Honu is easily my favorite race of the year so I'm really looking forward to heading over to the Big Island in a few days. This will be my 6th time racing this event and I got to thinking about my history there... In case you're interested...
2006 First timer over there... All I really remember is that I had a blast and laughed a ton. Travelled with my friend Karen and she is hysterical. (Karen remember that year??) I got a flat pretty early on the bike and that sort of took the wind out of my sails... don't remember my finish time but maybe something like 5:30ish?
2007 I was super nervous for this race because I had my 3 year Hawaii residency thing at this point and I knew there was a shot that I could win the resident spot to Kona... This race was likely my turning point in actually becoming more serious about triathlon. I think I placed 6th 30-34 in like 5:22 but that was enough to get the resident spot to Kona. I cried very happy tears when I realized that I actually did it and was going to race Kona for the first time!
2008 Sat this year out as I was ~4 months pregnant with Moana.
2009 Took Moana over there when she was ~8 months old and set a new 70.3 PR with 5:16. Had a solid swim/bike and then DIED on the run but once again it was enough to get the resident spot to Kona so the death march of a run was dismissed in my mind! Plus, this is what Moana looked like back then. :)
2010 Solid day all around setting another PR (5:14) even with a flat tire. Missed the Kona spot this year but walked away feeling good about my fitness and was proud of the way I held it together mentally even after that unlucky break on the bike.
2011 Had a rare magic day... I do think we had a tailwind the whole time or something but I shocked the hell out of myself and everyone else biking 2:30 on this course... then I held on and still ran the best I've ever run over there even though I was sort of dying. They took away our resident Kona spots so that qualifying thing was pretty much out of the question given how fast the 35-39 women were over there... But a 21' PR and 4:53 was something I was elated about for pretty much the rest of the year!
So looking back on my history there and seeing that pretty much every time I've gone back I've gone a good bit faster than the year before is sort of scary to me at this point! My training data indicates that I am fitter and faster across the board than I was last year but wrapping my head around going faster than 4:53 is freaking me out. Like, can I really do that??? I think what I need to do is stop thinking about it and just go race the race and let it be what it is... If the winds don't calm down and are still gusting at 25 mph on Saturday I think I'll adjust my plan and not even start my watch on the bike... we'll see. Conditions can play a big part in finish times so I try to not concern myself too much with the clock. I will say that if I put together a day that resembles pretty much any of my key training days in the last six weeks, I'll be smiling when I cross that finish line. :)
Anyway, I'm starting to pack and Moana is getting psyched about heading back over to Kona! This will be her 7th trip to Kona (4th time at Honu- she's a seasoned vet). And she's old enough now that she understands a bit more about racing so she's super fun to have around with her pom poms and her cowbell.
Let's do it!!