Monday, October 7, 2013

Ka Ka Ka Kona!!

Morning light 
Kona came early this year.  Sounds familiar right?  Not Christmas, Kona!  Turns out we're not taking any time off around the typical holidays in the next few months which left me with some extra vacation days.  Hmmm, what to do with those days?  Yes, I think I'll spend them in Hawaii!  I boarded a plane on Saturday and whoosh, arrived in the land of hot, delicious, wet Hawaiian air.  I don't know if it's my Mid-Western roots, but MAN do I love me some sunshine and humidity.  Something about it just feels right.  My hair goes all crazy (lion hair to Mark), the moist air fills my lungs, and from ear to ear, I smile.  I asked Mark the other day if everyone who comes here has the same feeling of connectedness with the island, and he says that likely, I'm not alone on this one.  There is something about this place....at least once a year when I am here, I am overcome with a sense of very raw emotion and the feeling that this is a very special place for me.



Swim Course action & latte with Dad
This year was supposed to be EXTRA special as in addition to my usual SUPER support crew of my husband, mom, stepdad, aunt, cousin, and Kebby, my dad (who is in a wheelchair 95% of his time) was going to make the LONG, HARD journey from Ohio to Kona to watch me race for the very first time.  I was pumped...nervous that he would be vulnerable out here out of his element, but excited that he would get to see the madness that is the Hawaii ironman.  I got a call Friday that my dad had had to undergo surgery and as of today he's still shacked up in the hospital.  So since he won't be here, I showed him the island via face time.  We had a latte together this morning, albeit my settings were a bit nicer than his...needless to say, he'll be Ironmanlive stalking this Saturday.  I told him I'd have to try to qualify for 2014 so we could try again...


The Queen and all her beauty
Mark doesn't arrive until later this week, so I've had the good fortune of staying out of town with friends  Jordan, her husband Rich, and our friend Eric.  The boys built the bikes yesterday and somehow all we had to do to avoid that chore was go to the grocery store and shop for food.  Any day of the week, I'll shop over put a bike together.  Thanks boys!!  We got back, Eric was nice enough to roll with me for my ride along the Queen K and just like that, I felt at home!  We went to town this morning to swim and then I hit the Queen K by myself for a little ride.  It was windier than yesterday and on the way home I had that thought of ohhhh, yes, I've been here before...I know this lonely stretch of road, time to start to prepare for the solitude of race day!


Another day done
Kona is my favorite race of the year for so many reasons.  Maybe highest on that list is that I get to spend time with friends who I may only see here every year.  This race serves as a culmination of your entire season and is a massive CELEBRATION for all that we've accomplished this year.  Do I have some big, scary goals?  You had better believe it.  But rain or shine, after next Saturday, the off season is upon me, another year of being healthy, happy and doing what I LOVE is wrapped up and I have another week on an island in the Pacific.  Life is indeed incredibly good (with the exception of Dad in the hospital, which effing BLOWS).



The rest of this week, I get to hang with sponsors, friends and family and then race my buns off on Saturday!  OHH and I get to be an honorary Betty for the Under Pants Run on Thursday...YES please!!! A big thank you to my family for all of their support this year and to Argon18 for putting me on the fastest, sexiest bike in town, Muscle Milk for rebuilding both my iron stores and my muscles, Compex for shaking my muscles recovered, Coeur for the most styling kits evah, Smith Optics for keeping the sun out of my eyes, Osmo Nutrition and Stacy Sims for keeping me salt tab and gel free (and truly so much more), and TYR for keeping me fast in the water.