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by Denis Oakley in

I discovered that an Ironman didn't actually hurt that much. That's because the body is full of endorphins and adrenalin that mask the pain. When they wear off you discover the cost of your achievement....

I was wheeled to the shower room and sat on a chair under two jets of water. A bit more comfortable my first act was to plop each foot into a bucket of water complete with shoes. Then I took off my cap and sun glasses - handed them to Senay. The medal got hurled at the step as a bit of useless irrelevant junk . I then undid my tri suit and removed my sock and trainers. I kept the socks to myself but the trainers went into the plastic bag. Wonderful Senay. How do finishers survive without an angel by their sides.

An ice pack was added to each thigh for a while and then I decided that I could move. In a fashion. Senay said afterward that when I reached for her support it was in a kind of romantic way. It was in a rest my body on your and expect you to keep me upright from my point of view. She held though and with 2 (yes 2) ironman towels we headed for the exit and a taxi. The chap was very nice so I put one towel on his car seat so it didn't get wet. I had a large problem with steps at this point and all movement had to be calculated on the basis of whether my legs would give way underneath me if I attempted it. 

Back to the hotel. Mee Sup, Hot chocolate and beer were the catering instructions. Plus 10kg of ice. I had a hot shower to start with whilst Senay sorted the cold bath and I removed the last of the vaseline, gels, sports drink, sweat and road grime. The four little furry things that I had worked so hard to collect were thrownacross the bathroom and I used loads of bubble bath bliss.

The ice arrived and I was marched acrossd the room. Ooooooh. Now it's difficult to tell which was worse. The muscles trying to cramp in my legs or the shivering that wracked my upper body. A Tshit saved me from hypothermia and i worked valiantly to stop the bottom from getting wet. I had my standards still for some reason. 

Then there was the juddah-juddah-juddah sound that I made when I was shivering and the aaaaargh sound that I made when I was cramping. I kept worrying that Senay might think that I was really ill or something but I wasn't able to really articulate the thought to her. Finally the ice melted and the food arrived. I was allowed out of the bath. Chicken sup - went in a big steaming double gulp. Then the hot chocolate with extra sugar. Then all the liquid from the the Mee sup. Then with I think 4 T-shirts on I went to bed. Shivered for 5 minutes. Warned Shen that I might wake up screaming with cramp. Then slept like a baby for a long time.

Sunday I was fine but the world was grey and slightly meaningless.  My soles hurt a great deal. My left big toe hurt and I had a couple of blisters, and my quads made walking a little bit of a comdey act - think of some of the early Sony humanoid robots. :)

It was over and I'd survived


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