I’ve had the chills reading it — and wanted to cry! You are so inspiring and have SO much to be proud of! Congrats Meghann!

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129 Jen November 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Ahh I’m in tears. Seriously one of the best recaps I’ve ever read. You are such an inspiration! A huge congrats to you, Kelly, and Ben — you all are awesome!
Jen recently posted..Passing along the running high (giveaway)

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130 Shelly November 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Amazing job! I’m dabbing at the little tears of happiness for you!
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131 amyt November 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

VERY Awesome!!! Congrats!

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132 ashley November 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm

i cried! this is so awesome! :))

I do have a question…what is your jacket??? what brand? I love the look of it…its super cute.
ashley recently posted..My Support Crew

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133 Sarah November 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Well…this entry left me a blubbering mess. I mostly blame my pregnancy hormones but I’ve been following your blog for a little over 2 years now and it’s so amazing to see everything you’ve been through to get this point! Congrats Meghann! What a great accomplishment!

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134 Kendra November 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Just another stranger sitting at her desk at work all teary eyed … I’m so impressed. Congrats!!!!

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135 Lindsay @ Live. Love. Nutrition. November 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm

what an amazing accomplishment – such an inspiration – I was definitely tearing while I read through this post! Congratulations on becoming an ironman!
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136 Erica November 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Wow. I’ve never done a triathlon (and probably haven’t been on a big in 10+ years), but your post makes me want to go out and do an Ironman right now. Very inspiring.

Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment!
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137 Lisa Eirene (@LisaEirene) November 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

This was so cool. You should be really happy and proud of yourself!
Lisa Eirene (@LisaEirene) recently posted..Preparing for a Snowshoe Tour

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138 Mary November 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Meghann,
I have been reading your training posts for the past however many months and reading this recap had tears in my eyes. I don’t know you, but am so proud of you for completely your goal! You are truly an inspiration!!!
Mary recently posted..Serenity

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139 Tracy November 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Congrats! What an amazing accomplishment!!

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140 Jae November 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Im supposed to be writing two essays for school right now and i cried reading this in the library.
AMAZING

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141 JennyV November 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Very impressive!! Happy for you and your siblings.

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142 Margo November 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm

So amazing! Congratulations on this huge accomplishment. You and your siblings are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your journey!

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143 Courtney November 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Wow. I’m sitting here crying with constant chills. I’ve been reading your blog since you were training for your first Disney. Just so cool what you have done. An incredible inspiration. Thank you for being you!

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144 sonia the mexigarian November 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

On the verge of tears with happiness for you and your siblings. Huge congratulations on becoming an Ironman!!! You freaking rock!
sonia the mexigarian recently posted..Marathon Training Week 11

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145 Kristin November 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Wow, nice work! Congrats!

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146 Lydia November 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Congrats – amazing job!!! I seriously teared up through this whole post but couldn’t even get through the end without tears continuously running down my cheeks! Such an amazing accomplishment and even more special that you did it with your brother and sister!

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147 Emma @ Stripes and Snapshots November 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

You are so inspirational, you inspired me to sign up for my first 5k, my first 10k, both my half marathons and my triathlon. Thank you.
And CONGRATULATIONS. xxx
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148 Jamie November 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Simply amazing and inspiring and I’m so freakin happy I found this blog in time to follow your journey. Many congrats to you and your siblings!
Jamie recently posted..Technical Difficulties & Creative Weights

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149 Anne Weber-Falk November 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I’m reading pieces of this out loud to my family with a big lump in my throat. Well done!

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150 Kay November 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Congratulations Meghann, Ben and Kelly. Y’all ROCK!!!!

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151 Michelle November 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I am sooooo incredibly proud of you. Like Katy – I cried when you and Ben crossed (I was SO mad that the feed when down when Kelly crossed) and I cried when I read this. DAMN IT. I never, ever, ever want to do an Ironman – but you made this actually sound fun!

So happy for you, Kelly, and Ben. You guys are such a great competitive little team. I can only hope that my kids push each other just as hard someday!
Michelle recently posted..How To Get Stitches… From Running

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152 Deva November 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Congrats, Meghann! I am sitting with tears in my eyes at your finish – you rocked it! Definitely an inspiring read :-)
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153 Layne November 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

You are so inspiring! Please please tell me that Kelly and Ben will do their own recap posts, I’d love to hear their recaps too!

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154 Megan November 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm

This recap had me in tears. I’m so proud of you and so very impressed. You deserve that Ironman title!
Megan recently posted..Product Review – Runnerbox’s Tribox

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155 Amanda November 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

So wonderful and inspiring! Congratulations!!!

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156 Jamie November 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Congratulations! Your recap made me tear up a bit, I could really feel all your emotion of the race. Congrats IRONMAN!!

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157 susan @momswimbikerun November 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Wow, I totally bawled reading this. What an amazing accomplishment for all of you. WTG meghann. All your hard worked paid off. You rocked it.
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158 Elyse November 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

You are so amazing! I got chills and teared up reading this incredible recap. You and your siblings are such an inspiration. Congratulations on all of your hard work and being an IRONMAN!
Elyse recently posted..Gobble, Gobble: It’s Turkey Time

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159 Courtney November 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm

The real questions are 1. is another IM in your future? and 2. are you going to get a tattoo? :)

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160 Laura November 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I don’t think I ever comment on here, but I have been following you for over 4 years and I remember when you told everyone you had volunteered at an Iron Man and then signed up with your siblings for next year’s. And here you are…an Ironman yourself. I am so blown away and as proud of you as I can be without personally knowing you. You are such an inspiration, and I hope you know this.
Laura recently posted..A Walk Through the Woods

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161 Runner Girl Eats November 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm

YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION! Congrats to you and your siblings :)
Runner Girl Eats recently posted..WTF?! Wednesday

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162 Georgia November 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Wow, wow, wow! Congratulations – I am so in awe of your hard work and dedication and am thrilled that you not only met but totally smashed your goals! Well done, girl! :)
Georgia recently posted..Kyoto

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163 Katie R. November 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

you just brought tears to my eyes! congratulations!!! i’ve been reading your blog for almost 2 years and i am such a big fan! you’re such an inspiration :)

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164 megan @ theveryhungryrunner November 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm

So so SO excited for you! I’ve loved following your training along the way and can’t believe it’s over. It sounds like you crushed your goals. Way to go!
megan @ theveryhungryrunner recently posted..a rainy run

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165 Annette @FitnessPerks November 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm

WOW. Just WOW.

I totally got chills reading this! WAY TO GO!!! Congrats! You worked SO hard for this <3
Annette @FitnessPerks recently posted..Lily’s Birth Story (Part 2)

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166 Dana November 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I haven’t been by the blog in a while, but I just remembered that the Ironman was this passed weekend and wanted to check in and see how it went. OMG, Meaghann, I am so proud of you, and so happy for you. I cant imagine the high you must still be flying on. Congratulations!!!! May you relish in this accomplishment!!!

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167 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats November 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Definitely tearing up, that is SO amazing Meghann!!! Congratulations!!!!
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168 Christine @ We Run Disney November 6, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I saved this recap to read until I was “on vacation”, aka the night before leaving for Wine and Dine. Meghann, you are incredible! I was a swimmer in hs and college and have always dreamed of doing an Ironman. 2014 will be the year of the tri for me. You are an incredible inspiration! Congrats IRONMAN!!!

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169 allie November 6, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I loved everything about this recap! I found myself getting more excited for you as I continued to read! You are truly an inspiration and are proof that you can do anything you set your mind to! Congrats to the Iron Sibs!
allie recently posted..Indianapolis Monumental Marathon {recap}

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170 Alison (FitFriend) November 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I had so much fun reading this! Congratulations… what an amazing recap and I’m so happy to see that you had such a great experience. Very inspiring.

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171 Karla @ Run, Karla, Run! November 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Congratulations!! You look far too put together in your finisher photos for someone who just finished an Ironman. Amazing!
Karla @ Run, Karla, Run! recently posted..On The Run 2013 ING New York City Marathon Recap

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172 Laura @ Backstage Balance November 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

You are so awesome! This is a great recap, so much detail! I’d love if you could write about the recovery process, and anything you might have done differently on race day. I am intrigued!
Congrats again – we’re all elated for your accomplishment! You go, girl!
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173 Diana C November 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm

What an epic journey! You’re more than deserving of the Ironman status! So impressed and in awe of your accomplishments :)

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174 Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen November 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm

You and your siblings are absolutely AMAZING!!!! I cannot tell you how truly inspiring you are! The hard work and dedication you put in during this training was all worth it.. you did so great!! Congrats!!
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175 Molly @ There Goes Molly Rose November 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I just cried! I love that you did this with your siblings and how supportive (and competitive) you were with one another. How amazing are you?! Congratulations Meghann it’s been so fun reading your progress and now your SUCCESS. Also, I had no idea you were going to do a 1:30,:30 run….I like those run/walk methods (and so do my knees!) congrats again. Now sleep in this weekend! :)
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176 Savannah November 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

You are such an inspiration!! I couldn’t contain the tears while reading this IRONMAN race recap! I have thoroughly enjoyed following your training journey and repect your dedication and determination to make this dream a reality. Way to go girl! Enjoy the post race high for a long, long time!

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177 Kristina November 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Congratulations on a really amazing day! You pulled off a great race and you look so happy in the process!
Kristina recently posted..Surf City 10K – now that was fun!

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178 Colleen L November 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Amazing recap! Such an incredible accomplishment…Congrats!!
Colleen L recently posted..Resolution Check-In

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179 Nadine November 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Wow, you really are an IRONMAN :) Congratulations, you’ve definitely inspired me to do one now!

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180 Brynn November 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Yeah, girl! I am so so so impressed. Congratulations!

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181 Coco November 6, 2013 at 10:15 pm

You three are amazing!!! I can’t believe you have such an amazing family of athletes! You make me believe that I can do an iron man some day.. I seriously cried reading this recap.. Congratulations!
Coco recently posted..Happy Halloween!

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182 The Many Thoughts of a Reader November 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

CONGRATS!

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183 Kristen November 6, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Huge congratulations! Totally teared up reading this and I’m not even a tri-athlete (much less an IRONMAN woop woop!!)
Kristen recently posted..Off the Grid: Twilight in the Presidio

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184 Betsy November 6, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I’ve loved reading about your training and I’m so glad you did such a thorough recap. I was actually crying near the end of the post because I was so happy for you. I’d love to be able to share something so special with my siblings. Congratulations!

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185 Jen November 6, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Totally made me cry!

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186 Katie November 7, 2013 at 7:09 am

This had me in tears!! I’ve been a reader of yours since you started and I am so proud of you! You’re an inspiration! You should get your siblings to write guest posts on here to recap their races. I would love to read how the experience was for both of them.
Katie recently posted..OBX Marathon Training: Week 19

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187 Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian November 7, 2013 at 7:53 am

What a race recap! Congratulations! What an insane and awesome accomplishment!
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188 Amanda November 7, 2013 at 7:55 am

Congratulations!!! I got goosebumps reading your recap :) It’s so inspiring and gets me super motivated! I’d love to hear my name followed by YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!! Maybe one day ;)

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189 Kath November 7, 2013 at 7:56 am

You are amazing Meghann! Loved reading the whole race.

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190 Kate November 7, 2013 at 8:50 am

Thank you for sharing your IRONMAN story!! It’s inspirational to read about your race! Congratulations!!!

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191 Kristin November 7, 2013 at 9:09 am

You and your siblings are AMAZING! I was tearing up reading your recap! Awesome job!

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192 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner November 7, 2013 at 9:25 am

What a wonderful story. You and your siblings are amazing!
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..Cooking and the Aftermath

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193 Lisa November 7, 2013 at 9:47 am

Congratulations! I got emotional reading it. Great job. :)
Lisa recently posted..Hi-ho. It’s back to work I go.

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194 Courtney November 7, 2013 at 10:15 am

Totally tearing up over here! You should be so proud of yourself Meghann, you did such an amazing job!

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195 Donna November 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Hey there! I was working the finish line when you crossed! I first saw you on the run course at mile 2. Congrats on having a great finish! I’m signed up for my first, next year! I was one of those crazies on line at 5am to race Florida in 2014!!
Donna recently posted..Race Report: 2013 Summertime Blues

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196 Sara @ Zero to Sixty November 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Congrats!! I got all teary eyed reading this! Great job completing an Ironman!!!! :)
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197 Mollie @Sprinkles of Life November 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm

wow! what an accomplishment! Good for you! I even got teary eyed reading this!! So happy for you, Meghann! Congrats!
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198 joelle (on a pink typewriter) November 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

CONGRATS!!

LOVE that you did this as a family! What a gorgeous sunrise you got to swim around… and seriously – you look WAY too happy during that run haha I think I’d have been hating the world at that point. ;) Seriously, way to go!
joelle (on a pink typewriter) recently posted..Pre-Training Running Hiatus

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199 Meghan November 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm

What a great recap! I felt like I was there watching you. Congrats I can’t imagine how accomplished you and your family feels. :)
Meghan recently posted..Sunday school.

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200 Casey November 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm

This is one of my favorite blog posts ever! I’m so happy for you, the emotions through this post were a roller coaster. I want to do a tri now!

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201 Rebekah Smith November 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I obviously do not know you but I have been reading your blog forever now. You motivate me and inspire me all the time.

I just read this entry word for word and am sitting here crying!!! I am so proud of you. WOW WOW WOW. You did it! You finished. You are an Ironman!!! That is sooooooooooooooooo rad. What an experience to share with your siblings. Great job!!!!!!!

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202 Kelly @livegreenchic November 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I loved reading about your journey from training to the Ironman! Awesome race recap and congrats on the amazing time!
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203 Stacy November 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Wow, I can’t believe it! This is amazing!

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204 Tempie @ The Texas Peach November 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Congrats to you and your siblings! It must have been an amazing feeling to cross that finish line!
Tempie @ The Texas Peach recently posted..On the Injured List

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205 Gwen November 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Ahmazing. So happy for you and your siblings! I’m so inspired!
Gwen recently posted..Mashable’s “9 Amy Poehler Quotes to Remind You What’s Important”

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206 eb @ Running on E November 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Awesome recap. It made me laugh and cry! I am totally impressed by you and your siblings. Congrats, congrats, congrats. It inspires me to want to be an Ironman!
eb @ Running on E recently posted..Pre-Marathon Prep and Race Goals

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207 Becca November 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I loved reading this enthralling recap! I just recently started reading your blog and you are so cool. I feel like you started out running little by little just like I did last year, and it’s so motivating to see how far you’ve come and how incredible you and your siblings are!! Congrats to the three of you!

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208 Sue November 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and couldn’t be more happy for you. You are an Ironman.

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209 Shauna November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

This is so amazing. I can’t wait until the day that I start training for an ironman. You are amazing! Way to go girl :)

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210 Shannon November 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm

seriously awesome. so proud of you guys. teared up reading!!

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211 Sil November 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Wow Meghann, what an amazing experience!!! Congratulations!!! As always, I just ended up with tears…! So happy for you. Very well done!
Sil recently posted..NYC Marathon Recap

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212 Emily November 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I’m so proud for you Meghann, what a beautiful race! Congratulations on joining the Iron Family, they added three amazing people that day! By the end of your recap I had tears and goosebumps, can’t wait to hear what’s next!
Emily recently posted..Marathon Monday: 20 weeks

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213 Jesica @rUnladylike November 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Congrats on a great race! You are an IRONMAN! I love all the pictures of you on the run. That joy of knowing you are going to accomplish this incredible goal after the many grueling months of training shined through. Hope you are still on cloud nine :)
Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..Race Recap: Run for Justice 5K

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214 Lisa November 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Wow, incredible story! That’s so cool that you got to tun it with your family there!

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215 tom November 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Great job, IRONMAN! I liked your blog post. Read mine too if you get a chance at http://www.tomheller.com. I finished about 3.5 hours after you. It’s always great to read the stories of other competitors. Keep on going!

tom
tom recently posted..Ironman Florida 2013 Race Recap

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216 Kaitlin November 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm

This is beyond inspiring! I’m so glad that I found your website and your race recap. You all are so amazing. It makes me continue to believe it’s possible :) Congrats!!

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217 Donna Silverberg March 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Congrats..I met you at Syracuse and told you I was Jackie Carlins friend. I just did Princess and saw her. I am training for Raleigh. I hope i have as godds a race as you did!

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218 Virginia April 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just did a search for Ironman Florida Race Reports 2013 and yours came up. Thank you so much for writing this and for including SO MUCH detail. I am doing IM FL 2014 as my first IM, and this brought tears to my eyes! Great blog! Great work!

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