Archive for October, 2008

Kona recap–Part I

October 23, 2008

Perhaps the title of this post should have been: “speak now or forever hold your peace. . .”  Well, better late than never!  It’s been nearly two weeks and I am finally finding a moment to post on an unforgettable Kona experience. There was so much that went on that it’s hard to know where to begin. Of course, there was the usual pre-race excitement / anxiety, friends to catch up with, last bits of taper week training to do. Oh, and just one other little thing–I got engaged!

I’ll spare you the mushy details, other than to say that Andy and I are thrilled! Kona is a special place, and I was glad to have such a happy experience to carry with me for all 140.6 miles on Saturday. As you might imagine, this sort of trumped all of the rest of the week, although race day was a close (ok, maybe not so close–think Chrissie Wellington’s victory over the rest of the field) second.

Now that I’ve gotten that tiny bit of news out of the way, let me back up. . .From the minute I arrived on the island, it felt as though I’d entered some strange time warp–a whirlwind of nervous excitement punctuated by pier swims, bike rides to Hawii, trips to Lava Java and the farmer’s market, and–oh, yes, the ever famous Underpants Run.

Bob Babbit, I mean "Elvis", me, Heather Gollnick

Babbit--err, "Elvis", Gollnick, and I

Dean & I out on the Queen K

Dean & I out on the Queen K

The best part of Kona is that “everyone” is there–it’s virtually impossible to go more than 2 minutes without bumping into people you know. Actually, it usually starts before the plane even lands. For example, on the flight from SD to Honolulu, I was one of the last people to get to my seat because I was busy inconveniencing the airline stewardesses with a wheel bag that would not fit in the overhead. When I finally got there, it seemed that someone was already sitting there:

Those Aussies, what a bunch of thieves; ) I took it as a good omen that Kate Major had nabbed my seat, but still told her to move her ass. (Not really) BTW, although Kate’s podium streak was broken this year, her performance was possibly the most incredible yet. Because of a foot injury, the longest run she had managed in the last 6 weeks pre race was 30′. That, combined with a mechanical on the bike would have sent most pros to DNF-ville, but she stoically finished it up with what, for most, still would have qualified as a killer time.

Now, back to ME; ) Besides the obvious, there were lots of race week distractions to keep my mind from hyperfocusing on the race. Distractions may seem like a bad thing, but when you’ve already spent the last 364 days or so thinking about something, I find that it’s good to take a step back. Otherwise, those last few days wind up being stressful, which detracts from the whole reason we’re there. To that end, I took advantage. . .

K-Swiss cruise on Tuesday

Amanda and Ivette.

Party girls Amanda and Ivette.

Mixer at the Palace on Wednesday

Got ENGAGED on Thursday!!

Friday was all the usual last minute scramble. Managed to lose my spare tire on a training ride, had to replace that. Couldn’t find the bento box I swear I’d brought. Where the heck did my electrical tape go? Blah, blah, blah. The good news was that our race kits were finished just in time:

Luke McKenzie & I sporting the K-Swiss gear

Luke McKenzie & I sporting the new k-swiss kits

After that, there was nothing left to do but race!