Never go to a race without DuctTape

So this post is about the other Tri-Belle that did IM Florida. Marjan is definitely the creative one in the group and she is always making the best videos to capture all of our races and other fun adventures. Seriously, her videos make you feel like you are right back on the course, re-living the day…or weekend! However, I wanted to share her IM accomplishment in a little more detail…with her full permission of course! I can’t tell you everything that went through her head but I can tell you from my perspective and from what she did share with me.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Marjan and I met about 1-2 weeks after I moved to California. We met at a running Meet-up group, that to this day has been one of the best decisions I ever made  as far as putting myself out there and going to run with a random group of people. Anyhow, when we met Marjan was running with our friend Andrea and I was instantly drawn to these two foreign ladies that seemed so fun! That was 3 years ago and we’ve all been inseparable since. Marjan would run the same old 6-13 miles either at the gym or around Back Bay. Always consistent, always up for the distance, never competitive. Fast forward a year and she agreed to do a sprint tri with me in San Diego. Neither of us could swim for shit haha. Onto the next year she (and Andrea and many others in our group) did LA Marathon AND agreed to do Vineman with Dom and me. She was hooked! Marjan is the kind of training partner everyone needs. She is ALWAYS willing. When we first started getting into our longer training sessions I was always amazed at her endurance that she made look so effortless and that she never complained. Then one day I realized that I shouldn’t be amazed because she has truly become an AMAZING athlete. The hours she put in on the bike and in the pool really paid off. I still remember the first night we swam 5000 yards. We were SO happy. I clearly remember our first century ride too. We had to ride in circles at the end of the ride because we were determined to hit that 100 mile mark! I also remember her riding through Santiago Canyon on a bike that weighed 3 times as much as some of the others and still being able to keep up! Long story short she has become a true athlete with an ability to focus that I envy.

3 minutes before the gun went off!

As for race day, we both went into the water at the same time. We had the same swells and 3000 people with us. The chop and swells…or maybe nerves did get to her and she got sick on the swim. That sucks because it basically she started her day with a negative calorie deficit. She still came out of the water strong and killed it on the bike. The amount of progress she made this year on the bike is awesome! I know one of her favorite parts of the day was pedaling steadily past the guys who went flying by at the beginning of the ride on their $10K bikes. She raced smart on the bike and it paid off! On to the run. I am pretty sure she was thinking the same thing as me. “Am I really going to be able to do a full marathon now?” Not wanting to make the same mistake she made at LA Marathon, she made sure she was refueling at every aid station which likely ended up being too much and made her get sick again on the run. I remember waiting for her to cross the finished line. I had an idea of when she was supposed to be coming, but it was taking a little longer than I expected. I started to get worried and I also started to get sick. I think my body was coming down from the adrenaline of finishing and was in need of food and warmth. Then I saw her coming. I couldn’t make it back into the chute again, but somehow I was able to sprint to the finish line and to watch her cross the finish line. Honestly seeing her finish and put her hands up in the air was probably more emotional for me than my own finish. When I finished I was ecstatic. I felt great. I was taking it all in and just loving every minute of it. When Marjan finished, it really hit me what we did over the past year. How lucky I was to have a friend who was up for any crazy challenge and that was fun every moment of it. How lucky I was to have her by my side. I love, love, LOVE when people want to try something new and active. For me seeing someone cross the finish line is as rewarding as crossing myself but for some reason I feel like I am always racing rather than cheering. My goal in 2017 is to cheer more and race less but I don’t know if anything will ever replace how proud I was of Marjan the moment she became an Ironman!

Blogging for or about someone else is new for me. So I hope this makes sense and I hope it captures some of Marjan’s journey through Ironman. Cheers!

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