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Monday, September 1, 2008

Spectator's report :) Hard job, but somebody gotta do it!!!

Todd seeing the kids on the side lines...see the love:)

Skylar holding the go blogger girl's/dad signs:)

Mason peeing in the Ohio river....don't worry it was after the swim:)

the main kid entertainment:)

Kate-Monster starting the run:)

The kids camping out waiting....waiting:)

WHeeeew I made it in one piece.....if you are a Mom and a wife of a Ironman husband you can so relate of the pressure of making sure everything goes smoothly on race day!!! I woke up at 5:30a.m. and got myself ready and all the snacks and drinks packed for the long day...woke one kid up at a time and got them feed and ready to go..after 2 STROLLERS(which we bought the night before the race) packed to the max and ready to roll....going along and shit there are 3 flights of stairs we have to go down to get to the swim finish...WTF am I going to do???? Luckily there were people getting ready to go down also and asked me if they could help....Me like always thinking "I CAN HANDLE EVERYTHING" don't like being a burden on people..."I think I can get it...well the look on my face must have said it all...they did not listen to me and proceeded to pick up the other end of the stroller...THANK YOU!!!!!
We get to the swim finish and I pushed my way to get a good viewing spot...front row baby:) I see E getting out with a super fast swim and right after there was Bree.....Todd came out looking good I am stoked......I missed Kate :( I waited around for Mira...knowing how much she loves swimming (NOT) and wanted to make sure she made it out safely....but the kids started to whine and wanted a new spot to go hang out to the park we go!!!!!
I was kind of bummed as I could not hear any race updates being announce and I knew E and Bree were up there with the leader of the swim pack....
We headed back to the room for a bit and I got online and looked up Mira and was so happy to see she made the swim:) Bree was in the lead on the bike and was getting ready to hit we decided to head back to the race..along the way I hear some people shout hey Mel...we read your blog:) that was so cool and I had the pleasure of meeting Bree's family who I ran into on the corner of the street (Cricket) a fellow blogger and Bree's aunt!!!
I ended up finding the PERFECT spot for a spectator a place where there where water fountains for the kids to play in and it happened to sit right in the middle of where the bikers come in and the runners run out...PERFECT!!!! So I stayed parked there for 2 hours and a HUGE thank you to Kel (Kate Monster's) sister for keeping me updated(by text) on Kate and Todd..that was a BIG help!!! I was bummed as I did not know how Bree was doing until my friend BR called me and I said "please tell me you are following the race on line" he let me know the status on Bree and that was when I learned she was not feeling so hot :( but I knew she would fight till the end!!!
I saw Kate come in off the bike looking strong and saw her starting the run......Todd came in looking good and was very excited to see the kids as you can tell on his face in the photo above...but he said to me...which I hear EVERY time " I hate these things" just to let everyone know this was his 15th FULL Ironman...and he is training for the Ultraman....yeah he really hates these things :)
I gathered all the kids up and ran up to our room again and cleaned them up and headed to the finish the time we got there I had 2 kids sleeping and the other 2 saying Dad needs to hurry up!!! I PUSH my way to a good spot again and park the strollers with kids hanging half in and half out....people giving me the "are you nuts" look..I am elbow to elbow with my neighbors....but I had the perfect spot...SEE my main job was to make sure the kids were there at the finish so Todd could run through with all 4 kids...and that was my main focus...I get nervous "what if I can't pick the 2 older ones over the wall divider..."what if I miss him" "what if the two little ones are still sleeping by the time he gets there" what if they are taking a potty break" ect....I was driving myself nuts.....then my phone rings IT WAS TODD...yes he stopped at the side of the road and asked if he could use their phone and called me to let me know he was on mile 17 and starting to run here I am doing calculations in my head trying to get prepared of the hand off....I was getting I got the text from Kel that Kate Monster was out of the race and heading to the med tent......then I see E coming down the finish shoot with the death look on her face but still managing to look seems like everyone was out there have struggles of to just finish....Everyone was saying how HOT it was....It really did not bother me much as I think I was kept so busy it was not on my mind......but again I was not out there racing!!!! My phone rings again and some stranger calls and says your husband has 2 more miles to go and he will see you soon!!! See how Todd does not really care about his times, he does these races to spread the word of Racing for Recovery:) so I am pulling kids out of the strollers putting shoes on and here comes Todd I start pushing the kids under the divider and handed Mason to Todd...the crowd went crazy and the smiles where huge and the mission was accomplished:) A very proud moment!!!!
So today I feel the bruising on the bottom of my feet and my head feels like I got hit by a train...I have endless piles of laundry and kids that WON"T go to bed and a husband who has been in bed since 7 :) at times of being a spectator...I think I would have rather been racing (skip the swim part)....but at the end it was ALL worth it....getting to meet E, Kate-Monster, her amazing family, her coach John....Mira...Bree's sweet family and some other cool fellow bloggers......the best was just to be out there and seeing all the racers following their dreams/goals even if they were hurting to get there....families over joyed of there loved ones finishing...I had to hold my own tears back just watching!!!! I don't know how anyone could watch one of these Ironman races live and not get motivated to do one some day:) Congratulations to all of you!!!! Be proud!!!


Anonymous said...

Holy crap Mel, I look like hell warmed over?! WTF?! That was the START of the run!!!!

It was so fun to see you out on the course. Thanks for hollering and keeping up with us all!!

Todd Crandell said...

As a father, husband and participant in the Ironman I say THANK YOU on many levels. I know it is very hard for you and the kids to put up with all I do to promote Racing for Recovery (and help us in the process) and I apologize for all the sacrifices you all have made. When I signed up for this race my first thought was "I will finally be able to have a photo with all of our kids crossing the finish line with me" It was that mental picture that drove me to complete the event and along with that thought was the support of endless people shouting positive comments about Racing for Recovery. I was humbled by their support and seeing you and our kids at the critical points of the race.
I have only watched one ironman and it was rough and I did not even have kids with me so I cant imagine what it is like for you out there but I will say again thank you not only from me but the other racers and moms out there who you inspired in your own way.
Please remember this post when I am doing Ultraman and Ironman Western Australia and will be gone from Nov 20 through Dec 10 lol.
To the "blog" girls and their families it was nice meeting you.

Pedergraham said...

This is the BEST spectator report ever. Whew!

jahowie said...

Congrats to Todd on finishing yet another Ironman, and congrats to you for surviving hauling the kids around all day. :-)

BreeWee said...

Mel you are the greatest, my family loved you and I loved the support. I think your job of pacing and watching the race with 4 kids in had was the bigger challenge!

Recover- you deserve it after that adventure!

Trigirlpink said...

Good Grief.. you had your own Ironman going on there yourself. Yikes. That is a ton of work trying to keep the kids occupied and being out in the heat all day.
Spectating and volunteering is EXAUSTING. I did it one year at LP and I was sooooo tired.... Wish I could have been there to hang out with you and watch and help with the kids.
Can't say I would ever want to do a race in that part of the country with that type of humidity and heat for that distance.

Mira Lelovic said...

Thank you for all your messages and for pulling for me on that swim! I made it, and without much panic or tears! I love the sign, I wish I would have seen it. It was great seeing Todd on the run course, and he was running strong both times I saw him. I thought, wow, he's tough! Seeing all the people I know was the only fun thing about that marathon, and I love running!
I'm so happy we got to meet and have dinner together. Let me know when you sign up for your own IM! I won't be there racing with you, but I'll definitely be returning all the support you gave me!

Tri-ing with Twins said...

Mel: I loved reading this post! You truly are amazing! (of course, so is Todd for completing yet another Ironman). I totally understand your pain (I mean joy, haha). I have spent endless hours dealing with the twins, packing, loading, traveling, sitting out in the hot hot hot sun for hours, just so the boys could catch a glimpse of daddy as he races by on his bike.

Congrats to you for surviving and congrats to Todd!

Raina :)

Anonymous said...

OK MEL ! I was getting updates from Mira about how she met you down in KY and how great you were, kids too...! Spectating an IM is one of the hardest things to do - and with KIDS IN TOW!!!!!! You did an amazing job and I know Todd and the bloggers loved your support! GET some rest. Congrats to Todd on his finish on a tough day! :) Jen H.
PS I am off to spectate IM WI this Sunday - Jerome is in UK going to do his IM this Sunday too - so the kids....hmm...but my mom said she'd take them, so I will be going up with Elizabeth instead...probably not as demanding. HAHA :)) GET SOME REST!

kerri said...

Geez Louise...SUPER MOM and IRONMAN spectator you are!!! Whew, you've got to be exhausted. So cool to see all those blogger girls out there cheering for each other!!!

Wes said...

You totally rock, Mel! Handling four young kids through an Ironman and having them ready to go for Dad just totally blows my mind. I'm going to figure out how to roll this into my upcoming post on Iron spouses.

Glad you made it home safe and sound!!!

(P.S. great pics! LOL @ Katie... death warmed over :-D)

Laura said...

Mel, you're awesome! 'Nuff said. ;)

Eric said...

Sounded like an awesome day for everyone :-)

Damie said...

OMG SUPER MOM! Hello! I swear your posts make me want to start having kids ASAP- you make everything seem easy and great. Ha! I love it! Congrats to Todd and to everyone.

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Dammm Girl - YOu are the bomb! I was laughing the whole time I was reading when you wrote "are you nuts" look people were giving you. I relate every time I race or slow down to run with the kids in the finisher chute. How the heck did you push 2 strollers? Furthermore, just chuck that race up as IM # 1 down. I hope you are getting a foot massage and pedicure today. You deserve it!

Cy said...

Do you have a SUPER WOMAN Splish suit yet? You certainly deserve one!

Sounds like a jam packed day full of emotion. Congrats on Surving your own Ironmom day.

PS- Racing for Recovery sounds like an amazing thing- Congrats Todd!

Eileen Swanson said...

Mel, I love you, you are super mom and an amazing all around person! Thank you so much for cheering for all of us and I am so bummed I missed you out there with the cutest kids in the world. I was so hurting, I dont remember crossing the finish line. Thanks for the funny comment on what T said ;-) That is so cute!


Marni said...

What a great spectator you are!!! It takes supportive spectators to get athletes to a finish line!! :)

CJ said...

Nice to meet you Mel -- And oh ya you to Todd!! Great job out there Mel taking care of those kids.. I totally agree that it is a tough job.. And we only have 3!! Todd keep in touch - if there is anything I can help you out with let me or Kate Monster know, Great Job out there.. It was really fun keeping track of you all day long!

Craig (Mr. Kate Monster)

triguyjt said...

congrats to todd on finishing another ironman..

I think I should do a t.v. piece on you mel, for all that you do to balance the training, the racing, the kids, the spectating and all.. are a lucky man

Anonymous said...

Hi Mel,
My husband and I saw you at the race when we saw Team Wee. I have seen your blog through Bree's and recognized you and after you told us Racing for Recovery. I had my husband yell at him while he was running. "Go Racing for Recovery." He was walking and he looked back and my husband said, "Your kids told me if I see their dad to tell him to get his butt running--no walking!" He smiled and started running. It was kind of funny! Nice meeting you and great work getting the kiddos out there to support. I did that in AZ with our three and I was exhausted! Courtney

Cricket said...

Mel so glad we got to meet- you and your children are adorable!
You are a trooper as a spectator w/ all the kids- I felt like the day of Ironman I was on a never ending roller coaster ride-so I can only imagine how you felt!
Tell Todd Congrats from all of us- plus where can I get his book?
Have a great week- Relax!

Lily on the Road said...

OMG Mel, I had no idea Hubs was an Iron Man, your family ROCKS...

You are an Iron Lady for all the to-ing and fro-ing you were doing with the are an amazing woman!!

Congrat's Todd, well done Mel...*hugs* to all of you.

Kellye Mills said...

Spectating is hard. I volunteered at a 1/2 marathon one day and was amazed at how much my feet hurt just from standing on them all day! And you did it by yourself with 4 kids, you really are amazing!! Enjoy YOUR recovery!

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice job everyone!! Way to go!!

I love the photo of peeing! I mean, WE'VE all done that, right?!?


Train-This said...

Hook me up with the sign Mel and I will be forever indebted to you. I will babysit for you someday for a week!


Sarah said... are seriously SUPER MOM!!! WOW!! You really did have your own IM out there with the kids and doing it all.

Todd really is a lucky guy and btw those are GREAT photos!

:) S