How do I sum up my race in Wisconsin a little over a week ago? I could detail my BGs throughout the day and the diabetes-related decisions that I made. Or I could talk about how I picked up my pace a little every time I saw a red or blue Triabetes IronFan T-shirt out on the course. Or maybe I could talk about my amazing teammates, both the 11 others racing and the honorary diabetic (aka Michelle) keeping BG meters at the ready and cheering herself hoarse. Perhaps the real story is in the 12 months leading up to the race?
Being part of Triabetes this year was a gift. All those years of people asking "Are you still running?" as I played the never-ending game of what-will-this-do-to-my-BG finally, finally, paid off in my readiness to join this group of amazing people. Since being diagnosed I have tried to continue to live life as I would have otherwise, and have been blessed with extraordinary friends and family who supported me along the way. Still at times managing diabetes is difficult and frustrating. In some way, I have received acknowledgment from somewhere--maybe just myself--that, yes, it is hard but it is also worth it. As I crossed the finish line in Madison, Ray asked me that question, "Was it worth it?" My response was, "Ask me in an hour," as I experienced a huge emotional and physical relief to be done with the race, followed by "Yes, of course it was." This Ironman was a lot more painful for me, with cramping on the swim and bike, and a low-BG-head feeling for most of the run. It was hard. But the reward to me and, I hope, the many more who participated or will see the documentary, is great. Yes, it is hard. Yes, there are highs and lows. But, in the end, it is worth it all.