|Morning Kohala view|
|how to keep gear dry|
Phew...anyone still there after my deep thought session?
Landing in Kona is always awesome, big lung fulls of "full fat air", the lava fields, Kona coffee... Over the years, Kona has become such a special place to me. The memories I've made here and the friendships I've formed here are so special. I hopped in my rental van, that I affectionately named Bertha, and headed to Puako. Bertha was so big, I could barely rest my arm on the door/window. We've stayed in Puako before and it is just gorgeous. Views of the Kohala's and so many Honu sightings, you just can't keep track. So it was awesome that the race started just a few miles from here and I had the opportunity to stay here. I headed into town to get groceries (Kona), have a coffee along Alii and then headed to my rental. I got totally spoiled as the owners of the property were there as well in a different house and they became fast friends who offered to feed me and tell me stories. So much for flying solo! I met up with awesome teammie, Michelle on Friday and swam along the course with her as well as the eventual winner, Lectie!! The swim course was gorgeous and I got the low down from the ladies that if the sun was shining, we would be going directly into it as we headed into the swim finish. Thankfully, I had brought a few pair of my ROKA's and ended up going with the new white/super dark mirrored version. Race morning was a bit overcast, but these were still the perfect choice. I also registered Friday and had to drop off both my run gear and bike...in two different locations. Two transition races are tough, but it made the day fly by and before I knew it, it was time to eat and get to bed!
Having just done Ironman Texas 3 weeks ago, I was cognizant that things were likely to go one of two ways...AWESOME, or AWFUL! I feel like after an Ironman, that 2nd weekend post can leave you feeling like, "YEAH, who just raced? Not this girl, she feels AWESOME"...week two is quickly followed by week three where my body is typically like, "yeah...you got a bit ahead of yourself...we're still recovering, so take it down a notch, OK?!!" I continued to do some training, and rode 106 miles the week before the race (Jess was doing her biggest ride post bébé, and I couldn't not be there) and eventually (thank you Sonja and Mark) decided to shut it down after Tuesday's workouts. Like really shut it down. I didn't end up doing anything Thursday after I arrived in Kona and Friday was just a practice swim with the girls. But it left me feeling good and confident, I just love racing her so much that I was excited to just be on the island and race, regardless of the outcome.
Pre race dinner: chicken, potato, avocado and bell pepper mash. Keep the fiber low and get some good protein, carbs and fat.
Pre race breakkie: two corn tortillas, two eggs, can of coffee, bottle of pre-load, and 3 (tiny) apple bananas and PB. Total kcal intake was about 800. Seemed about right for a half, but I do hit a bit more pre-IM.
I ended up getting to the race SUPER early...being a newbie to getting myself to the race and having to take a shuttle from the finish where I parked to the start, left me a bit anxious. Plenty of time to set up, talk to Michelle (and meet her fam!) and relax...almost too much relaxing, I was thinking, ok chica, you are too calm...time to rev it up a bit...also where I drank the coffee!
The swim ended up being a bit overcast, but just beautiful...and choppy! Anybody? The water looked like glass that morning, but once we were in it, it felt like anything but. I tried to think about short, choppy strokes to match the choppy water, and thought about how we might get to be pushed into shore based on how the chop was. We did end up almost body surfing to shore, and once you find a rhythm with the current, it's awesome! I was thankful the swim was coming to an end and was happy to end up 3rd out of the water.
|just keep drinking...|
|LOVED the new Coeur aero jersey|
Bike food: I was a champ here...2.5 salted carmel Bonk Breakers and 4 bottles of osmo. At a 2.5hr ride that gave me 950kcals or 380/ hour. I think I can oush this to 400 and will try for that over my next few races leading into Kona. I think the more you can front load the run, the better off you will be.
|charging when i could|
Run nutrition: bottle of pre-load/Osmo on my way out of transition, half a pack of Muscle Milk energy chews, water coke at every aid station. Estimating about 230kcal/hour.
I crossed the line, knowing I was 4th female, but not knowing if I had won or was 2nd in my AG. Once I got to my morning bag, I had texts from my family congratulating me on winning my AG. Yes!!! I was so stoked. Honu are my fave animal (tied with elephants) and I remember seeing last year, that the trophies were Honu...I wanted a Honu!! Turns out, they made the trophies, umeke bowls. If you don't know the definition of the umeke, it is basically a bowl that each Hawaiian family has and that is filled with important items, those items in life, that fill you to your brim. Triathlon is one of the things that fills me to my brim.
|my go-to face at the finish ;)|
|me and my umeke|
I've spent the past few days relaxing, doing tourist things and just staring at the ocean. I hopped over to Kauai to be with my sister and her girls for about 30 hours and we had such a blast. I completely unplugged from all things work (thank you work teammies!!), and by the end of this vacation, wanted to look at the ocean more than I wanted to look at my phone. I'm trying to be more present, and this was certainly a trip where I was present.
Kona, as always, mahalo. You mean so much to me.
A hui hou.