Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kona Spectathlete!

I wasn't going to go to Kona to watch this year... but then a few weeks ago my FOMO got the best of me and I found myself a cheap place to stay and booked a plane ticket with miles and just made it happen for a short weekend. And I'm super glad I did! It was so much fun and absolutely worth the trip. :)

I flew over Friday morning and went straight to the expo after I landed... Had fun visiting friends working at some different booths. Networking there for the morning might have been worth the trip all on its own. In the first few hours of landing on the Big Island, I had a chance to catch up with a bunch of old friends, hung with some of the awesome Coeur Sports gals, and formed a new sponsorship relationship for TeamBSC with Roka Sports! My head was spinning!
Friday afternoon the swim course buoys were all set up so some of us swam the course for fun. In all honesty, it wasn't very much fun. :( As it always is in the afternoons, the water was super choppy (which was fine) but the bad part was that jellyfish were out in full force and once we passed the first few buoys we pretty much just got electrocuted for the rest of the swim. We got stung all over (face, neck, arms, chest, etc) for the entire swim. It was about the worst I've ever experienced but I didn't post anything about it Friday night b/c I didn't want to freak anyone out about race morning. I figured maybe by morning the jellies would be gone and indeed they must have been b/c we didn't hear anyone complaining about them on race day. Phew!

This is Gene's arm post swim. We all looked like this...

I found a cheap room in a house up the hill a bit and chose to commute by foot on race day. Running straight down the hill before the sun came up was actually super fun. It was a gorgeous cool morning!

I chose to not watch the swim- for several reasons- but primarily because I was insanely jealous! I mean seriously, look at this... Swimming doesn't get any better.

So instead I parked myself along the bike course and waited for the whiplash trying to watch everyone rip by.  The mood is totally frantic down there in the beginning of the bike with a billion fans and cowbells and all the adrenaline of the world's fastest triathletes all still feeling awesome so early in the day...

Mid-morning I hung out with Nalani and Kurt b/c they and a room right on Ali'i Dr... so nice b/c we chilled out in air-conditioning listening to the live feed about what was happening on the bike and then all of a sudden it was like the guys are coming in to T2 already!?! That's when the fun began. :)

Kurt and I cracked open beer after beer all afternoon and cheered like banshees for everyone we knew (and plenty of athletes we didn't know). If you were watching on Twitter you know how that went so I won't rehash it all here. :)

In good news I didn't wake up in a dumpster so alls well that ends well. I know it may appear that I am a complete lush and like I drink like a fish all the time... In reality I do not but somehow in my mind Ironman is an event where we go outside our own norms... So whether I'm racing or not, I tend to consume a years worth of alcohol around these events. :) The reality is that I had not had any alcohol at all for several months, and likely won't drink again for several more...

I brought my Osmo Pre-load over specifically to combat the activities on Saturday so I could be in a position to swim for a long time on Sunday. That stuff is magic for preventing hangovers! Good thing too b/c I felt great on Sunday! I met Hillary down at the pier Sunday morning and we swam to Keauhou Bay. It's the Ultraman swim course and is a legit 10K. Quite possibly it's the best swim on the planet. We had nice glassy water (for the first ~2 hours anyway then it got a little choppy). It was warm and clear and glorious and I was super happy the whole time. We did have ~20' in the middle where we had some jellyfish stings and sightings- luckily not too bad. I swear after our experience on Friday, getting stung a few times was no big deal, though the water was clear enough to see these GIANT jellyfish right underneath us and I'll admit that was a bit freaky.

Kurt and Nalani escorted us via kayak which was great b/c we had water and fuel... and I got to try out my new Roka Sim Shorts and holy cow I LOVE those things. 1/2 way through the swim I decided I'd rather give up my goggles than those shorts. They just popped me right up into a great position which allowed me to keep my turnover up the whole time and I felt like I had easy access to all my power... damn I'm a giant die hard fan of those shorts! The swim completely flew by and before I knew it, we were done.

After the swim it was ideal scenario b/c I got to head right over to daylight Mind where Coeur Sports was hosting an awesome past-race party... I opted to skip the alcohol in favor of shots of expresso instead. :) Bob Babbitt was there interviewing a few of the Coeur gals who raced on Saturday so that was fun to watch live! Then we spent a few hours gabbing just girl talk and it was just super cool all around. That team is full of strong amazing women and I am super happy to be a part of it.

Straight from Daylight Mind off to the airport... phew! What a super weekend.

 Now back to regularly scheduled programing...


Anonymous said...

Was fun to see and hear you cheer for me heading up Palani! Besides the jellyfish, your swim with Hillary sounds like a blast!

Patti Thompson said...

Do you know I bought a bucket of the OSMO pre-load specifically for the holiday season hangover prevention???