Thursday, October 9, 2014

Looking Back To Go Full Steam Ahead! Kona 2014

The other day my phone required I make some data room for a new update and I realized that I had 1,243 pictures saved, which might be part of the "storage" problem.  I started looking back through the last year hoping to delete some that I didn't have any need for anymore.  Many pictures were just randomness I took of things I wanted to save or thought I might use for the blog.  Other pictures were so interesting and things I forgot completely about since they were well over a year old.  It was a neat way to look through my life since I traveled to Kona in 2013 for this trip to the World Championships last year.  I decided it would be nice to share a bit of what the past year has held and use this as a way to prepare for the task at hand on Saturday as I attempt this 140.6 mile distance yet again.  So here's a peek into what has happened over the last year! 

 I trained in one of the harshest winters we've had in awhile!  Notice the yak-tracks and piles of snow in the January time frame!  I started training for this season on November 18th of 2013!  Geez!

 I put my Fuel Your Passion athletes through testing, planned their seasons and we qualified for 1/2 I World Champs and did plenty of other cool races!
 I ate salads.  I must have had 45 pictures of salads on my phone when it came down to it. If I had to guess, I'd imagine I ate somewhere in the range of 213 salads since November of last year started!  I love salad.  That's a good thing because I SURE eat a lot of it!
 I met amazing sponsors like Coeur Sports and got to know a company helping to do great things in the sports for women, including making them look and feel more confident while going FAST!
I went to QT2 camp for 17 days in Clermont, FL in February and suffered the wrath of Coach Jesse's little black book where every day was a surprise of heart pumping, gear grinding goodness! I met some awesome folks and hung out with some serious athletes who taught me what it means to be on your game. 

 I TRX'ed with my housemates
 At camp, I did more in one day than I do for an Ironman in terms of total hours of training, including running into the night with headlamps and eating more sports nutrition products than should ever be consumed during a 24 hour period.
 I got my heat training on preparing for Ironman Melbourne in March within the confines of my home since it was 40 degrees outside back in PA when I returned from Florida camp! 

 I hooked up with Ultragrain, the makers of White Whole Wheat and All Purpose Flour (with a white whole wheat component), and loved making smart nutrition choices!  I baked some great muffins, made pancakes and got to use this wonderful  sponsor's product for all kinds of carbohydrate loading!
 I went to Melbourne and had the race of my life just going hard all day, following my plan and trusting that I was giving it my all!  One of the days I will never forget as long as I live!
 After the race, I hung out with this guy and explored the area drinking a few libations and just having a good old time!
 I collected sayings like this on my phone all year long and scrolled through them when life got tough or I wondered what the heck I was doing with all my time swimming, biking and running.
 I took pictures of food like it was my job making all kinds of colorful dishes like this butternut squash, kale, cranberry creation during the spring! 
I shared the NormaTec love when I wasn't sitting in them myself!  Mandy also approved of their ability to help tired legs feel better! 
I continued to ride my bike, A LOT, indoors and out.  This wasn't a bad view for one of my easy rides right at our pond in the front yard! 

  I did open water swims with my athletes and enjoyed getting to hang out with them on a more personal level!
 We headed to Eagleman 70.3 to get in a half IM mid-June and prep for Ironman Lake Placid in July!
 We (ok, well, Kyle mostly) planted the garden and watched it grow through the summer with lots of wonderful things including: peppers, squash, tomatoes, kale, beets, hot peppers and peas.
 I rode with my friends in my final Lake Placid prep and thanked my lucky stars I know people as crazy enough as me who like to ride their bike for 6 hours straight!
 I rode my trainer some more! Grinding out the last hard intervals before I finally got to take off that blue bracelet from Eagleman (a little reminder to get my act together).
 I held new little cuties like Charlie, Jen and Jeremy's new baby!  He's so much bigger now!  Hard to believe!
 I got my nails did with Alyssa so I could treat them nicely before ripping them to shreds on the Placid course!
 I had the best support team ever and managed to take home a 2nd place finish on a day where I wasn't feeling all that stellar and left every ounce out on that course! 
 I cheered in the midnight finishers with Mike R. and the crowd - so cool!!
 I got back, recovered and road some more with this chick who I also call my therapist (thanks Jocelyn)!
 I coached a tri camp in Boulder where I met some absolutely fabulous people and enjoyed getting to know them!
 I suited up again for Ironman Wisconsin in September, even with some nagging niggles, hoping I might be able to do something special there!  I don't regret it!  I had a so-so swim, decent bike and came into the run in 4th, but was forced to make the call to pull out of the race due to the same niggles.  It was the right move!  You never know unless you try!
 I turned 35 (YIKES!) and had a nice dinner with the best Moms (love you guys!) & husband in the world!
 When it turned into the most beautiful fall weather in PA, I stayed inside and turned up heat while guzzling bottles on my trainer to help prepare my body for the Kona heat!
 I was brought back to health by these great people, Aimee and Frank, at Vesla 360
Thanks to you both!  Ready to let it rip on Saturday!
 I realized that my life is pretty amazing and that I've had a spectacular year.  I say that now NOT because of results, but because I've been to truly experience what it's like to be a professional in this sport.  I've been surrounded by people who care about me deeply and only want the best for me and because of that, I truly feel that the best is yet to come. 
 Finally, we are up to date with the now!  Hanging with my teammate of many years, Beth, has made this trip truly special and something I am so glad we can do together.  From two little triathletes in 2006 who were just getting started, to two professionals on the big island of Hawaii competing with the best in the world, life is pretty neat!
 I've had great time seeing my friend Andrea from Melbourne again and riding up to Hawi to see how the winds were feeling last week!
 Eating Acai bowls (look it up if you don't know what it is - AWESOME in a bowl!)
 Kona sunsets aren't so bad!
Hanging with my friend Jennifer at church was a great reminder that all of this is part of a much bigger plan that doesn't just encompass this race.  This coming Saturday will be about me against me.  It will be about showing my love of what I'm doing, testing myself against the conditions and celebrating the many gifts I've been given.  The outcome doesn't matter as much as that I left it all out there and show my true inner love of this sport and this triathlon community.  If that happens, I will be truly pleased.

I like to keep someone special in mind for each of my big races as it really helps me to keep in the forefront that these races are not all about me.  I was really soul searching for this one, then it stood out to me like it was the only possible answer that could even make sense.  This race is for my cousin Micheal Lloyd Jr.
I grew up next to six cousins in the Lloyd family and we spent a lot of time together making forts and climbing trees.  My cousin, Mike, was the oldest of the brothers and sisters and was an example for me, and for his younger siblings.  He had an infectious smile and always found a way to put a positive spin on things or make you laugh.  He was a smart and savvy businessman, but always cared more about people and his family than anything else in this world.  His wife Melanie, and four boys, Dylan, Kaleb, Blake, and Andrew were the light of his life.

Mike passed away less than a month ago of unexpected unknown causes at only 40 years old.  He will be severely missed and his memory will live on for our entire lives through a smile, a song, and a feeling we have when we think about our memories of making apple cider with pap, swimming at the river, or taking hayrides with our family.  It was pretty obvious that this one is for you Micheal.

 The Lloyd family, Nathan, Mike, Rachel, Uncle Mike, Aunt Jayne Jessica & Aaron
 (minus one - Grace!)

I promise to honor your memory and who you are by never complaining and always cherishing this experience.  No matter how hard it gets, I will think of you and how passionate you were about your life and family.  

“The only balm to sorrow is memory; the only salve for the pain of losing someone to death is acknowledging the life that existed before.” by Leo Tolstoy

Mike, your family is an example of exactly the family I hope to have one day and you led it as a Godly man of your household.  I love you and I will always miss you. 

#133 signing off!  See you on the other side!


Jennifer Nottage said...

Kim this is such a remarkable photo journal of the past year! I am thrilled to know a Pro Triathlete who knows the discipline of hard work and thrives on it; but even more; knows that our great lives are a gift; from a source to honor ever greater than anything we can do upon our own selves to achieve. You've kept perspective where perspective so often eludes those who have genuinely done all they can to improve their game.....your journey continues long after the finish line; I see it as a starting line; each finish you cross....with lessons learned; experiences catalogued, and even greater hope in your heart. God Speed on Saturday (um tomorrow; I'll be all over the course with the VP of Ridley Bikes) and looking for you; and of course; when I wake up at 3:30am (a tad later than you thank you very much!!) I will first, remember, to pray, for you and all the safety and dreams come true of each athlete.

Unknown said...

kick some major ass kim! will be cheering you on from boston! - kim k.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post!!! Awesome pics!! Best wishes from Scotland :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post!!! Awesome pics!! Best wishes from Scotland :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post!!! Awesome pics!! Best wishes from Scotland :)