It is still a little surreal that we are here. A year ago at this time I was slugging through a tough training block combined with an even tougher rehab block for the soft tissue/nerve damage caused by the car accident and now here I am sitting here waiting for the sun to come up over the ocean and getting ready for the Underpants Run.
Brandon and I, along with my in-laws and Brandon’s Grandma and Grandpa, arrived here in Kona on Monday in the early afternoon. All bags arrived! Baggage claim is always nerve racking for a triathlete, you just sit there sweating and wondering whether your bike made it and if it is still in one piece. Upon arriving I went out for a quick 30 minute shake out run, wearing my Second Skin 2-in-1 Shorts . It felt so good to be able to run in just shorts and a sports bra, work up a sweat, and just be warm.
We are staying at a Condo about 15 minutes from the Ironman start and village in a beautiful two bedroom condo looking right over the ocean on one side and the golf course on another. There is a wonderful patio, as we are on a corner room, that stares right at the ocean. This has been my home every afternoon this week, not a bad place to decompress and put your feet up.
Race week has been busy, I have been trying to balance soaking it all in but also relaxing and not over tiring myself. I came down with a wonderful head cold this week that has left me with a lot less energy and forced me to stay down rather than do all the activities. So in retrospect it has probably been a blessing in disguise as it has forced me to lay low.
Coming into Kona one of the things I was most excited about was the energy that everyone talked about, it is a different energy here; its stronger, its deeper, its more anxious, yet all at the same time its more calm. You could feel all of this start to build as more people started arriving and as the big day is starting to press closer and closer.
Here are a few things I have been up to (besides trying to cure my cold) while on the Island:
Meeting with Simone at Rudy Project
On Tuesday I had a meeting with the PR director for Rudy Project North America to discuss an ambassador program. I loved speaking with Simone, her spirit was so full and bubbly you couldn’t help but get excited for the sport of triathlon when speaking with her. I am pleased to announce that after the meeting she did offer me an ambassador program and I am beyond excited to represent not only tomorrow but every day of training, racing, and living my passion of health and fitness.
Ocean Water Swim
If you have been following along with my blog you will know that many times I have mentioned that the swim is the piece I am most worried about, though mainly for the fact that it is a mass start. On Wednesday I threw on my Roka Swim Skin and headed out for a practice swim to the coffee bar. It was a little choppy but all over I really enjoyed swimming in the ocean, plus it was so beautiful. You could see all the coral and little fishies below you, it was hard not to just stop and float on the top to watch the wonder beneath you.
So far I have gotten two swims in; one about 20 minutes and the other really short only about 10 minutes to stretch my arms and lungs.
Walk around the Village
The Ironman village is pretty fantastic, there is so much to it. I love the expo at Ironman’s because it is full of people who a have passion for something and they are just out there trying to show you their passion. At the Ironman village I got to meet Siri Lindly who is one of my favorite people ever, I totally fell in love with her after reading her book. She was so full of zest and spirit, just bubbling with happiness to be out there talking with other athletes. She was gracious enough to sign a book for me even though I didn’t have mine on me to have her sign. Thank you Siri!!
Jog around the Energy Lab
Yesterday the husband and I drove out to the Energy lab after picking up my parents, sorry mom and dad for making you stand around the energy lab immediately after getting off the plane, so that I could just get a feel for the vastness of the area. I can see why it is the place where you either win or loose the race. There is not much out there besides wind, lava, and heat.
The yearly tradition of the underpants run through downtown Kona! This was a lot of fun as I got to do it with my Betty sisters and my main girl Anna. Every year athletes, friends, and family get together dressed in their best speedos, underpants, and/or skimpy outfits to strut their stuff for 1.2 miles through downtown.
It was a great morning for a jog in your underpants (or bathing suits) the sun having just come up over the ocean and the waves crashing in the background. What I really loved about this was the fact that everyone, no matter your age, shape, or why you were there in Kona was out there loving life and soaking up the sun. No body shamming, slamming, or degrading occurred just plan good old fashioned exercise with your closest friends and like minded people. It was chance to provide strength and body confidence for those who may not normally feel comfortable running around in their skivvies.
Finding My Name on the Athlete Wall
It is a simple thing but there is something special about finding your name on the athlete wall. Maybe it is because your name is just a small piece of the 2,400 other amazing athletes who qualified, or that it represents all the sweat, tears, long days, tired legs, and sometimes a little blood that comes with the training involved to just get yourself here. When Brandon brought me over to show me my name I was overcome with emotion for it meant that I made it. Finding my name and sticking my finger right next to it brought goosebumps to my skin. I just hope I can live up to the greatness that that wall represents.
Athlete Welcome Dinner
My parents go into Kona yesterday and the four of us, Brandon, myself, and my parents went to the Athlete welcome dinner. I don’t normally go to these things but wanted to experience it here. It was fun, dinner was decent enough and the entertainment was very good. They had a fire dancer who put the fire on his feet, very impressive. It was fun to be outside surrounded by all the amazing people who qualified for this race along with their friends and family. I do not know that I would attend again but I am very glad that we did yesterday.
What is next?
Stay tuned for the race recap once I can gather my thoughts from whatever comes at my tomorrow, for now I just wanted to share some of the beauty and fun that has been the journey so far.
Thank you to everyone who has supported, cheered, and give my their love on this journey I will say it a million times I could not do any of this without you all!! I will give full thank yous at the end of my race recap but for now I still want to just say thank you and bless every single one of you who have been there for me.