Wow! It's hard to believe that I am sitting here on the Big Island of Hawaii preparing for the Ironman World Championships! It's been a wonderful wild ride and I couldn't be more excited about the race this upcoming weekend. I traveled to Kona on Monday two full weeks prior to the big dance to acclimate and get some good training in while familiarizing myself with the course again.
I was fortunate to have my good friend Krista Baker hook me up with a homestay for the week until my condo picked up on the following weekend. I met Dan and Denise and they immediately welcomed me into their home with open arms. They are two wonderful people full of life who moved over from the mainland six years ago after falling in love with Kona.
I tagged along with them on one of their paddling days (which they do 2-3 times per week) to watch them load the boats and get some quality work done! It was really neat to see them work with their team members and call out the strokes! I had a blast getting to know them all week and they are two people I will most certainly keep in contact with long after my trip is over! Thank you Dan & Gloria for letting me be a part of your family for the week! You were great!!
On Friday I met the infamous fellow pro Beth Walsh for a swim at the Kona Pool! She is just as fun, smart, fit and witty as she comes off in her amazing blog. It's so nice to meet other bloggers / facebook friends in person and she did MY workout which was even better! We had a blast and even had a recovery ride / girls gab session on Sunday which made the ride just fly by! Thanks for doing all those 50's Beth and letting me talk your ear off.
If you haven't heard of Race Quest Travel, well, you should! Krista and her partner Kelli are two amazing women on a mission to help athletes everywhere travel to race destinations (next year they have 17 total races). They make all of the travel arrangements PLUS they pair each group of athletes with a pro or other professional in the area to do workouts specific to that course, among other cool experiences. Krista has been a friend for years and to see her business take off like this is awesome. She's working so hard and doing an exceptional job!
They were nice enough to take a few shots of me while I was riding to Hawi for my four hour ride on Saturday and Andres, with Lead Adventure Media, did some pretty spectacular things hanging out the back of a van!
He captured my refilling stop outside of the Coffee Mill
I love this shot with the water behind me while I'm zooming down at mock 2 speeds from Hawi. The winds are no joke as always and I needed to be reminded how hard that section was going to be for all 115 lbs of my bike and I! I know I can handle it though!
What a cool close up! Andres, you are unbelievable! Thank you!! Thanks to Rudy Project a great sponsor of mine as well this season for the gear that keeps me looking good and training hard!
Kelli, the other half of Race Quest, met me out on the highway after a paniced text when I realized I had bit off just a tad more than I could chew on my ride. I ended up about and hour away from home when I was SUPPOSED to be done! She even came with a bag of nice cold ice!! WHAT A KEEPER!! Thank you Kelli! Saved my day!
Yes, Mom, I did use sunscreen, just missed a small spot on my wrist. Thank the Lord for good sunscreen. This sun is no joke!
The sunsets are beautiful
The days are hot and my runs have my clothes so full of sweat that you could just wring them out with your hands after! It's HOT HOT HOT here! My heart rate is finally calming down a bit and that just shows I'm getting ready to race my hiney off!
Long swim in the Kona Pool (which is 100% free by the way!)
I've been receiving so many messages, texts, emails and phone calls already from my support crew all over. I know you are all with me. I was one of the last athletes to get myself on this start line, but we all start 100% equal on October 12th. I'm going to race MY race and concentrate on controlling the factors that I can and letting go of the rest. It's such an honor to be here and I will not lose sight of that all day, I can promise you that. I'll be putting my best effort forward for 140.6 miles next Saturday from start to finish. I'm truly blessed and I plan on showing it with a smile all day long!! This card says it all. THANK YOU in advance for all the cheers! I'll check in again soon with more updates, but so far, this week has been just perfect! On Thursday Kyle gets here and I can't wait to have the other half of this team around to get ready for the big dance!!
Thank you sponsors for your support this year! I could not have done it without you!