Friday, October 25, 2013

Fun thoughts on Kona 2 weeks later...

The Kohala's 
I've been doing a lot of thinking on Kona, and wanted to throw out some bullet point style thoughts on this years trip to the island how much it means to me.  There were multiple times this year where I was impressed by the behavior or other athletes.  At the beginning of the race week, the air felt a bit tense with athlete nerves, but out on the course, it was a different story. For those not in the triathlon lifestyle, they often ask "what do you POSSIBLY think about for 10 hours...excuse me, that's 9 hours 58 thank you very much! ?"  So I wanted to give some answers about all of the fun things I don't think about during Kona.  "Hailey, did you see your rocks out on the course?  Uhhh, nope, all I saw was a white line for 112 miles".

This visit to Kona marked my one year anniversary of Operation: just say NO to Diet Coke, or any artificial sweeteners.  Pressured into it last year on the Thursday before race day by Mark and my family, I went cold turkey and haven't looked back.  I now have a loving relationship with my local Peet's barista and whole milk lattes.

Celebrating the Sub-10
While in Kona, I didn't take an indoor shower once.  I DID shower, but in an outside shower for 14 days...I am now plotting how to get Mark to install one at our house for summertime use.  There is NOTHING like the feeling of fresh ocean air while showering.  I may be drooling about going back already!

The day before the race, I got a call from my sister and she told me to ask myself during the race "what can I do today/right now to be my best".  I made that my mantra and really kept repeating it to myself...especially in those last three miles when it was critical that I ran as hard as possible to break the 10 hour mark.  

MacGuyver Manning
Every year when I hit the Energy Lab, I tell myself that I have to hunt someone down at this point and pass someone.  This year this part of the course was where you had to be tough as nails, as it became a 10 mile stretch with no spectators...what was that about?  Although, my crafty husband managed to take an "alternate" route and found his way onto the closed section of the Queen K run course.  All of the sudden, he goes "beep beep!".  Instant smile time.  Never underestimate the ability of Mark Manning to become MacGuyver.

I usually thrive in the first 10 miles of the run along Alii, I love all of the spectators and it's not usually too hot for me.  This year I was far from thriving.  I had to walk a few times and Mark wondered not aloud thankfully if I was going to finish the race.  It is here that an older guy told me that this is "as hard as it gets, this is the worst section" and that I needed to run.  Thank you sir, you helped me break 10 hours.  

Hi buddy!
Honu.  Man do I LOVE these things.  Look for some new ink to be on my body soon.  That old tattoo of the Chinese symbol from college is going to get covered up with a more meaningful tattoo. I am going to try to find a tattoo artist form the Big Island locally to do the work.

Hawaii Dreaming

I left Hawaii just two weeks ago and it is already finding me in my dreams.  Does it do this to you too?  Not dreaming about the race, just dreaming of the peace that I feel when I am there.  The ability to disconnect from work, and visit with my  super support team, best friends and family every year has become one of my highlights each year.

Cauliflower pizza crust, not bad!

Off season eating.  I usually find myself gagging for an almost binge worthy period of eating...lots of vino, carbs and ice cream.  I allow myself to go completely off the wagon. I've been gluten light (let's say 90/10) since 2010 and have recently begun a shift towards a higher fat and lower carb diet (not during races though and will increase carbs as needed for high training/race weeks).  This year after Kona, I didn't feel that urge as much for all of the sugary items like Dairy Queen...but there has still been wine.  It's been interesting to see how the body changes year after year and that you start to crave these items less.  Although it was a tad disappointing that my DQ didn't taste as awesome as I had hoped...what is WRONG with me?!!

Swelling.  Swelling continues to be an issue for me and I could feel it start on the bike.  When I went to put on those stupid, never gonna wear them again wings for sun protection, I could barely get them over my wrists.  When I crossed the finish line they took me to the med tent as I was indeed pretty swollen.  They ended up ripping my beloved wings.  I'll continue to work with pal Stacy on this one to see what we can do to limit the bloat.
I didn't watch TV or listen to the radio for the entire trip either.  I am not a big TV watcher in the first place as there just isn't' that much time in the day.  But I do like the Biggest loser and sometimes turn on the TV just to be in the background...It was nice to not even turn one on and I didn't even miss it...although I also had NO idea on what was happening outside of the Big Island...ignorance is bliss right?

So now it's time to relax, have fun exercising and focus on some strength before gearing up for Ironman Los Cabos next Spring!

Awesome saying found at coffee shop in Hawi


goSonja said...

Loved this post. I long to be back there too and can't wait to see the new ink. Thanks for the post race swim beach session, it meant a lot to me.

Beth said...

Wow, this makes me want to go back to Hawaii! But hopefully I will get to see you in Cabo, I am racing too!