I have never in my life beat myself up like I did on Sunday. Never. I have never wanted to burst into tears out of sheer joy and relief like I did on Sunday when I finally trotted across the finish line at Wildflower, absolutely out of steam and wanting to do nothing but collapse onto my brother and Anne, than to eat oranges and bananas, then to sit down and just stare off into the distance, a wet towel on my head, my finisher’s medal on my chest.

I did it. I had to call in sick yesterday, just so I could keep sleeping to recharge my body. My back is still sunburned, as is my nose and chest. I still want to sleep and sleep and eat and sleep some more. I can’t, of course; I have to go to work in order to get money so I can support my crippling triathlon habit. I have to go to work so I can buy more gear and food so I can do this again next year. I want to go back to Wildflower. I want to crush Lynch Hill, that 6% grade that goes up for a mile at the beginning of the ride; I want to run that whole last leg, never stopping for a break, never thinking about being tired, never thinking about stopping. I will go back to Wildflower, and I will raise even more money for Team In Training, and I will tap dance across the finish line.

In the end, you helped me raise $4,054.45. Our team brought in about $800,000. I don’t know how many other teams raised, but after seeing all those purple TNT jerseys, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was $4 million. Thank you. Thank you for your kind words, support, cheers, dim sum brunches, everything. I will give you the full poop in a few days, when the pictures come back and all the brain cells start firing again. Right now, I just need to get back to work.

I’m still wearing my finisher’s medal. I probably won’t take it off for the rest of the week.