Many of you followed along through @Run2SaveLives (Chris) tweets. But if you didn't, and if you aren't following him, please stop reading this, go back to your homepage and follow this guy. He is a wonderful guy, and his twitter account is the epitome of the good that social media can do, especially for us athletes. A 2x Ironman himself, marathon coach, father, crepe-lover and rated-R comedian, he'll @reply and inspire you to go after whatever it is you are chasing.
Also, please take a look at all of the people on this list below. Everyone here was a huge support to me, be it through messages, RTs or the like. Follow each other. You will create such a supportive community for yourself. I, too, look forward to cheering you guys on to your finish lines.
Without further rambling ... my thank you's in (longer than 140 characters) twitter form.
@NYCe @GoSonja @gusano82 @felog @PunkRockRunner @smellycents @jasonditri- once again, way to go you guys.
@westsidelaTNT - My only regret Sunday was having to miss the Seattle Rock n Roll with you all. But amidst the craziness of Saturday in Idaho, the text msg and twitter updates about our team gave us reason to celebrate. Congrats you guys! You are heroes and my inspiration.
@LJ3000 - My biggest fan through the long training months, thanks for keeping my spirits up throughout. And anyone who thinks I look "gorgeous" 114.4 miles into a race is automatically my best friend!
@MelissaBorek - For helming TNT course support Sunday, and an amazing season as a mentor and, now, captain of the West Side, thank you!
@javier1280 - thought about you and your mom many, many times during the 26.2. I keep fighting for you guys. Thanks for the cheers and keeping me going.
@Pettygoodman - My other biggest fan, the feeling is mutual. I want to be like you when I grow up.
@DavidCarrJaxFL - One of the first to give me IM advice: Put in the work now so you can celebrate on race day. Tried to follow that to a T, and it paid off. Thanks David, those few words powered an entire season.
@eorvieto - Always a constant supporter, a TNT alum and a great sense of humor. Thanks for your cheers!!
@Traci_Mac - This is all I can hope for, and you put it to words beautifully. Thank you for being such a great friend and support! RT If you dream big, work hard and stay dedicated, you can do ANYTHING. Proud of my soon to be ironwoman @goingforgoofy . You are inspiring!
@bemadthen - I am humbled that you did. Don't be surprised if you find yourself inching toward signing up for one yourself. You are capable. The start line awaits. RT@goingforgoofy I tracked every minute of your race yesterday. You are amazing. Congrats!
@louise2052 - I can't wait for you to be in my shoes. Soon. Keep your eyes on that start line. I'm excited for you!
@tagoldmann - Thanks for the RnRSea pic of the TNT family. Was a very sweet shout out.
@sitbones - It was a pleasure chatting with you Sunday. I look forward to getting to know you! RT @goingforgoofy You are entitled to walk any way u want this morning, you Ironman!! So very happy 4 you. Only discovered you yesterday, yea!!
@IdahoCobra - Such a pleasure meeting you guys at Java, and it was one of the highlights of my day seeing you and your family at Government & Appleway. I took your cheers with me for the rest of that 56 miles loop!
@esdi & @johnboy221 - You boys are awesome and a pleasure to train with. Love, Iron Maiden. Now go for a run!
@chaibot - So excited for you to be in these shoes shortly. You are ready. The ups and downs you've been through with your season have prepared you. I can't wait for you to celebrate your day.
@LKSanders - Pleasure to meet ya! One of the most memorable tweets of the night for me! RT Can't seem to get off Twitter until I see @goingforgoofy finish. I don't even know her, but many people I follow are cheering her on.
@KristyLPants - cheers came through loud and clear, thank you! RT @goingforgoofy I wish you well tomorrow on your Ironman adventure!! We're all cheering for you!!
@ncjack - You have the coach's gene for sure. Thank you for your endless support since day one!
@IronManLongRunr - I have graduated from baby deer to fawn. Fawn with compression socks. And a tan. RT@goingforgoofy the baby deer feeling will soon pass, but the other feeling will be with you for life. Enjoy the moment!
@jenn_if_er - You are an awesome support. I can't wait to see the magic that happens with your 1/2 IM and beyond. You get "it", the whole endurance/focus/giving back aspect of this world. And that's what it takes. Remember that.
@ekdaigle - Thank you for the wonderful wishes and pic of the three of you! Definitely made me smile!!
@KIKat1029 Ha! This made me laugh even when my abs were hurting! RT I'd like to follow @goingforgoofy as that's a great user name! Good luck today!
@DollarBillRS - Exactly the feeling. Thank you for your kind words. RT@Run2SaveLives wow @goingforgoofy looks so satisfied and happy, congrats on a great race
@journeytv - I can't speak for the others, but I'm humbled by your words. Hero or not, I'm a recreational athlete just hoping to compete, complete and show others if I can do it, they can too. Really. RTSome of Todays #Heroes @goingforgoofy @goSonja @NYCe @gusano82 @felog @coachprs #Ironman
@wsearunner Pleasure chatting with you throughout the weekend Jeff. Can't wait to hear about your ultras.
@DP_Turtle Thanks David, Goofy went and went and went until caught by the 'catchers' in the chute! RT Go Goofy! Go Goofy!
@runwicked - Fellow badass, I read you may be contemplating an IM after seeing @PunkRockRunner's photo. Let the games begin, you will love it!
@reallynotarunner- thank you Douglas. As an east coaster originally, it's great to have some connections to that side of the country. appreciate your words very much! RT@goingforgoofy awesome job today! I followed vicariously through @Run2SaveLives tweets! You rock Ironman!
@saloniusRUN - thank you for your constant support and awesome attitude, Michael!
@IronmanCarlitos - my marathoning friend from day one, who exemplifies the 'can't stop, won't stop' attitude. always someone i can look to for motivation to get out the door and get the miles in.
For all of your RTs and messages of congratulations, thank you all: @massayaka
Final thought from Dean Karnazes' Ultra Marathon Man:
Most people never get there. They're afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not constantly demanding more from yourself--expanding and learning as you go--you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip.
As a running buddy once said to me: Life is a not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "WOW!! What a ride!"