After the race, I couldn't help but feel that maybe I didn't push hard enough. This was my third ironman, and it was completely different from the others. I actually felt good (considering) the whole time and never once wanted to quit. I faded a bit toward the end due to fatigue and was definitely ready for the finish line, but I felt good and was having a lot of fun. Surely, an ironman shouldn't be an enjoyable experience. I should have gone harder, I thought. I should have dug deeper.
Then the next day arrived....and the next...wow. I have never been so sore after an ironman. I could hardly walk. It was brutal. This confirmed that I did go hard enough. I just finally learned how to pace myself. It feels good, but different.
Anyway, Tuesday Courtney and I left for vacation. I haven't said much about it, but she is the perfect irongirlfriend. Not only did she not once complain about all the training, she actually encouraged me to get out there and keep training on days I didn't feel like it. I'm very lucky. Since she had to live her life by my training schedule the past year, I told her to plan a vacation and we'll do whatever she wants (she's a self-proclaimed master vacation planner). She wanted to go to Disneyland. I was just there a year ago, but I thought it would be fun to go back so that's where we went. Disney, Universal Studios and Clearwater Beach. It was hot and sunny the whole time we were there. Perfect.
Courtney was a zoology major and did an internship at Epcot where she worked with the dolphin trainers. She spent 6 months down there and wanted to go back to visit some friends. We hit all the rides at Disney several times and they were tons of fun, but I have to admit the best part was going behind the scenes and watching the dolphin trainers at work. I had no idea Disney was doing real, legitimate research. I figured the dolphins were just for show, but they're not. It's a little weird, actually. One second you're standing by a big tank next to a kid with mouse ears on and the next you're upstairs where they have computers that play and record dolphin sounds while the trainers work with the dolphins.
I got to watch a training session and learned that dolphins cheat at training games and talk trash. It's true. I studied them closely to see if I could pick up any swimming tips, but I'm afraid I didn't come back with anything useful. I'll have to improve my swimming the hard way.
Always the hard way.
If you're ever planning a Disney trip, I have a piece of advice for you: Go in September. It's the slowest month. The typical wait....
The whole vacation was really fun. We rode roller coasters until our necks hurt, ate crappy food and drank Margaritas. We lounged by the pool, soaked in the hot tub and slept about 10 hours a day (I seriously have never slept so much in my life) including naps. We were lazy, overfed and a little drunk. We were living the American dream.
Courtney ready for ride #4 on Everest.
At the top of Everest before you go backwards and face the Yeti.
Right before the safari.
One of my favorite rides. I didn't notice the writing in the sky when we were there,
but it looks like it might say 'trust Jesus.' We went to Panera later in the week and Jesus
screwed up my order. You might be able to trust him with your soul, but
don't trust him with your turkey sandwich.
Perhaps the real reason we ended up in Florida....Harry Potter Land. I know nothing of Harry Potter, but
the rides at Harry Potter Land are great.
Harry Potter Land.
A big bat. A very big bat.
I won't deny it. I'm a grinch.
This was fun. It's the water blaster, and you get to blast the people on the water ride.
#9 was the best one because it hit the lead rider in the face.
See? Right in the face. I loved it.
The end of a great week. A lazy day in the hot Florida sun. I could live like this.